From XU Magazine, 
Issue 22

Highlights from Xerocon London 2019

ACCA has been proud to support Xerocon for a number of years now and in 2019 we thought it would be a great idea to widen the impact by inviting two accountancy students from our Accelerate programme universities, Juned Miah and and Aashi Tejwani. The Accelerate programme enables students to use their degree to count towards the ACCA Qualification to save time and money.

This year’s conference welcomed more than 3,000 accountants. Energy levels were high and there was so much to see and learn. From inspiring talks from the likes of Tim Peak and innovative app providers to the best accountancy party there is, Xerocon is definitely something not to miss and beats a day at the office (or lecturer room in this instance). It gives university students the opportunity to learn more about the industry and how exciting the profession is, ultimately to help change some perceptions.

This year’s conference welcomed more than 3,000 accountants. Energy levels were high and there was so much to see and learn. From inspiring talks from the likes of Tim Peak and innovative app providers to the best accountancy party there is, Xerocon is definitely something not to miss and beats a day at the office (or lecturer room in this instance). It gives university students the opportunity to learn more about the industry and how exciting the profession is, ultimately to help change some perceptions.

Here’s what Aashi and Juned had to say…

Aashi Tejwani, Middlesex University student

Turning up to the Xerocon conference in November as a guest of ACCA was an amazing experience. Over the two days the ACCA team took me round to introduce me to various businesses at their stands, and together we attended a number of really interesting presentations on the main stage.

It was great to hear the Xero ‘ambassadors’ talk about the course that Xero runs for students, Xero Lifelong Learning Platform (XLLP) – it addresses accounting-specific issues across the global business landscape.

The high point for me was the speech by astronaut Tim Peake. It left us all inspired and motivated, and reflected the energy across the conference as a whole. He really was out of this world!

Visiting the various stands, we heard from Practice Ignition about their service of sending a smart proposal that clients can read, sign and pay in one place. Fluidly ambassadors showed me their intelligent cashflow forecasting tool and really drove home how important cashflows are to any business. At the Float stand, I saw how their app imports invoices and transactions and helps plan future cashflow controls. They can give insights into various aspects of the business, as well as helping companies compare actual versus budgeted cashflows.

I’m already looking forward to attending Xerocon 2020 to see just how they can top all of that!

Juned Miah, Queen Mary University of London student

November in London and Xerorcon is in town! In my view, the best accountancy convention there is, and most certainly not your average event for accountants. So I was delighted when ACCA sponsored me to attend.

It took place at the ExCel and was a bit of a maze to navigate because of how much was going on at once and the sheer number of attendees – over 3,000 across the two days. But the energy was full-on – the event kicked off with a countdown followed by a dance performance more like a hip-hop concert than an accountancy exhibition.

It’s somehow fitting to be able to talk about seismic changes happening across the profession in such a dynamic setting. Of course, it is technology that is driving this change, and we need to understand the effect it is having so we can adapt to it.

Students in my position - who are undertaking our degrees in accounting – need to be thinking about how the profession will look going forward to ensure we’re future-ready as we become qualified.

Another big issue right now is late payment. I understand that 50,000 small businesses every year go bust from late payments, each owed on average £23,360. Learning from many niche businesses at the event about these changes has taught me about credit control and debt chasing with support from software providers such as Float, Fluidly, Chaser, Clarity and many more.

But most importantly for student accountants is that events such as this really help with our commercial awareness and remind us that knowledge is power. And they offer a great opportunity to network – so important today, as the professional world we are about to enter is becoming more and more competitive.

Finally, I should also drop in here that there is some serious – and eco-friendly – swag on offer: a smart backpack from Fluidly, a metal straw and straw cleaner from Clarity, and a Xero t-shirt from our hosts, to name just a few. An added bonus to take away along with new-found knowledge and memories of a great experience.

Why leave it there?

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