The year has started with roadshows from Myob and Xero both in the BAS ON month of February. Being as it is a tax month with Business Activity Statements due on the 28th February 2018, unless you do not have many customers, or you have plenty of staff attending every event in February is impossible.
I made the decision to skip Myob’s Roadshow this year (As I attended their BIG Alice Springs Convention September 2017) and attended the Xero Roadshow to see what was new and in the pipeline. My two Australian staff members Faizal and Raheela joined me.
The roadshow talks were short and punchy like TedX sessions as requested by survey results from previous roadshows. The rollout on topics were:
I still am NOT in love with Xero HQ when I compare it to My Xero green page. While Xero is attempting to blow the horn and entice us tax professionals into the Xero HQ pages, it’s still a clunky and not very streamlined option in my opinion.
HOW DO I COMPARE WITH OTHER ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS?
Xero has been able to collate a broad spectrum of data about their users and tax professionals. Xero announced on Tuesday that you could go to Google and type in “Xero – How do I compare” answer a few questions and see how your firm measures up statistically against your accounting peers!
Take 3 hours out of your day to become a Certified Migration Advisor, a third certification from Xero to do along with your Partner and Payroll Certifications.
What’s the payoff?
Xero states that if you are a sole practitioner, obtain all three certifications and you too can obtain the Xero Champion badge at Bronze, Silver, Gold or heaven forbid the Platinum level.
Xero did highlight however that your Profile via Xero HQ needs to be up to date and published to get any referrals, Xero also stated that your “points” ranking will determine your page views from the public.
Xero illustrated that 60 points “should get” 60 views based from Xero’s own analytics. In contrast a Xero member with 2000 points will get 2000 views. The information was announced in a upbeat and positive manner I guess to hide the smell of their bull……. This now explains loud and clear why my last referral from the Xero Adviser pages was in early 2016.
GOLD AND PLATINUM GET ALL THE REFERRALS (IT’S OFFICIAL)
What Xero just admitted to the audience was what we as Xero tax professionals suspected all along. That the GOLD and PLATINUM Xero members (who have all the big point values) get ALL the referrals and the rest of us who are attempting to grow our practices are decidedly left in the cold. Thank you Xero for admitting your preferences. So, no joy from the referral pages on Xero Advisor via Xero HQ.
XERO HQ | ASK
New templates for communication and customer contact suite with eleven applications are in the pipeline. Watch the Xero space to see when these new features will be released.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU AS AN ACCOUNTANT OR BAS AGENT?
A great session full of value and clear explainations on Xero’s time lines and close working relationship with the Australian Taxation Office to be leading the charge worldwide to digital taxation. That’s right, the Australian Taxation Office is a world leader in digital taxation with the world watching on to follow in their footsteps. I found that point pretty exciting, particularly because a am a member of the TPRG expert panel keeping the ATO accountable for new initiatives within the digital field. Work that myself and eleven others all around Australia will be actively working side by side with the leaders within the ATO over the next few years to implement.
There were many highlights during this session, but what I took away from it was that our work as Accountants and BAS Agents will become more streamlined and quicker. Faster BAS processing means we are able to take on more clients. This is sensational news for working mums juggling their young families, while working from home.
— MyOfficebooks (@MyOfficeBooks) February 14, 2018
Another excellent segment rolling out the new initiatives that Xero are working on both for the tax professionals and business users.
I love that Xero “gets” how important small business is to the overall financial health of our economy. Their new additions coming up in the future will supercharge proactive Accountants and BAS Agents who will have more time to dedicate to advising and growing their client’s business success.
— MyOfficebooks (@MyOfficeBooks) February 14, 2018
ASK feature in Xero HQ
Security has never been more important, therefore I started using this facility myself yesterday with all my customers to ask them questions regarding their Xero files and transactions. No more sending excel sheets over the email, I can now message them with attachments, questions and tips from within Xero HQ Ask feature. Xero…..Well done!
XERO TAX STATISTICS
This sounded really interesting until the additional fees and charges were announced. At that time my interest disappeared and my twitter feed became much more interesting.
At $50 month + addon’s the software is not “cheap” and I heard murmurs from the crowd regarding the additonal fees / charges.
The current projects and expenses facility within Xero will not change, this is a new super charged option for bigger businesses to support them with their reporting / compliance requirements.
If you want to use these new facilities it’s going to cost $5 per user per month for expenses or $10 per user per month for projects. This feature would be excellent for franchises or business owners of Coffee shops in multiple locations in my humble opinion.
Any ability for small business to be able to obtain credit or help with cash flow is always welcome. Xero highlighted their continued partnership with the National Australia Bank and how into the future they hope to eliminate the ABA file forever. Which is excellent news to many.
Anything that can help us as tax professionals become efficent and empower us to have more time to spend advising our business customers must be welcomed.
While I will never be Xerocentric and wave the blue banner. Xero’s culture to nuture small business and continually strive to offer their advisers new tools to service their client’s needs has to be applauded.
Amanda Hoffmann is a registered Tax Practitioner / BAS Agent No.18613005, Associate of Finance, Xero, Myob & Quickbooks Proadvisor / Trainer and a Consultant for the Australian Taxation Office.
She says she is more than just a bookkeeper with experience in real estate investing, social media, podcasting, blogging and recently recording monthly youtube episodes
Amanda loves to teach smart, easy online cloud solutions and fix messy bookkeeping. Follow her on social media and say “Hi”
BAS Agent and Bookkeeping