One would expect at an accounting technology conference that at some point numbers will matter, and that was certainly the case during the second day of Xerocon San Francisco.
So, if you’ve been following along at home, Xerocon is Xero’s user and partner conference held basically throughout the year in various countries. The San Francisco version just happens to be in the back yard (so to speak) of Xero’s North America headquarters.
Back to the numbers, so the big keynote -- and consequently the most impactful information of the day -- came from Xero’s chief marketing officer Andy Lark. He shared with the crowd of accountants and bookkeepers some actual research numbers, and not just rhetoric, on how much more successful and reactive firms can be by working in the cloud.
The recent research, conducted by Xero over the past couple of months with more than 400 accountants and bookkeepers, shows that firms with a higher concentration of clients using cloud accounting software are adding more clients and seeing higher year-over-year revenue growth. Specifically, Xero’s 2016 Practice Benchmarking findings on cloud practices versus traditional firms found that cloud-based firms added five times the amount of clients of traditional firms.
Additionally, accounting firms with nearly 100 percent of their clients using online cloud accounting software, reported the highest growth, posting 15.5 percent increase in year-over-year revenue, compared to 3.9 percent for firms not all in on cloud accounting.
“We found that the cloud opened the door to connections and it’s the connections that matter” said Lark.
Another interesting, albeit random, stat for accountants was that the research found that most bank reconciliations are being done at 7:15 a.m., and that was the peak time, according to Xero’s study.
“Use cloud tools to make your practice a platform; platforms will eat the world,” said Lark. “The sharks are winning. Choose to be a shark.”
There will likely be more findings from this survey coming out after the next Xerocon event in Australia this September.
In terms of other noteworthy happenings swirling around Day 2 of the event, what vendor conference would be complete without some awards. Some of the highlights were sales tax compliance service Avalara won Emerging App Partner of the Year; document management and collection service Hubdoc won App Partner of the Year; Kahuna Accounting won Accounting Partner of the Year; and Beyond Balanced Books won Bookkeeping Partner of the Year.