Xerocon Brisbane 2018
The message of this year’s Xerocon series is “Human at heart“. Technology is aiding humans to make a difference.
Brisbane played host to the world’s most beautiful and innovative conference for cloud accounting leaders in Australia, NZ and Asia.
The major take-away was: “It’s all about the people”. Xero has further progressed in implementing machine learning within its platform to make life easier for accountants and bookkeepers. This is really an exciting time to be an accountant or bookkeeper. Of course, you have to be open to change your ways. Technology is automating many repetitive tasks and accountants have an opportunity to leverage this technology to create more value for their clients.
If your idea of work is sorting paper, entering data and filing documents into filing cabinets, you will not be happy with the changes. Chances are, you are not so happy with these repetitive tasks anyway. Automation allows accountants and bookkeepers to shift their role and become a trusted advisor. It takes further self-study, work and dedication. The results are worth it. Xero realises that education is key to this change. Their life-long learning platform is a great tool for its users to make this transition to become an advisor. One of the interesting niches for accountants is to become an “app advisor”. Xero has introduced their App Playbooks which are a great source of information about the best apps.
To start, check out the App advisory playbook. As part of the Xerocon announcements, Datamolino is featured in the following Playbooks:
What about that Hubdoc and Email-to-Bills announcement?
The elephant in the room has been the acquistion of Hubdoc and the introduction of new OCR feature called Email-to-Bills. This is a sign that Xero is taking automation seriously and as a side-effect is also moving to play on our turf of invoice data capture. We say, welcome Xero. Hubdoc is a great tool for fetching bank statements from US banks that do not have bank feeds, but also from automatically fetching invoices from portals that do not send out PDF invoices to their clients. It is robotic automation, you give your account name and password to Hubdoc and they fetch your data and post it to Xero. This is a big timesaver for small business and freelancers that will appreciate the convenience. Let’s see how fast this feature will be integrated as a core Xero feature. For now Hubdoc is an external app that does one thing well: Fetching invoices from certain portals and getting your banks statements. It costs $20/month per Xero organisation. Receipt Bank has recently introduced this feature under the name of Invoice Fetch. The Hubdoc acquisition took the wind out of Receipt Bank’s sails when it comes to invoice fetching.
Email-to-Bills is another nice feature that tries to automate the purchase invoice data entry. From what I understand it is a combination of OCR and human element. I judge this by the speed of the data capture process, which is similar to the Xero Expenses app, which I think uses a similar approach. Xero has not published any details about its process, but from the list of Xero’s Sub-processors anyone can take a guess. Anyway, this is a valid approach in the data capture industry and Datamolino although more automated also uses humans to assist our process. The new Email-to-Bills is great for freelancers and small business that do not need to automated hundreds of documents. These users will find the new feature very convenient and kudos to Xero to bring this to the masses.
So where is Datamolino in all of this?
Datamolino started as a tool focused on professional firms of accountants and bookkeepers. We provide these firms a solution that helps them to process mountains of invoices in an efficient manner. Thanks to this dedication to accountants and bookkeepers, our clients can enjoy automation features that you cannot find in Xero. For professional firms, Datamolino is the software of choice that helps them to manage their clients’ accounts payable paperwork. Nothing has changed on that front. Which are the best loved features? Flexible folder structure that allows for granular automation of invoice coding based on locations, departments or projects. For firms that receive a lot of paper bills from their clients, our batch scan processing is what they utilise every day.
To sum up Xerocon in Brisbane. Lot's of exciting announcements and new Xero features. The start of Xero acquiring some apps that are present in its ecosystem, which may upset some of the app partners. For Datamolino, Xerocon is a great venue to meet our clients and fans in person. As always, Xerocon was a big success.