Xero has expanded its global partner program, introduced Xero HQ, an open practice platform, and a new chatbot.
The program, platform and tool were unveiled at Xerocon South in Australia.
Built in consultation with Xero’s global network of accounting and bookkeeping partners, the enhanced partner program provides new tools to connect small businesses to advisors. The new program will be available in November.
New features of the program include an updated Xero advisor directory with Geo-sensing feature that showcases partners operating within the area the small business is located. Partners will also now receive points for completing tasks such as adding new clients with Xero, and the points can be used to unlock new benefits. Also new is a Xero store for partners where they can buy Xero merchandise and marketing resources.
Xero HQ is platform connecting Xero practice app partners in order to provide an integrated ecosystem of tools for the accounting and bookkeeping industry. Features of HQ include an activity feed where users can prioritize work, remove the actions you don’t want to see and set up custom actions for others; a searchable client list; a feature called explorer, which allows users to sort through clients by industry, apps, or banking partners they use; reporting functionality; access to the advisor directory; and tools for staff management.
Xero’s new chatbot is called Hey Xero, and was developed on Amazon Web Services. Integrated with Facebook messenger, the bot lets users access the Xero advisory directory and be recommended a suitable accountant or bookkeeper in their area. Xero subscribers will also be able to discover new apps in the Xero ecosystem and query their latest financial data, such as who owes them money or when their next bill is due.
Hey Xero will be released later this year, and Xero is working towards integrating with other messaging platform such as Slack and Apple iOS in the future.
“Connecting the more than 50 million small businesses on Facebook Messenger with accountants is a huge opportunity for our industry,” said Xero founder and CEO Rod Drury. “We’re opening up access to accounting software, solutions and advisors to help millions of small businesses be more productive and get the advice they need to grow and create jobs.”