June 03, 2015 13:15 ET

Xero Unveils Next Wave of Innovation for Small Businesses and Accounting Professionals

Company Launches New Business Performance Dashboard; Payroll in Xero Continues Expansion to Colorado

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Jun 3, 2015) - Following a landmark year for Xero, which resulted in over 500 software updates, the company revealed new, innovative accounting tools at Xerocon Denver, its high-profile, annual partner conference. Xero's latest upgrades are beautifully designed to ease the accounting process and advance small businesses' success. These solutions afford bookkeepers and accountants unprecedented, real-time connections with the clients they serve.

Highlights of Xerocon's first day included the release of Xero's new Business Performance dashboard; the addition of new states for Payroll in Xero, including Colorado; and a number of new product features. There was excitement over the new Xero Apple Watch integration, following an on-stage demo showcasing the software's seamless user experience across multiple iOS devices. The receptive audience of over 500 at Xerocon included a diverse mix of accountants, bookkeepers, developers and industry decision-makers.

Business Performance dashboard
The new Business Performance dashboard allows businesses to identify potential pain points or concerns early enough to take action. Released today, the dashboard's reporting option provides a view of a business's performance across a wide range of standard business metrics. This way, business owners and their financial advisors can easily view graphs of each metric. This simple, beautifully designed and integrated interface will fast become a critical tool for promoting effective, real-time decision-making within a business.

"Small business owners are some of the hardest working entrepreneurs in the world, and are helping fuel the growth of their communities and their businesses," said Xero's U.S. President, Russ Fujioka. "The worst case scenario for an entrepreneur is losing any of that hard-earned growth as a result of improper planning or cash flow issues. At Xero we are obsessed about giving small businesses the power of big data to help deliver the key metrics they need, at a glance, about how their business is performing."

The dashboard feature also makes it easy to collaborate with their trusted accountant and bookkeeper advisors on how to improve performance. Fujioka added, "Small business owners aren't accounting experts and shouldn't have to be. We create an enhanced communication channel between financial experts and their clients so business owners can do what they do best -- run their business."

Apple iOS Integration
The rapid adoption of wearable technology is well underway. Xero allows for consistent access and ease of use from any device -- whether a MacBook, iPhone or Apple Watch. At Xerocon, the company showcased an integration with the Apple Watch that provides consistent, elegant notifications regarding business financial success while owners are on the go. When coupled with iOS alerts, small business owners can stay up-to-date on what's happening in their business with a glance at their wrist. For instance, alerts will appear when bank feeds are updated. The new Apple watch integration is the latest announcement in the company's "Xero Everywhere" vision.

Enhanced Integration with Gmail
Xero is dedicated to creating solutions that seamlessly integrate with the tools businesses already use. As part of this promise to customers, the company is working to integrate email and contact records (initially via Gmail) into the Xero platform. Xero users will have the capability to choose a filtered view of their inbox in relation to a specific business contact. If an action requires follow-up, or an individual wishes to archive information for future reference, they can select to store a particular email in the activity stream for that contact. This new functionality will also allow for the creation of a new quote or invoice from within email.

"Email integration is another facet to our Single Ledger story," said Xero Chief Product Officer Angus Norton. "By bringing in data from as many sources as possible, we allow Xero users to better manage their relationships with customers or suppliers, and document their interactions with them."

Payroll in Xero expands to Colorado
Payroll in Xero revolutionizes the way small businesses run their accounting departments, and now Colorado businesses are able to benefit from the seamless integration with accounting functions. Payroll software streamlines the accounting process by providing accurate employee timesheet management as well as worry-free payments with direct deposit or printed checks. Come tax time, businesses can file and pay federal and state taxes electronically with a single click.

"We are extremely happy to see Payroll in Xero continuing to gain momentum with key states including California, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Texas," said Fujioka. "We're looking forward to keeping the momentum going and adding more states each month."

Payroll in Xero is now available for use in select states with no added cost, and new states will roll out over the next 12 months. Tennessee and Indiana should be available within the coming weeks.

Xero Me
Xero continues to simplify critical communications between business owners and their employees with Xero Me, a new iOS app designed to ease and automate key functions that come with running a business. With the app, employees communicate easily and immediately with business owners and decision-makers to request time off or view payslips in real-time from their mobile device, whether at home, at work, or on the go.

Xero Billable Expenses
Xero has also announced new expense capabilities to help businesses manage costs that they can bill to clients. Whether for travel, materials, or buying on behalf of a client, it's important to be able to keep track of these expenses.

Billable Expenses in Xero allows for consistent, transparent expense tracking in an effort to promote positive cash flow. When a purchase is recorded, the business owner can simply specify which client (or clients) and assign the expenses. Xero will send a reminder of any outstanding items the next time a bill is raised for a specific client and reports can be issued to identify outstanding costs. The Billable Expenses 7.8 capability is slated to go live in July.

Practice Reports
Finally, in keeping with the goal of streamlining processes for small businesses and the financial professionals who counsel them, Xero today introduced Practice Reports, a simple and fast way for accountants and bookkeepers to generate powerful business insights for their clients. Traditional financial reports take hours to build and are difficult to keep up-to-date. Xero's Practice Reports enables reports to be built in minutes and based on accurate real-time data.

Practice Reports leverages Xero's complete accounting platform to create intelligent financial reports based on practice-wide templates that can be applied across all clients instead of having to repeat the effort for each individual file.

About Xero
Xero is beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has 500,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries. Xero seamlessly integrates with over 400 third-party tools, and was ranked No. 1 by Forbes as the World's Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.

About Xerocon
Xerocon 2015 is being held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on June 2-4, 2015 and will be attended by more than 500 accountants, bookkeepers, small business owners, financial professionals and 35+ exhibitors. Keynote speakers at the event include Xero CEO Rod Drury, Freakonomics author, Stephen J. Dubner and Polly Labarre, a founding member of Fast Company. Avalara is the lead sponsor of the event. Follow news from the conference on Twitter at @Xero and with #Xerocon.

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