Our UK team was on the ground again last week, this time catching up with many of our ExpensifyApproved! partners at the Xero Roadshow in London. The event included many opportunities to sit in on insightful sessions, with the topics ranging from the future of accounting to the latest product developments in Xero HQ.
Takeaway #1: The Love Affair with Small Businesses
Damon Anderson, Director of Partnerships at Xero, set the tone for the event by sharing Xero’s powerful vision of making a positive impact on the world by helping small businesses grow, declaring, “At Xero, we love small businesses because they’re real.” This message struck a chord with us, as it’s a philosophy with which we share as a company that also strives to empower small businesses around the world.
To help achieve their goal, Xero is developing new product functionality, as well as focusing on building and strengthening their partnerships. Xero now boasts a “bigger ecosystem than any other cloud provider”, showing their dedication to this initiative. As a Xero partner equally committed to providing small businesses with financial tools to thrive, we’re very proud to be part of this initiative as one of the first six Xero HQ app partners unveiled in late 2017.
Takeaway #2: Changes in Legislation Offers More Control Over Data
An overarching theme at the Xero Roadshow was the emphasis placed on adapting technology to changing government regulations. In particular, the discussion centred around Open Banking and GDPR compliance, two important initiatives impacting the UK’s fintech industry.
Open Banking is a big theme in the UK financial industry this year, as people in the business world celebrate having more control over how their bank data can be shared. Companies like Xero and Expensify have jumped on this movement by building APIs that allow you to connect your bank account and credit card feeds directly into your accounting system and expense management software for automated reconciliation.
The looming 25th May deadline and hefty fines for non-compliance has everyone talking about GDPR and what it means for their firm. Like Xero, we view this as a positive change in the legislative landscape. GDPR ensures that organisations both large and small are appropriately educated on how to approach data protection and provides more control to their customers.
Takeaway #3: Benefits of Internal Adoption of the Cloud Ecosystem
The journey to a thriving digital practice was our favourite session of the day, with a panel of familiar faces representing firms like UHY Hacker Young and Shaw Gibbs. One of the most striking takeaways from the entire day was that each speaker wishes they had moved their firm to the cloud much earlier than they actually did. The panelists all agreed that the benefits of the cloud-based ecosystem drastically outweighed their more familiar, manual processes.
Sarah Gardener, Director of Accountancy Practice at Shaw Gibbs, revealed that in addition to focusing on moving clients to the cloud, Shaw Gibbs is in the process of digitising the whole firm by reviewing all internal systems across specialist areas. This is an increasing trend we’ve noticed amongst our partners as they’re now adopting the tools they recommend to clients, like Expensify, for their internal workflows. Internal adoption of cloud-based systems like Expensify and Xero helps accountants recommend systems more confidently to their clients.
Join Us at the Next Location!
In case you couldn’t tell, we had a blast at the London roadshow! Thanks to Xero for putting on a great day — we’re really looking forward to catching up with more of our partners at the Xero Roadshow in Birmingham on the 21st March.
Not an ExpensifyApproved! Partner yet? Book a call with our partner team here to learn more.