Last year I visited Sydney, this year it was Melbourne and as part of the gig I dropped in on Xero. It was a tremendous couple of hours that provided some jaw dropping moments.
In the above video, I spliced together some highlights from the recording session that provides some context to what is happening in the profession ‘down under.’ Key points to note:
- Professional businesses that are willing to make transformational change experience some pain in order to develop a new culture of customer service that is cloud centric.
- Benchmarking against industry norms is happening.
- Recent growth for one practice was 40 percent in eight months. That mirrors what I saw from talking to The WOW Company where they are talking 50 percent growth. OK – these are only two data points but at opposite ends of the world. A trend in the making?
- Gen Y/Millenials coming into the profession do not want to be number crunchers. They want to be business analysts and advisors that have direct client contact. Accounting has become social!
- Professional accounting can be fun. Seriously!
- Social tools can and do help growth. Although it is not part of this cut, one practitioner who started from zero two plus years ago reckons he gets 80 percent of referrals via Twitter.
- Being global is a reality. One practitioner talks about servicing the needs of customers based outside Australia but with local needs.
Finally…I was treated to a flat white coffee made by Chris Ridd, managing director Xero Australia. When I asked – ‘So you know how to drive a coffee machine eh?’ The unsurprising answer was: ‘All our staff are given a day’s training as baristas.’ How cool is that?
Bonus points: here is a video I recorded with Chris, talking about the explosive growth Xero Australia has seen in the last year. They’ve gone from 16,000 to 40,000 customers in a year.