XeroCon 2024 – What was it all about?

Bookkeeping, News, Xero,

Following closely on the announcement of new Xero packages and the annual price increase, we were interested to attend the bi-annual XeroCon event in London recently. We wanted to find out more about the road-map of future software developments and bring that back to clients.

XeroCon is a great event, that brings together the Xero team, including many of the company’s top management team, lots of App suppliers and of course, the accountants and bookkeepers that work with the system every day. A two day event in London, there’s a packed agenda of presentations around the software, developments in the accounting industry, and numerous breakout sessions too.

So what did we learn?

As well as numerous improvements that are coming to the way we can use Xero to manage our practice, there are a lot of developments coming for small business users too:

– Expanded payment options

Starting with the statistic that 25% of businesses still receive payments in person, Xero have been working with Stripe to introduce ‘Tap to Pay’. This will launch in August, and will enable businesses to take payment on the spot through Xero, with automatic reconciliation.

The partnership with Stripe will also allow bank transfer and buy now pay later options for those with a Stripe account.

– Just Ask Xero (JAX) – Xero’s AI offer

This was impressive! 

Again launching for Beta testing in August, we saw real use cases as part of a presentation from both a Practice perspective and a business user perspective. Tasks such as updating quotes, generating invoices, adding late payment interest charges and generating emails were all possible on simple commands from WhatsApp and email, without needing to log into Xero.

There’s going to be much more to come on this in the coming months, but if you’d like to see more or register for early access, you can do that here

Sadly the video on the page isn’t quite as informative as the demonstration we saw, but we’d advise registering to ensure you’re kept up to date on developments.

If you’re short on time and would like to find ways to streamline your use of Xero, JAX could be extremely powerful.

And the new packages?

One of the breakout sessions we attended was around the new packages, which was in such demand that it was rescheduled and moved to a much larger stage.

We weren’t alone in having concerns about the changes!

Xero explained that their goal with the changes is to drastically reduce the number of add-ons and extra charges that these attracted. The point many of the advisers in the room were making was that the ability to choose whether to add these extras or not is important to business users, some of whom will be forced onto larger packages to retain one element that they had previously added on.

It remains to be seen if Xero will modify their approach at all between now and the launch of the new packages in September, but what they have asked is that Partners like us feed back to them any specific concerns, and ask clients to do the same.

So, if you’re concerned about the imposition the new packages, do let us know and we’ll pass those thoughts on.

Looking at the new prices, the increases are fairly minimal and similar to those of previous years, so our primary concern remains the enforced adjustment in packages and any resulting enforced cost increases, rather than the adjustment in the ‘standard’ prices.

Do let us know your thoughts, and we’ll in the meantime keep you up to date on the software changes as they arrive, but do keep a look out for JAX which we think could make a big difference to small business users and could be well worth the annual price increase alone.

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