Five of Ashfords’ team members recently attended Xerocon Brisbane 2019 (September 4–5), where they met and interacted with professionals from both Xero and their extensive network of partners. In so doing, they gained valuable insight on what Xero is working on and how different businesses are using Xero’s cloud-based accounting software. Below is a recount of Xerocon from one of Ashfords’ five attendees, Grace Tsuchida.
Buzzing with ideas, full of questions about various Xero add-ons, and ready for networking, the five of us flew to Brisbane last Tuesday for Xerocon.
Quite simply, Xerocon met and exceeded our expectations. Our team was privileged to attend various networking events—which were hosted by some of Xero’s leading app partners in Practice Ignition, Receipt Bank, Super AA, and BGL—as well as the Xerocon Wrap Party.
The two-day Xerocon event featured some truly amazing speakers who presented on the main stage as well as the smaller rooms where the more specialised, tailored sessions were held. The speakers who shone the brightest for us were KPN Telecom chief information security officer Jaya Baloo and Nigel Latta, a clinical psychologist and author.
The presentation delivered by Jaya Baloo—who in 2017 was recognised as one of the top 100 chief information security officers in the world—was on cybersecurity and she took a uniquely comedic approach. She taught us how a hacker thinks, what techniques they use to exploit us, and how we can defend ourselves against these techniques.
Nigel Latta’s presentation on the way the human mind works had us all in stitches. We loved the stories and energy he brought to the stage almost as much as the message he gave us. One of these was ‘simplicity over complexity’. That is, problems that appear very complex are sometimes best solved with a simple solution. The final message he left us with was to be kind—people are naturally drawn to those who will help them.
Xero shared their vision of looking to the future of small business. They explained how their aim is to give small businesses access to more powerful accounting software, the likes of which today tends to only be available to much larger businesses. Xero representatives speaking at Xerocon also emphasised a push for more support services—which again is far more prevalent in larger businesses versus smaller ones. One way Xero is doing this is by rolling out Xero Assistance Programme (XAP), a pilot program that provides free and confidential mental health support for 5,000 New Zealand-based small business owners, their employees, and their families.
Xero made many exciting announcements last week at Xerocon. Here are some that stood out to us:
Upon returning to work after a jam-packed trip to Brisbane, the Xerocon team had beaming smiles on their faces and were ready to explain Xero’s many exciting new features to colleagues and clients.