The online accounting platform Xero has announced it recently surpassed one million subscribers worldwide on its global cloud accounting platform.
Xero has doubled subscriber numbers in less than two years and has quickly grown to become a global accounting platform leader, adding nearly 300 000 subscribers in the last year alone. Xero launched in South Africa in 2016, and has grown rapidly since then.
“Five-and-a-half years ago, at 50 000 subscribers, we asked shareholders to imagine our business at a million subscribers,” Xero CEO and Founder, Rod Drury said. “We invested for the long term to build a business and ecosystem to achieve those numbers. It’s very satisfying to deliver on that promise.
“Starting around ten years ago with our first lines of code, it’s amazing to see the global community who have built businesses on our platform,” Drury said.
Accounting has gone global
With subscribers in more than 180 countries, many are now doing business across borders – not just in their home countries. Cloud technology has reshaped trade over the last decade, and we’re seeing the rise of truly global small businesses that have grown up without the need to operate within the confines of a single country’s borders.
“Only a global platform – on a single global code base like Xero – can offer the opportunity for small businesses and their advisors to expand their businesses offshore, connect to banks in multiple countries and use Xero’s technology and payment partnerships with Google, Apple, Square, Paypal, Stripe and others to do business seamlessly all over the world,” Drury said. “It sets in motion a global network effect as small businesses expand their trade between countries.”
“Many of the 100,000 business advisors who work with their clients on Xero have small businesses that import or export. The increasingly global nature of small business means that, like Airbnb, Amazon, and Facebook, accounting platforms must also be global. Surpassing one million subscribers positions us as a leading global cloud accounting platform. We’re just getting started.”
Ready for the AI generation
The next wave of accounting innovation is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Xero completed its complex migration to Amazon Web Services, consolidating the platform on a powerful set of technologies that help unlock the power of our vast connections and data. In the last 12 months, Xero has processed more than R10.9 trillion of global economic activity, giving it a unique and high-value dataset to drive insights
and machine learning.
Xero’s machine learning system can now code invoices for small businesses, categorize expenses and recommend accounting practices to a potential client, automating the busy work of accounting, freeing advisors up to focus on providing clients with expert advice.
“Machine learning and automation will open up the next phase of innovation in accounting, driving a transition in the industry bigger than the move to the cloud did ten years ago. With technology doing more of the time-consuming, data entry work, we will see more accountants take on advisory and virtual CFO roles within the small businesses they support,” Drury said. “Rather than just keying in data, they’re interpreting the output – and with the power of machine learning, they’ll provide higher level advisory services that help clients feel in control of their finances which is a key human function that cannot be replaced.”
Cloud innovation drove Xero’s rise to help more than one million subscribers. Machine learning and automation will be the wave which enables us to scale to service millions of small businesses and advisors around the world.
“Xero has evolved from the market challenger into one of the leading global cloud accounting platforms. The first challenger to surpass one million subscribers is a significant milestone for cloud accounting and validation for an industry which didn’t exist a decade ago. Together with our accounting partners and small business owners, we’re so excited to lead the industry innovation charge.”