Xero + Apple Transforming small business aguillardaccounting.comAt Xerocon in Denver earlier this month, there were plenty of release updates and hardcore sessions.  Truly, when you mix accountants with the most tech-forward business platform in the world, you’re bound to get a healthy dose of glasses and pencils.  Just when you thought you’d heard it all, they hit us with the big announcement –

Xero and Apple are hooking up.

Long known as the preferred platform of creatives, Apple has stepped up its old-school business game in recent years, somewhat deliberately and somewhat as a function of the newest crop of small business owners who refuse to be tied to an office.

Some speculate that Apple’s announcement at its second quarter earnings call that it would work with a select group of apps was an effort to perk up lagging iPad sales. Lagging IPad sales or not this is shaping up to be one hell of relationship.  In addition to Xero, Apple identified several other platforms it would work with, including: Box, DocuSign, MicroStrategy, Revel, and ServiceMax. Stating that it would “bring a broad range of innovative mobile solutions to more customers on the iPad.”

Xero + IOS – Providing increased mobility

Xero recognized that 70% of its Xero Touch app users were accessing it via iOS devices, and smartly partnered with Apple to make that relationship more official.  Xero committed to enable mobile solutions across Apple devices first, elaborating that many subscribers use both iPads and iPhones to manage their businesses.

CEO Rod Drury even demonstrated that Xero was now Apple Watch enabled from the stage at the Denver Performing Arts Center.  “We have seen tremendous demand for iOS solutions from customers around the globe as they look to transform the way they manage their businesses in today’s mobile world,” says Rod Drury, CEO, Xero.

Enhanced user experiences as Xero teams up

Xero will be working alongside cloud-based retail software firm Vend and cloud-based people management platform Deputy, to launch a retail solution for small businesses owners to manage their businesses on any iOS device.

“Xero, Vend and Deputy work together seamlessly so small business owners can manage their retail business from any iOS device, anytime, anywhere,” says James Maiocco, general manager, corporate and business development, Xero. Additionally, as Vaughan Rowsell, Founder and CEO of Vend noted, the “iPad is increasingly becoming an essential business tool for retailers” which allows associates to “get out from behind the counter to deliver customer experiences.”

Xero’s express commitment to optimize mobile solutions on iOS devices ensures that users will experience the best interface and enhancements on Apple devices first.  The announcement is exciting for small businesses who have created an ecosystem with Xero at the center and industry or process-specific add-ons, like Vend, on the perimeter.

Xero and Apple leaving the competitors in a cloud of dust

With Xero’s subscription numbers just climbing past 500,000 compared to Intuit Quickbooks’ four million, it seems as though Apple’s enthusiasm stems from Xero’s superior user interface and cloud-native system.  Its plain language titling and intuitive transaction-matching feature make Xero a better fit for mission-driven entrepreneurs, who are not likely to hold business degrees and tend to be Apple devotees.

One of the things that has stood Xero apart from the competition is its willingness to add new features for free. This has made it very disruptive in the accounting space. One of the boasts from Xero CEO Rod Drury at Xerocon Europe was “… it will be hard for competitors to invest the levels of money required to catch us.”

On the evidence of Xerocon US and the continued delivery of free features, Drury appears to be not only cementing the lead Xero has over its accounting rivals but also setting the bar even higher for the chasing pack.

It’s hard to imagine how Xero tops 2014, a year that saw tremendous growth, over 500 releases and updates, and crowning as Forbes’ #1 Most Innovative Growth Company, but one thing is certain: Apple is a great lay.

If you have any questions about Xero or want to know how your small business can benefit from Xero contact Aguillard Accounting today. Call  (504) 324-9270 or email amanda@aguillardaccounting.com