2016 was a big year and looking back, became a turning point for Fresh Financials.
Being crowned Bookkeeping Partner of the Year at the 2016 Xerocon, signalled that our transformation from a QuickBooks desktop business to a full-fledged Xero only bookkeeping business was complete.
For quite a few people, lifting the trophy would have been a sign that we had made it. The cherry on the cake and a sign that we could slow down.
That hasn’t been the case at all. Not for us or for Xero.
Moving to a bigger venue
The 2016 Xerocon took place in Battersea and had around 1,300 attendees.
I remember walking in and there were two large rooms. One would host the speaking event and the other the stands of the various Xero compatible apps.
Xero had spent a lot on their marketing that year, with a large campaign running around London. The taxis and tube stations had the Xero branding. It was bold and a sign that Xero was here to make its presence known.
Fresh Financials was just myself and Emma in 2016, and I had been a member of the team for less than a year so was still relatively new. Whilst I found Xerocon overwhelming, it provided us with the great opportunity to meet up with others in the accountancy and bookkeeping space that we greatly admired.
We were there to learn from the best and to build up the Fresh Financials’ brand. Coming away with the trophy certainly helped us to do that!
18 months later and the 2017 Xerocon was held at the ExCel centre and had over 2,000 attendees. Fresh Financials’ had also grown as there were now 4 of us on the team.
The bold Xerocon marketing campaign from 2016 was gone and replaced with a focus on entertaining and creating an unforgettable experience for its attendees in the form of bands and magicians. It showed a confident brand and that reflected how we felt at Fresh Financials as well.
We noticed that now, bookkeepers and accountants were trying to connect with us. It was the beginning of the realisation that we were now considered Xero experts and that our knowledge was valued and respected amongst our peers.
Meeting like-minded people
For Emma and me, Xerocon has been about the networking.
Unlike other accounting conferences such as Accountex, Xerocon isn’t filled with the partners of accountancy and bookkeeping businesses who are debating whether moving onto the cloud is the right thing for them. Xerocon is where people bring their whole team to experience the future of the accountancy industry.
Being in a room with 2,000 other Xero partners who have all embraced the cloud and who are all now hungry to continue to improve their businesses is a truly fantastic experience.
I never fail to be surprised by how open fellow Xero partners are to share their experiences and success stories with others, especially to those who could be considered their competition.
Emma has always been open to this mindset of sharing and it is something that is instilled into all the Fresh Financials’ team. It was great to have bookkeepers contact us prior to the 2017 Xerocon as ask to arrange to meet us, just as we were doing ourselves back in 2016.
Community over competition
Fresh Bookkeepers was created because of our experience at the 2017 Xerocon.
We realised that bookkeepers wanted more support and guidance when it came to integrating Xero into their business and a quick chat at a conference was never going to be long enough for us to be able to answer their questions.
Whilst the education centre on the Xero website is great and their account managers are knowledgeable, the community that we experience at Xerocon shows that nothing can replace the real-life expertise of our fellow bookkeepers.
We wanted to put together something that would support our peers on a monthly basis. Something that would give them the access to our expertise when they needed it.
If this sounds like something that might interest you, you can find out more about it here.
But of course, either way, the Fresh Financials’ team will be at Xerocon 2018 if you want to meet up.