The Xero team touched down in Dublin last week to host 150 accountants and bookkeepers at our annual roadshow.
Over the course of the day, we explored what it means to be an accountant or bookkeeper in 2019. It’s an exciting time for the industry and the role of an advisor has never been more vital.
We covered everything you need to know about where the industry is going. Plus how you can get your practice and clients ready for digitisation. Here are the key takeaways:
Small business matters
Small businesses account for 99.8% of all Irish business and generate about half of the country’s turnover.
However, they need the right support to survive and be successful. We know that 85% of small businesses are more likely to survive when connected to a bookkeeper.
The accounting and bookkeeping profession has a massive role to play in their success.
Most entrepreneurs will tell you that accounting is one of the hardest parts of running their business. With things like payroll and VAT to manage – there is a lot to get your head around.
At Xero, our aim to simplify and speed up these processes to make life easier. One way we do this is by providing a single client ledger, offering one source of truth. This can be a massive help when doing things like planning and resourcing.
Cash flow is still key
On the day, we revealed some research tapping into the health of Ireland’s small businesses.
Most notably, we found that cash flow is still one of the greatest challenges faced by small businesses today.
Entrepreneurs often struggle to maintain a healthy cash flow which isn’t helped by the fact that they have to deal with late payments:
- Half (50%) of Ireland’s entrepreneurs are being held back by poor cash flow management
- Only 35% of SMEs are cash flow positive all year round
There are things that accountants and bookkeepers can do to improve their clients’ cash flow. The most obvious one is ensuring that accounting information gets updated regularly so you can see the financial state at a glance.
You can also use some of the clever apps that integrate with Xero to promote a healthier cash flow, such as:
- Float: Tracks records in a helpful way to help with short term and medium term forecasting. This can save 8 hours a month per client.
- GoCardless: Uses direct debit to automate credit collection taking away the need to manually input data.
The future of the digital practice
Today, what it means to be a pacesetting firm is about so much more than just using cloud accounting. Instead, it’s about being a fully ‘digital’ practice. But what does that mean?
To run a successful digital practice, firms need to provide a combination of digital services, such as online bookkeeping, outsourcing, and data collection. Here’s how:
- Automate document collection: Hubdoc is a Xero product and helps you do this by eliminating data entry and freeing up time.
- Better connections: Xero Bank Feeds API makes it much quicker to build feeds transforming how banks, payment providers, and lenders interact with small businesses.
- Benefitting from the ecosystem: Xero’s App Marketplace connects over 700 app partners to the businesses on our platform to boost productivity.
- Technical expertise: With such a large App Marketplace, it can be daunting to work out what’s right for your client. So we launched our App Integrator Programme to equip accountants with the right tools to advise on what’s right.
It was fantastic to see those who have been with us since day one, as well as those new to Xero. We’ve now got thousands of businesses using Xero in Ireland, with over 300 accounting firms on board.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your commitment.
You can now buy your tickets to Xerocon here. See you then.