Founded in 2006 by Rod Drury, Xero is a leading international cloud based accounting software company focused on the needs of small businesses.
“It always upset me that big, financial software was so hard to actually extract information from,” he said. “We began to see what was happening in the consumer web—that you could start to build these really neat, engaging web applications and not have to install software. Yet we weren’t seeing that innovation happen in small business. So to me, there was a very obvious opportunity.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “How Rod Drury Built Xero From A ‘Small Set Of Rocks In The South Pacific’ Into A Global Player”
With a passion for accounting and technology, what product could be developed to help small business owners with accounting?
In order to answer this question, according to an article on forbes.com, Drury followed a few hundred small business owners around.
“We realized they would all kind of do the same thing: go to the office in the morning and click on the Windows XP computer,” he said. “They knew it would take five minutes to boot up, so they go and pour themselves a coffee. Then they’d get back to their desk, start drinking coffee, read the sports scores, and the first business thing they did in the morning was to go to the Internet banking. And we asked, ‘Well, why do you do that?’ Because they wanna see who paid them overnight so they could see what cash they had and what bills they can pay. And cash is the lifeblood of small business.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “How Rod Drury Built Xero From A ‘Small Set Of Rocks In The South Pacific’ Into A Global Player”
Access to real time up-to-date financials was the solution and Drury developed a cloud based accounting software company that has enabled small business owners to do just that. Xero accounting software has changed everything, making accounting easy and simplified the bookkeeping process. Some may even dare to admit fun.
Small business owners are able to log in anytime from anywhere with any internet connected device. The Xero dashboard provides a clear and concise financial overview, all key information in one place, which is customizable to what is most important to your business. Bank transactions are imported into Xero daily making reconciliations easy and more efficient.
Every accounting activity can be processed on its platform. With a double entry accounting system and features such as multi-perspective general ledger (cash or accrual), mobile access, relational reporting, easy invoicing, foreign currency reports and an App Marketplace these features increase efficiency and automate manual tasks.
“Small businesses are the biggest contributor to GDP in every country,” said Drury. “These are real people. We see their faces every day, we talk to them. If we can improve their business at a material percentage, that dramatically moves the needle. That translates to better schools and hospitals. So yeah, we’ve built and sold businesses before. We’ve made money before. This is our life’s work that comes together that can really help millions and millions of small business owners. We’re taking all of the stress out of doing the books and actually making it enjoyable.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “How Rod Drury Built Xero From A ‘Small Set Of Rocks In The South Pacific’ Into A Global Player”
Xero uses various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to engage with customers and as a customer care channel. By using the features within the social media platforms Xero can see what customers are commenting about and respond by improvements or added services. Xero also has a blog, Xero Now and holds Xerocon a conference that brings everyone together. At this year’s Xerocon, in Melbourne, the company announced their new products, some of which included: automated marketing for accounting, XeroHQ, and a re-thinking of Xero expenses. According to an article on afr.com the research and development spend is 41% of revenue.
“We’ve really mapped out what the next generation of accounting looks like and we’ll show that when it’s ready next year. I’m so stoked we’ve been able to drop so much product, but I’m very excited about what we’re working on at the moment … next year will blow people away.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “Xero launches biggest number of products in its history”
Lessons for Others
Innovative product development that through collaboration, focused on the needs of small business owners, has valued Xero at $3.7 NZD billion by market capitalization according to businessinsider.com.
“What you need to understand about him (Rod Drury) is he is doing for accounting software what Steve jobs did for the phone.” Xerocon South 2016, Rod Drury Keynote, Xero, YouTube
Xero truly is beautiful accounting software for small business across the world.
Name of Organization Contact: Rod Drury, CEO
Authored by: Caroline
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businessinsider.com.au – THE UNTOLD STORY: How Xero took a band name and changed accounting for a million companies
www.computerworld.co.nz – Aftermail sold to Quest for US$45 million
youtube.com video – Xerocon South 2016 – Rod Drury Keynote – Xero
www.afr.com – Xero launches biggest number of products in its history