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Three things we learnt at Xerocon 2022

Capitalise May 13, 2022

 

"It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s back,” says Xero. After a 2 year break following the pandemic, Xerocon is back and this year, it certainly was with a bang! 2000+ Accountants and various industry leaders made their way to Tobacco Dock in London for this iconic two day event. Excited to be back, the atmosphere was electric and the real buzz of innovation surrounded the venue. 

 

From demo-sessions to the opportunity to mingle and get inspired, you were never short of things to do. But, the real buzz kicked off at the beginning when Steve Vamos, CEO of Xero, talked about his visions for 2030. Highlighting the incredible future-positive position accountants have at their fingertips, to both grow their firm and make a real difference to small businesses across the country.

 

One common theme was the unpredictability of the current economy and how you and the new, collaborative tools available can help shift these current challenging headwinds into tailwinds for your clients. 

 

Steve Vamos describes the position you are in now, as being built by “waves”; wave one, wave two and wave three (today). Developing and moving through these three stages offers growth opportunities for your firm. 

 

If you couldn’t make it to the event, or fancy getting your extra dose of “Xerocon”, here’s what these three waves mean and how they can help you shape your firm towards sustainable growth. 

Wave one: “Cloud Accounting” 

 

The first wave focuses on moving your firm to the cloud. This is where your clients accounts data are no longer stored on a computer, where data is at risk of being lost, stolen or deleted. Yet transferred to a cloud server, which is secure and remote. 

 

When building a successful accounting business, being able to access data whenever it’s needed in the cleanest and most secure way is key. Whilst, also revolutionising the way you work with your clients - as cloud accounting frees-up new time to create value-added advisory services by moving away from admin-heavy data tasks. 

 

Xero says this way of working provides a “fresh perspective of how businesses work with their accountants”.

 

Wave two: “Business apps & services in the cloud” 

 

Whilst, wave one focuses on your firm's move to cloud, becoming more efficient and offering greater value services to your clients. Wave two, is when you encourage your clients to also get involved in the new technologies.

 

With new technologies and apps, businesses can access new tools to get better insights than ever before. 

 

Research found that over 84% of UK businesses are adopting some form of cloud technology. Examples include businesses making their tax digital. This means they switch to keeping and submitting reports digitally. Why…?

 

  • Less paperwork to worry about

  • Fewer mistakes

  • Easier bookkeeping

  • On-time returns 

  • Free’d up time 

  • Real-time data 

 

As an accountant, helping your clients switch to digital bookkeeping and cloud services puts you in a far better position to offer strategic advice. You can better record and track your clients transactions whilst seeing accurate up-to-date data. 

 

Not to mention, you’ll also be able to supercharge your conversations by empowering them to take ownership of their numbers and making discussions more insightful and collaborative. 


 

Wave three: Becoming a go-to adviser

 

Now both you and your clients have the tools you need, the focus becomes how you can translate data and insight into valuable actions and solutions. It’s true what Xero said at Xerocon, “no matter how good the software is, clients need the help and advice of their accountant” to look at the data and help them navigate business moves. 

 

Cloud services and apps make time for a greater focus on advisory services which move your firm away from purely compliance tasks towards growth plans and longer-term projections. With rising inflation, supply shocks and price rises, advisory services are becoming even more critical for your clients. 

 

In-fact, a staggering statistic which stuck with many accountants in the room at Xerocon was that “40% of businesses have a negative cashflow for about 4.5 months of the year”. With a challenging and uncertain economic landscape still ahead of us, providing the advice and solutions for each one of your clients needs has never been more important. To keep them in a positive cashflow position and away from insolvency. 

 

Ollie Maitland mentioned in his demonstration talk that it’s imperative to “build a proactive practice around your clients needs, it could be resilience (technical advice), grow income and scale (business advice), deliver on plan (capital advice) or exit (corporate finance advice)”. Whichever it is, your clients will be looking to you.

 

Technology will be your enabler to shape-shift and offer the advice and solutions they need. 

 

"Technology will enable you to do more with less. Technology is an enabler” - Debra Meanden, Xerocon stage. 

What tools can you get started with? 

 

To help your clients stay ahead of the unpredictable climate, the focus must be on real-time data and looking ahead. Here’s three things the technology you use should enable and how Capitalise has your solutions: 

 

 

  • Monitor the business risks and opportunities that lie ahead 

 

With uncertainty surrounding business owners, regularly monitoring business factors helps you stay ahead of the landscape and offer proactive advice ahead of time. 

 

With Capitalise Monitor, risks and opportunities are tracked and identified for you across your entire portfolio. You’ll get rich insights and actionable solutions to enter client meetings with - without the need for extensive prep from you.

 

For example, alerts on cashflow gaps or poor payment performance will be spotted. And with the Capital Reports feature, which lives inside Monitor, you can share this real-time data with your clients to collaboratively talk through their business position and the next steps.  


 

  • Get their credit and debt under control 

 

Boosting a client's credit score is key to ensuring their business is the best position possible for whatever the industry throws at them. Using Monitor you get a 360 degree view, including credit score, credit risks and payment performance. 

 

You’ll be able to have a critical look at your clients debtor books and see where you can help them control their credit terms better to boost business health. 


 

  • Spot the need for funding ahead of time 

 

Our recent research found that 45% more businesses are looking for funding right now, since just March. This dash for cash highlights a shift in borrowing behaviour and an indication that businesses are needing finance urgently to keep their business growing healthy.  

 

Spotting funding needs ahead of time for your clients is imperative to get their business in a place that can access attractive funding terms that won’t damage their bottom line. 

 

With 61% of businesses not knowing how to access funding, you can use Capitalise to offer them a full funding network. A marketplace of 100+ lenders means you can proactively seek the best solutions that match their business needs, quickly and efficiently. 

 

With 55% of accountants wanting to give their clients more services, you can use this service to add to your firm's value and offering. 

 

Get connected!

 

Although our Monitor platform provides insights into cloud and non-cloud connected clients, it’s clear there are massive opportunities for you and your clients to take the leap. From wave one to wave three, the visibility, control and collaboration that can be harnessed can drastically improve the sustainability of your firm's growth. 

 

Speak to our team and find out how you can get started on this connected journey! 

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