Josh Ambler, Managing Director of AltShift, has just become the first Cloud Integrator Platinum Champion Partner in New Zealand. We spoke to him about this special milestone and his journey to achieving it.
Tell me a bit about your story and your journey with Xero
It all started when I was working at an accounting firm in 2010. The firm was quite new to Xero, and while Â I wasnâ€™t involved in the implementation process it seemed like a no brainer for us to switch our clients over onto this new platform. We ended up doing so many conversions that it made sense to set up a separate company to do these conversions. We then naturally started moving into Â add ons and using app partners, and this set us off on down the path to consult about any of those as well.
Our business has morphed from accounting software conversion to Â a supply chain integration company. But the whole way along weâ€™ve maintained to the market that we are closely aligned to Xero and to work with us you need to use Xero in fact, itâ€™s a prerequisite. Because youâ€™ve got to understand the Xero side of things to be successful in this industry.
How did you set out to achieve Platinum Partner status?
Our business has changed a lot from those early days of conversions. Weâ€™re still doing conversions, but weâ€™re more focused on cloud integrations now.
The prerequisite to be on Xero that I mentioned before really helped us with our status points and we started to realise we were accruing quite a few. Â One day my account manager reached out to me and said â€œlook youâ€™re on your way to becoming one of NZâ€™s first platinum partnersâ€�, and that got us really excited and motivated to reach the next level.
What does it mean to you to become the first Platinum Partner in NZ?
Itâ€™s a really big milestone for me, and one Iâ€™ve been working towards for a year and a half. We had made it a real priority to bring as many people onto the Xero platform as possible so itâ€™s great that weâ€™ve been able to achieve that.
Even though its an awesome achievement externally, itâ€™s also a very important moment personally as it means weâ€™ve reached the next stage of growth as a business. It shows us that weâ€™ve reached a certain level of size and expertise, and that we are growing. And thatâ€™s huge for us.
How do you see the accounting industry changing in the next five years?
I think itâ€™s a continuation of the type of commetray put out there for the last few years. Itâ€™s all heading more towards advisory and less about processing.
In saying that, the systems have to be set up correctly in order to get that information and create meaning from it. So rather than accountants processing GST returns, itâ€™s about making sure the data is correct in those returns, and then interpreting the data so that you can be a successful advisor.
App integration is also another way I see the industry headed. Itâ€™s been Â slower to embed into NZ businesses and to reach a point in the market where its matured into what people were saying it would be five years ago.
Iâ€™d also be interested to see Xero delve more into the business intelligence space and to see how they plan to use the data out of the systems they have in place.
Xero partner benefits are designed to give you what you need to be successful, however you define success. The more points you earn, the higher your status level and the more benefits youâ€™ll pick up. When you and your clients use Xero products, you receive points that help increase your partner status and rewards. Find out how many points you earn, and check the eligibility criteria here.
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