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Xero talks: highlights from an afternoon focused on the future of accounting

March 31, 2023

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The first-ever Xero Talks event took place on 15 April, and judging by the energetic conversations happening on and off stage, it was a huge hit with attendees.

Key speakers on tech, talent, and industry change gave us their insights in following sessions:

  • Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and AI
  • Navigating the talent challenge
  • Future leaders panel
  • Why is having a great employment brand so important?
  • How firms are doing employment brand well

Here are the highlights.

Death, taxes, and AI

Our keynote speaker was Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE, CEO of Stemettes, author of She’s in CTRL and Trustee at the Institute for the Future of Work.

In her talk, Anne-Marie inspired attendees to think creatively about how they use technology, and the significance of developing inclusive hiring practices.

Anne-Marie shared case studies of bias in technology and explained why we need active participation to build the future we want.

Navigating the talent challenge

Next was a panel discussion based on the ACCA’s Global Talent Trends report. Joining Xero’s Managing Director for UK & EMEA, Alex Von Schirmeister, was Jo Copestake, Sales Director at Xero, and Nikki Adams, Joint Managing Director of Ad Valorem.

Hybrid working, tech adoption, and role transformation were key talking points. Nikki explained that hybrid work relies on effective management. Jo emphasised that employment isn’t the only way to bring fantastic minds into your business.

Future leaders panel

Community Marketing Manager Ash Gibson led four panellists in a conversation spanning salary, side hustles, culture and artificial intelligence.

Joining Ash was Alicia Williams, Client Finance Director and Digital Improvement Lead at Shorts, Xero’s Content Manager and newly published author Jyoti Patel, Max Whiteley, Head of Liverpool at Accounts + Legal, and George Bruce, Head of Marketing at Ad Valorem.

The group spoke about what they look for beyond the paycheck – things like good culture, learning and development, and the freedom to experiment with new technology and skills.

Why is having a great employment brand so important?

Xero’s Head of Brand, Customer, and Partner Marketing Tracy Smithers followed up the leadership panel with an in-depth talk on employment brands.

Tracy shared examples of employers showcasing their brands across the web. Reflecting on what makes people leave a job and what makes them want to join in the first place, Tracy gave actionable advice on using your employer brand for growth.

How firms are doing employment brand well

In our last session, Xero’s Marketing Director John Coldicutt invited Claire Markham, Managing Director of The Focus Collection, Georgi Rollings, Founder and co-CEO of Starfish Accounting, and Stuart Hurst, Managing Director at Accounts + Legal to share their experiences.

Claire highlighted how her tech-enabled firm runs on gamer talent, while Georgi spoke about how flexible working helps her 100% female firm thrive. Stuart vouched for transparency and delegating management decisions to build trust.

If you want to learn more about the 2023 Xero Talks, you can read our extensive summary of each panel or watch recordings of the live sessions.

Why leave it there?

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