CPA Practice Advisor

OCT 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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Page 25 of 47

26 OCTOBER 2018 ■ ADVERTORIAL Cloud Computing 2018 THE POWER OF HUMAN IN ACCOUNTING: Why The Accounting Industry Will Always Be Powered By People We are at an inflection point – advances in tech are profoundly altering the economic and social order. This presents both positive opportunities and potential pitfalls. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems are revolutionizing the way we work – they’re already saving us valuable hours in our day by automating routine and repetitive tasks. It’s no secret, however, that accounting is frequently held up as one of the industries most likely to be negatively impacted by AI and automation. A recent McKinsey study suggested that by 2030, as many as 800 million jobs could be lost worldwide to automation, and large amounts of labor could be displaced in accounting, and back-office transaction processing. At this critical juncture, technology companies have a distinct responsibility to build platforms that are a force for good. At Xero, we don’t believe that AI and machine learning will ever replace the need for an accountant. In fact, we are using advances in AI and machine learning to amplify the impact accountants can have. It’s because we believe in the power of human technology. That means taking advantage of the latest advances in technology, while ensuring the priority is on enabling the unique things that only human interactions can deliver. Our ‘human technology’ approach will always prioritize the role accountants play as the most trusted advisor to small businesses. It’s because we know that accountants are crucial to the success of small businesses and our economy. Only half of U.S. small businesses survive past year five. Our internal data shows that 85% of small businesses using Xero make it past the five-year mark, and those who are connected to an accountant grow net profit 23% faster. More than a decade ago, Xero was founded because we saw a better way for accountants, bookkeepers and small business owners to collaborate – on one shared general ledger in the cloud. Today, we are using technology like AI and machine learning to build a platform that enables accountants to work even more closely with their small business clients – further increasing their odds of success. The journey to taking your practice online is like a marathon. Like any marathon, with the right training and the right support, you can make it to the finish line. Rather than building one-size-fits-all software for your practice and treating you like just another number, Xero’s human technology approach means everything we build is designed to adapt to your needs wherever you are on the journey – and we’ll be there at every step along the way. We are expanding our partnership support, by accelerating more people with technical and relationship skills into local communities, to help you develop a long-term plan and succeed. It’s people that power Xero. When you join Xero, you become part of a community of accountants and bookkeepers who want to do business more beautifully. By combining the power of our products, platform and people – we’re setting you up for success today and into the future. BEN RICHMOND Xero, VP Business Growth - Americas Ben is a Chartered Accountant who started his career in New Zealand in a large regional accounting practice. Following this, he worked for New Zealand's largest telecommunications company, before joining Xero in 2013. Today, he sits on Xero's Americas leadership team – leading all of Xero's growth channels based out of Colorado. At Xero, we don't believe that AI and machine learning will ever replace the need for an accountant.

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