Australia: Xerocon Melbourne 2015 - the latest trends for accountants and bookkeepers
Last Updated: 24 September 2015

Last month Peppe and Jordan donned their Xero t-shirts and headed to Melbourne for the 5th annual instalment of XEROCON Australia. XEROCON is an event that showcases the latest products and features from Xero and their add-on partners. It allows Accountants and Bookkeepers to catch up on the latest news and ideas within the industry.

This year's event, hosted by Aussie comedian and small business owner Peter Berner, saw over 1,600 Accountants and Bookkeepers in attendance at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

The opening day included an address from Rod Drury, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Xero, discussing the past 12 months and where he sees Xero and the industry heading. Sunrise co-host David Koch called in for the afternoon to host an entrepreneur panel discussing what it takes to start up and grow a business and discussing the common challenges that entrepreneurs face. The day concluded with a networking event allowing all those in attendance to discuss the events of the day whilst enjoying a beer or two......Peppe's most favoured time over the two days!

The second day started with Xero's Chief Marketing Officer, Andy Lark, discussing "digital disruption" and how consumers have moved from owning products, to renting, to now subscribing to them. Businesses must continually adapt and change to survive in this digital age and that there is no room for complacency. It is the "early adopters that eat the late comers". He looked at the important role that accountants play in helping their clients navigate this change and how Xero and their add-on partners are helping accountants in this role.

The Federal Minister for Small Business, The Hon Bruce Billson MP, spoke about how the Australian Government is already helping small business and what he believed accountants and bookkeepers can be doing to help in this space through utilising their client base. Whether this be putting suppliers in front of potential customers, matching potential investors with businesses looking for funding or alerting clients to any potential funding or opportunities that exist within their industry.

The afternoon session finished with an interesting panel discussion on the effects that technology is having on accountants and how this can be used to offer value added services to clients. One of the ways which Moore Stephens Adelaide is offering this is through Your Business Dashboard (YBD). YBD provides clients with a real-time personalised view of their business. It allows clients to see what areas of their business are going well, what areas need attention and allows them to make informed business decisions.
We are also using Figured, a farm management accounting package, which provides real time livestock and crop tracking as well as forecast profit and loss and cash flows to allow farmers to manage their business in a far more effective and efficient manner. 'Figured is farming on the front foot'.

XEROCON was an interesting two days with plenty of information to digest and reaffirms that Moore Stephens Adelaide is heading in the right direction in providing, best practice value added services. Changes are occurring so quickly within the IT and cloud accounting industry, and the shift towards accountants playing an integral role in their client's businesses rather than merely providing compliance work has great momentum. XEROCON was a great opportunity to talk to some of the add-on partners that allow us to provide best practice value add and benefit our client's businesses.

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