Day 1 is a wrap, well part 1 is a wrap, the night is young. Over 2,000 passionate Xero partners were treated to a day of wall to wall exciting product updates, news, key notes, futuristic visions, opinions …. and ice cream.

Gary Turner, co-founder and managing director of Xero UK opened XeroCon with 250,000 reasons why Xero is thriving. In the UK alone Xero now has a massive quarter of a million subscribers. As a company that demonstrates a startling growth mindset (a topic we were later treated to by key note speaker @matthewsyed), but equally importantly it demonstrates how UK businesses are embracing the cloud guided by forward thinking Xero partners.

So, what does the future hold? Where is technology going? and what can it do for us? A recurring message woven through the day was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Xero and many other Xero AddOns are already using smart technology to reduce laborious data input and join up dots so business owners don’t have to, but AI goes beyond that. @richardsusskind gave an excellent key note delving into machine learning and big data. Future technology holds the key to dealing with big data and processing powers that are way beyond human capability. Those powers will dig deep into realms of data and be able to pull out insights and form decisions on those insights. Accountancy without a doubt is a key sector player to take advantage of this and revolutionise the services practices can provide. The key is we need to focus technology not on emulating what we already do but doing things we can’t yet do.

Being techie types we also loved the panel debate on Friction-less Finance, #fintech, unifying finance and technology. In plain English, making it easy for business to do everything they need to do with finance in the cloud.

Xero product updates were exciting and deserve a blog post in themselves but a few quickies:

Xero Projects to help clients manage projects, people and profitablitly

Xero HQ – some great new apps like Boma for practice marketing, lifelong learning and Xero HQ Ask for taking away the headaches of chasing information.

#XeroCon day 1 part 2 beckons, the legendary party.

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