Guest post by Allison Hawkins. Allison is our Canadian Xero Ambassador and the woman behind the Hawkins & Co brand and the talent that make up this firm’s winning profile. With solid experience at firms like PwC and EY, Allison has more recently focused on start-ups and owner managed businesses across Canada, helping them develop and finance their business plans, and set up their accounting and POS systems.
The Xero Roadshow is hosted every Fall in Canada and it is something that I look forward to. The content and structure continues to develop and gets better as Xero builds its base in Canada. Being a global company, it’s been truly delightful seeing how the show has evolved over the years alongside the Canadian product. However, there are three things that I can always count on year after year.
The ability to talk to others going through the same thing
Networking – something that can be awkward! However, Xero has always managed to make this part of the show fun and has done a good job of making it possible even at a virtual event. Last year there were breakout rooms that involved discussions led by the Account Manager team. Here, it was made apparent that our Canadian accounting and bookkeeping community encounters many of the same pain points. This allowed for really great conversations around how our fellow accounting professionals tackle these issues.
There were many things I took away from these conversations and the feeling of community really shone through in this section of the show.
Hearing questions you hadn’t thought of that helped you see things in a different light
With the Canadian accounting and bookkeeping industry undergoing an exciting period of growth and digitisation, it makes for an interesting array of experiences present at the Xero Roadshow. I myself had an early buy-in to Xero, however, my husband and business partner Jules took a little longer. This dynamic hasn’t been uncommon among the audiences year after year. With questions from the audience at all different stages of their Xero journey, there were moments where I found myself thinking “Oh yeah! I haven’t thought about it like that.”
Opportunities to connect with firms to share work and skills
Accountants and bookkeepers are usually found in separate entities and their interactions exist solely when it’s time to hand over monthly work for year-end work. However, events like the Xero Roadshow present an interesting opportunity for some power-house team ups.
It’s also interesting to speak with other practices that service different or similar verticals to you and hear about the learnings they’ve had from doing so – comparing tech stacks, and so on. At many roadshows, I’ve met entrepreneurs that are unsure how to start the specialisation process, how to choose what type of customers to service and what makes sense for their practice. It’s here that I’ve been able to share my own experiences, while introducing them to colleagues in the industry that I know have gone through similar processes.
There is truly a wealth of knowledge at the Xero Roadshow – not only from the Xero team but also from our peers and colleagues. Additionally, the theme at this year’s Roadshow is ‘Owning the future’. So, come along and see how you can take the next step in ensuring that you and your team are set up for success to help the amazing community of small businesses that need us now more than ever.