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Xero Doubles Down on AI to Boost Productivity for Businesses

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The atmosphere was electric at Xerocon Sydney 2023 as Xero launched a suite of innovative AI-powered features aimed at helping businesses work smarter and drive efficiency. With the rise of generative AI taking the world by storm, Xero is leading the charge in harnessing this transformative technology to solve key pain points for their customers.

Predictive AI for Clearer Cash Flow Forecasting

One of the standout announcements was the integration of predictive AI capabilities into Xero Analytics Plus for improved cash flow forecasting. This game-changing feature uses machine learning to predict recurring invoice and bill payments, giving businesses unprecedented visibility into their potential future cash flows.

For any business owner, maintaining a healthy cash flow is paramount. By having the ability to accurately forecast income and expenses, including anticipated invoice payments, businesses can make more informed decisions and better manage their liquidity. This proactive approach to cash flow management could be the difference between thriving and merely surviving in today’s competitive landscape.

Streamlining Bank Reconciliation With AI

Another area where Xero is leveraging AI is in bank reconciliation, a notoriously tedious and time-consuming task for many businesses. In the coming months, Xero will enhance its AI capabilities to automatically populate new contacts during bank reconciliation, reducing the need for manual data entry.

This smart use of AI not only saves valuable time but also minimises the risk of human error, ensuring that financial records remain accurate and up-to-date. For new Xero users, this feature promises to make the onboarding process significantly smoother by automating a crucial aspect of financial management from day one.

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(Photo credit: Accountancy Age)

Experimenting With Generative AI for Customer Support

Perhaps the most exciting announcement from Xerocon was Xero’s experimentation with generative AI to improve customer support. The company announced two experiments leveraging large language models similar to ChatGPT:

    • AI-Powered Content Search: Xero Central, the company’s knowledge base, will soon pilot a large language model lie ChatGPT’s to surface the most relevant answers from across all its content. This will enable users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently.
    • AI Assistant for Onboarding: Xero is experimenting with an AI assistant to guide businesses through the process of setting up their Xero organisation during onboarding. The assistant will draw from Xero Central articles, providing relevant answers and information to key questions, and guiding users through tasks.

These experiments demonstrate Xero’s commitment to leveraging the latest AI technologies to enhance the user experience and streamline processes for businesses and their advisors.

Enhancing Payroll Management for Hospitality Businesses

Expanding beyond its core accounting offerings, Xero announced that its subsidiary Planday has extended its award interpretation tool to cover the three major hospitality modern awards in Australia. This tool, when integrated with Xero Payroll, gives hospitality businesses real-time visibility into labour costs compared to projected revenue, along with daily forecasts and analytics.

In an industry known for its complex payroll requirements and tight margins, this solution could be a game-changer. By simplifying award interpretation and providing granular insights into labour costs, hospitality businesses can optimise their staffing levels, reduce compliance risks, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

Streamlining Practice Workflows for Advisors

Recognising the importance of efficiency for accounting and bookkeeping practices, Xero unveiled plans to integrate its practice tools – Xero Practice Manager (XPM), Xero HQ, and Xero Tax – into a seamless, connected experience.

This move towards a unified platform promises to eliminate data silos and double handling, enabling advisors to work from a single source of truth for client records, staff lists, and user permissions. Through consolidating these critical components into one cohesive system, Xero aims to streamline workflows and boost productivity for its advisor community.

Enhancing Invoice Payments With Stripe Integration

In a strategic partnership with Stripe, Xero is set to introduce an embedded invoice payments experience later this year. This integration will allow Stripe customers using Xero to manage more of their payments directly within the Xero platform, including viewing transaction details and issuing refunds.

For businesses, this seamless payment experience could translate into faster invoice settlements and improved cash flow management. Xero’s data shows that customers who accept Stripe payments on Xero online invoices get paid up to twice as fast compared to those who don’t, highlighting the potential impact of this integration.

The Future of Business Management is AI-Powered

As the curtain fell on Xerocon Sydney 2023, one thing became abundantly clear: the future of business management is AI-powered. By harnessing the latest advancements in machine learning and generative AI, Xero is positioning itself at the forefront of a technological revolution that promises to reshape the way businesses operate.

For business owners, these innovations present an opportunity to gain a competitive edge by embracing AI-driven solutions that can streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and ultimately drive growth and profitability.

As Xero continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI, it’s evident that the company is committed to empowering businesses with the tools and insights they need to thrive in an increasingly complex and fast-paced business landscape. The future is now, and those who embrace AI-powered solutions like the ones unveiled at Xerocon Sydney 2023 will be well-positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead.

If you’re a business owner seeking to make sure you stay on the cutting edge of your financial management to drive growth and efficiency, Varsity Lakes based KeyPoint Accountants is here to help. Contact us at 07-5585-0600 or info@keypointaccountants.com.au to learn how our team of experts can guide you in harnessing these cutting-edge technologies and staying ahead of the curve.

Source: https://blog.xero.com/news-events/product-wrap-from-xerocon-sydney-2023/

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Chris Dobbie

Chris Dobbie is the Principal of KeyPoint Accounting & Advisors, based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Chris is a leading Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) holding a Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com.), Accounting from Griffith University. Chris has over 22 years of professional accounting and taxation experience. Having stepped his way through this family business to now be Managing Partner, Chris, along with his expert team, look after a diverse client base ranging from medium sized businesses to national/multinational businesses. Chris is truly passionate about improving and growing his company's clients businesses, their lives and lifestyle, with a focus on innovative strategic approaches, and strong communication with clients. View Chris's LinkedIn profile.

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