Join us - Friday 29 September 2023

The Business Improvement Summit


Featuring 'Blog From the Dog


We report on Xerocon London 2024

The Rowdens team joined 3,500 accountants, bookkeepers and App partners at Xerocon which was held over two days in June at the Excel Centre in London.

This was a fantastic opportunity for all our UK team to get together and gain some insights into the latest industry trends - AI in particular. A highlight was an AI Music Factory where we all got to create our own tracks using AI! A fun way to make a very serious point and one that we are very much looking to embrace as a firm - not necessarily making music but who knows?

We also got to hear about upcoming product announcements both from Xero and the app ecosystem that surrounds Xero and see all the main software we use (or could be useful to use) showcased.


The team spent useful time with our app partners, building relationships, receiving further training, feeding back our experiences and developing new ways of working together. We also spent time looking at various new options, both for our clients and to improve our own practice efficiency.

Xero is a proud sponsor of the England Women’s football team so a mini indoor football pitch was set up with some of the England players attending. Unfortunately none of the Rowdens team managed to meet them but did leave Xerocon on a rather sweaty high following an impromptu 3 aside match against another accountancy firm who were smashed out of the park!

We do like to work hard and play hard at Rowdens!

Penny had the opportunity to chat with some of the global leaders of Xero, including the very impressive new CEO, Sukhinder Cassidy, and feed back our comments and thoughts on how to improve Xero in a meeting with Sylvia Ding, a Xero executive general manager based in Auckland but leading on UK products. By chance, Penny then met one of Sylvia's product manager executives, Miguel Nasr who is based in Melbourne, in a coffee queue the following day so they carried on the conversation over coffee! Both Xero executives were lovely, clearly passionate about making Xero the best it can be and keen to hear our experiences.

Here Penny is rocking it at the Xerocon party with the Managing Director of Xero in the UK & Emerging Markets Alex von Schirmeister (see photo below) who had taken the theme of Glam Rock much more seriously than she had!

Coming soon: Just Ask Xero (JAX)

One announcement from Xero that created a lot of buzz around Xerocon was their plans for Just Ask Xero (JAX), the new Xero AI business companion. JAX is powered by generative AI and has the potential to transform the way we all work. As Sukhinda Cassidy, said:

“Imagine being able to generate invoices or edit quotes with a simple text, email or WhatsApp message? Without logging into Xero? That’s the power you’ll have in the months ahead, when we introduce JAX in August”.

Just Ask Xero (JAX) is available in beta form in August and will help businesses run more efficiently.

Coming soon: Client insights

Xero unveiled the first look at the client insights’ snapshot which shows key client financial health metrics. The feature is now live in beta in XPM and Xero HQ.

Client insights will provide us with the data we need to best support our clients and help us highlight emerging issues.

Coming soon: Tap to Pay on Android

This fact really hit home:

According to Xero Small Business Insights, 50% of UK small businesses are paid late. The cost of that hit is an estimated £1.6bn in 2023. Cashflow is the lifeblood of businesses and so we were pleased to hear Xero announce that they will be making Tap to Pay available on mobile on the Xero accounting app in the coming months. 

Powered by Stripe, businesses will be able to accept contactless payment of Xero invoices on the spot, directly on the mobile app. This will be fantastic for any businesses dealing directly with customers without a till available such as electricians, plumbers etc. They will be able to invoice a customer and accept payment before leaving the premises, not only getting paid as soon as the work is done but saving hours of admin in the evenings and weekends.

Tap to Pay will first be offered to UK Android users in a beta program in August, and available on more platforms in the following months.

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