In the desktop world that we are rapidly leaving behind, updates are infrequent and painful. If there was something you didn’t like or didn’t quite work in your accounting software it could be years before you got a fix for it.


Frustrations became workarounds, which in turn became inefficient business processes. Software vendors were disconnected from small business owners, and it would be fair to say traditionally the relationship hasn’t been good.

Compare that to cloud software and the power of social media. Every customer has a voice and cloud vendors have a direct connection to all of their customers and their needs.

As we look back over the last year, we are delighted to have released over 400 updates. That’s more than one a day. Xero is constantly being tuned and updated to deliver a mass of new features to make lives easier for small business owners. Most of these updates are completely silent and take no effort on the part of our customers. Developing Xero is like flying a passenger jet and changing the engines midflight. Lots of complexity, but it’s done so seamlessly you don’t even notice – except that everything just gets better. That’s continuous innovation.

Reaching a milestone

This week is a milestone for us. While there is always more to do, we believe the software we’re shipping this week matches most of the functionality of desktop accounting software. But ours has the benefits of a better-designed experience in the cloud. Most businesses can now be better off with Xero.

Until now, cloud accounting software has looked pretty similar. Over the next week, we are adding significant new functionality to Xero. Frankly, we can’t think of any other software company shipping as much business software as we are.

Accounting software is a huge investment. It requires thousands of function points and millions of lines of code. Especially if you build both small business and professional advisor tools in the same platform.

For the last 18 months we have massively scaled our development teams. Xero is built and supported by Xeros. Passionate software developers who take ownership of what they do is the secret to successful software. Part art, part engineering. This week demonstrates how much faster we are moving.

Week of innovation

This week our multi-feature launch of Inventory, Quotes, Side-by-Side Files and a whole lot more, means Xero seamlessly provides all the core functions most small businesses need. We’ve made it easier for people to run their businesses. They can manage their accounts, pull out business insights, and make decisions based on real-time information. They can also access this information from anywhere. Whether they are on their smartphone, tablet or computer, business owners can use Xero wherever they do business.

Xero’s simple Inventory management allows customers to be more efficient with real-time tracking of their stock. This will save time and improve cashflow. Small business owners can also now create Online Quotes and estimates from within Xero on any device. This improves business efficiency by making it easier for quotes to be sent and approved on site and online. Small businesses can keep up-to-date records and complete transactions effortlessly with Side-by-Side Files. Receipts and bills can be uploaded to Xero and viewed on-screen while the transaction is being completed.

We’ve also dramatically increased the productivity of accountants with Practice Reports. It allows accountants to add value to their clients with powerful reporting templates and customization tools. Initially launching in New Zealand, it will shortly be rolled out in Australia, followed by the U.K. and U.S. later this year. This is one of our largest projects and it’s exciting to get Practice Reports out in the wild.

Continual innovation at pace

We’re proud of all the innovations we’ve created that make life better for small business owners. The small business market has never seen innovation at this pace before.

We’re just getting started. We don’t have to worry about transitioning from legacy desktop software, and we’ve got over a quarter of a billion dollars in the bank to increase the pace of innovation and sail away from the old world companies.

We challenge you to compare what Xero is delivering with anyone else in the industry. Seriously, go and look at their blogs and compare what they have done. Will other vendors get you there?

So, as we head into a massive innovation week, a big shout-out to our team, customers, and partners for coming on the journey and trusting us with your business.

Follow us on twitter @xero to find out about our latest innovations being delivered at #xerospeed this week. Tell us what you think!

Rod Drury