Earlier this month, Cindy and I were able to attend XeroCon in Atlanta. It was a packed few days of inspiring keynotes, stimulating sessions and productive mingling. Now that we’ve had some time to mull over and contemplate what we saw and heard, here are a few of our takeaways.

We are your Accounting Technologists

On Tuesday, Cindy and I attended a precon session entitled “Owning Automation: Streamline your bookkeeping workflows”. What this session impressed upon us is the value encompassed in becoming an Accounting Technologist. As Accounting Technologists, we evaluate processes and determine if technology can be used to streamline and deliver more value. We have no static processes at BBB. Our processes are constantly evolving because technology is constantly evolving. One of our passions at BBB is helping our clients to embrace automation so that they can focus on driving success in their business. This session gave us even more tools and bolstered our enthusiasm for finding the right technology for our clients.

“What we do is help business owners succeed and give them relevant advice and information.” – Keri Gohman, President, Xero Americas

In her Opening Keynote, Keri Gohman, President of Xero Americas, talked about the importance of not losing sight of the core of what we do and who we are as trusted advisors to small businesses. As automation is incorporated into the industry more and more, some are made uneasy by fears that machine learning will make bookkeepers and accountants obsolete. It is undeniable that our industry is in transition but what Keri impressed upon all in attendance is that this disruption is not something to fear but in reality, it is an opportunity to deliver more value to our clients. After listening to Keri’s keynote, we are focused more than ever on providing value to our clients that will help them succeed.

The Future is Now!

Herman Man, VP of Products and Partnerships at Xero,  took the stage at Xerocon to share with us what is on the roadmap for Xero in the near future. Xero has its eye on the big picture. Everyone at Xero is focusing on providing answers to the questions that business owners ask every day. To reach this goal, Herman expounded on the idea of “connected accounting”. Connected accounting is a frictionless movement of data through the system. Then something beautiful happened. Herman invited Vince to the stage for a live demo of an exciting new feature. Soon users will be able to email bills to Xero and then Xero will “automagically” extract the data from the bill and enter it in Xero. This feature is currently in beta so stay tuned.

“It takes extreme focus to achieve extraordinary results!” – Sarah Robb O’Hagan, CEO Flywheel, author of Extreme You

Aside from hearing about the exciting new features coming to Xero, the external keynotes are always a highlight. This year was certainly no exception. Sarah Robb O’Hagan, CEO Flywheel and author of Extreme You, used her own experiences and real-life examples to illustrate the power of making failure our fuel, sharpening our focus and changing the game. Jina Etienne, CPA and  Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Grant Thornton LLP, spoke to us about the Law of Attraction and how perception matters. She emphasized that rather than hide who we are, we should embrace what makes us different. Will Packer, Founder, and CEO of Will Packer Media shared stories of his success and reminded us all to never ever give up. Finally, Alex Sheen, Founder of because I said I would, called upon us all to honor our promises.

The Law of Attraction: Thoughts become things. If you see it in your hand, you will hold it in your hand.

After three days of learning and absorbing all that Xerocon had to offer, it was time to top it off with one of the most sensational wrap parties Xero has ever thrown. We arrived at The Foundry, a lively Atlanta venue with a steampunk motif. It was almost too much to take in at once. There were entertainers juggling on stilts, riding unicycles, and The Inventor that greeted us with his latest libation creation. The band played music perfectly on theme and pretzels fell down slides. Delicious locally sourced food was at every turn and there was even a rolling wall of bacon. It really doesn’t get any better than that!

Xerocon Atlanta marked my fourth Xerocon and Cindy’s fifth. It is always great to meet new people and also to see old friends. We enjoy catching up with the exhibitors and learning about new features coming to Xero. This Xerocon was definitely one for the books. We look forward to utilizing everything we have learned to advise our small business clients and help them to succeed.