XeroCon 2016 San Francisco

About three months ago I attended my first accounting conference. It was my first conference and it will always be a highlight for me because at the conference our firm won Xero Bookkeeping Partner of the Year! We received a beautiful award and got to celebrate afterward with champagne in the VIP lounge. It was an exciting week filled with great food, fabulous friends, and lots and lots of learning!

We were encouraged to take some time before we went back to work the next week and really think about the conference, what we wanted to implement, and what we learned.  I’m here three months later to talk about what we learned at Xerocon San Francisco 2016 and what we still want to implement.

XeroCon Takeaways

I asked the team what their takeaways were from XeroCon and this is what I heard:

“I gained a greater understanding of who represents the accounting profession today vs when I started accounting over 10 years ago. The demographic is a lot more young working professionals, a lot more women, and a greater emphasis on implementing technology. I walked away with a enhanced understanding of what role an accountant/bookkeeper needs to have for small businesses today. And for me it reignited why I love to work in this industry. In 2016, it is “cool” to be an accountant” -Jessica Berkley


“I think the part of Xerocon that made the largest impression on me was Rod Drury’s keynote where he talked about how quickly technology is moving forward and how it is affecting and will affect bookkeeping in the future. It was fascinating how he explained that machine-learning will make accounting magical. It is exciting to see that Xero is always committed to using technology to help reduce errors and improve the user experience for all. Rod said, ” Every Xero Business and accountant now have a super computer magically working for them.” That has really stayed with me because it is fulfilling to know that we play an important role in connecting small businesses to this amazing platform. I was also impressed with how important it is to be an early adopter of these technologies so that we are sure that our clients are receiving the very best from us. Big tech is no longer just for big businesses. ” -Amanda Esquivel 


What have we implemented so far?

“One thing that I have implemented to a limited degree is the 5 second rule. This handy tool has helped me to overcome allowing my feelings to stop me from taking on new responsibilities within our company. From time to time, Cindy (my boss) will ask me to do something that I have never done before, such as client training and calls. Since I’m not very comfortable on the phone, in the past, I would have shied away from these opportunities to become a more valuable employee. On at least two occasions, I can recall being asked to do something outside of my comfort zone and silently counting down in my mind 5..4..3..2..1..go!. As a result, I am becoming much more comfortable conducting client training and calls.” -Amanda Esquivel 


“Many of the breakout sessions had to do with creating Accounting Ecosystems using Xero and Xero add on partners. We have rolled out implementation of two new Xero add ons to active clients (Receipt Bank & Bill.com) and we are in the beta testing of a third one (Crunchboards). The ecosystem breakout sessions have really helped me understand the importance of workflow. In order for the cloud to be as effective as possible, you need to know which products can automate certain processes, how they do so, and when they should be in place. Then you need to determine what level of human interaction is needed. The result is clearer client engagements and less errors in the Accounting system.” – Jessica Berkley 


What do we still want to implement?


 Several of the keynotes discussed “the New Network”. Networking with other accounting professionals has been an ongoing project for me since Xerocon. Right now a lot of my networking is happening through social media channels, but I hope next year I can improve my networking skills in person. I also would like to work on getting some blogs created that I can add to my LinkedIn profile; just a few short things that provide my perspective of where accounting is going.” – Jessica Berkley

“At Xerocon we were encouraged to think of ourselves as a platform. I was thinking about this recently and how part of the service that we provide is being a connection to other tools and services that can help our clients to grow their businesses. Going forward, I would like to learn more about various add-ons so that I can become a platform for our clients” -Amanda Esquivel

Something I personally enjoyed about XeroCon was the positive energy there. It was a happy place to learn and become more successful. Something that I’d like to implement still is the 5-4-3-2-1 rule. I’ve thought about it since then but I cant say that I’ve truly implemented it yet. In a professional setting it can be great, especially when tackling something that feels foreign or uncomfortable. In a personal setting it can help too. Sometimes I say I will get up at a certain time and go on that run, but then its cold out and the bed is warm so I make excuses. I hope to implement that more as time goes on.
XeroCon was a great experience to go to and I am so happy we got to go as a team this year. Cindy really is a great team leader and we are fortunate here at BBB to have a boss who believes in education the way that she does. If you went to XeroCon, or another conference, maybe you are at a conference now (Accountex??) Make time to reflect on your education and see how you are doing as time goes on. Pick one or two things that you will implement and hold yourself to that. Its as easy as 5-4-3-2-1!