Xerocon 2018 is in the books and it was certainly an excellent experience – some great speakers, an amazing venue and enough delegates to make any other industry jealous of such a large event.

Xerocon started on Wednesday 14 November and lasted 2 days, it had 75 exhibitors with Xero app partners and other software providers showcasing their products along with over 30 speakers across 5 stages of varying sizes.

We found out some pretty amazing stats too: It was found that start up businesses have a 70% better chance of survival when they are connected with an accountant or bookkeeper in their first 5 years – from 15% without an accountant to 85% with. So if you are a start up without an accountant then maybe you should hit that contact us button!

Xero was massively encouraging the use of Xero Apps. Not all apps work for everyone but you can make your business so much more efficient by using the correct ones. Get in contact with us to find out which apps could work best for you.

The most relevant piece of news that affects the majority of our clients is that Xero has put their Making Tax Digital system into public beta – the system looks very simple to use and links with HMRC seamlessly. You will need to refresh the link with HMRC every 18 months but it’s an easy process. It is excellent to see MTD being made so simple, we are a ‘Making Tax Digital ready’ accountancy practice and are fully prepared for the coming changes. If you are unsure if you are ready or not then get in contact, you only have 20 weeks until MTD comes in, make sure you are ready to avoid any unnecessary fines – we make the process painless for you and can offer training on Xero if needed.

Along with this there are some dashboard changes and they are adding bank feeds API in an attempt to get fintech vendors to provide more value to small businesses. There are also more bank feeds becoming available on Xero allowing quicker and easier financial information. We will have more information on this as well as lots more as we sift through all the information and find what is relevant for our clients and what is not.

Along with the professional tech talks and product updates we were privileged to be able to listen to two amazing people who are great for very different reasons. Firstly we listened to Ben McBean on day one, he is a double amputee after losing his left arm and right leg in Afghanistan in 2008. Just over one year after that he completed the London Marathon in just over 6 hours even with losing his prosthetic leg at one point! His message was very clear; set goals even if they may seem ambitious because it will make you work towards them. Ben was inspirational and earned a standing ovation from the audience when he finished. If you have not heard his story then it is definitely worth looking up!

The second speaker was Sir Chris Hoy – the Olympic champion Chris Hoy – he came to an accountancy conference which says a lot about the scale of the event. Chris talked about becoming an Olympic champion even after being mocked for aspiring to get to the pinnacle of the sport. He talked us through his process of training and visualisation helped him become the 6 time Olympic Champion that he is today.

To summarise, awesome speakers, great exhibitors, fantastic venue and a whole lot of new information and software to get our head around. Xerocon 2018, it was a pleasure. We will run through all of our findings next week and decide how best to implement any changes we feel that are necessary to help your accountancy needs.