The year ahead will undoubtedly involve a lot of change and uncertainty, but how can you prepare?
Accountants and bookkeepers will need to closely track the trends to stay ahead of changes in industry, regulation and policy.
Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help with four trends that we think will influence you and your clients over the year ahead.
1) Brexit: bring certainty with cash flow management
Following the result of the latest UK election, it seems like some form of Brexit will go forward in 2020.
One thing we can say for sure is that Brexit will mean significant changes to business and financial processes.
This leaves your clients looking for strategic advice, and as their most trusted advisor, it’ll be up to you to guide them and help them plan for a variety of outcomes.
One certainty that your clients will benefit from is cash flow forecasting and management. The Xero cash flow resource centre has all the tools you’ll need to help you nurture healthy cash flow for your clients.
2) Open Banking: embrace the new and achieve more
New EU standards are due to take effect from 14 March, changing the way banks connect to third parties such as Xero.
Known across Europe as PSD2, but more commonly in the UK as Open Banking, businesses and consumers face yet another change come 14 March. Open Banking changes the way banks connect to third parties such as Xero, which means the way we provide bank feeds is changing.
While the change may feel burdensome for some, we think it’s a positive step forward – providing greater competition and innovation in the world of financial services.
Already thousands of Xero subscribers have moved from bank feeds using Yodlee and are now enjoying the benefits of Xero’s new, free and secure direct feeds using Open Banking.
With March just around the corner, businesses that haven’t changed to a new feed should check whether their feed is available and switch now.
So to learn more about Open Banking, and see which banks have new feeds ready to connect to, see the Xero dedicated Open Banking resource centre . You’ll also find our FAQs, plus guidance on how to get new feeds set up.
3) AI and machine learning: no more pesky admin tasks
Another trend that we can confidently extrapolate into 2020 is the continuing growth of machine learning and AI.
These technologies are ushered in behind the scenes, and they already power many Xero products you use every day, including data capture tools such as Hubdoc. With Hubdoc, we’re on a mission to automate pesky administrative tasks so you can spend more time running your practice.
Using machine learning and AI, Hubdoc automates tasks like bill and receipt capture, data entry and bank reconciliation. So you and your clients get that time back – plus the accurate data you need – to do beautiful business together.
We’re excited to include Hubdoc, which has a retail price of £15 a month excluding tax, as part of all Xero Starter, Standard and Premium plans in the UK from 18 March 2020. Find out more about Hubdoc here.
4) App integration: the Netflix of Xero
Many of you have discovered the power of the Xero app marketplace featuring over 800 third party apps that connect to Xero.
Through the power of our API, these apps share information seamlessly with Xero, helping you and your clients solve workflows. From managing people and processes, to inventory and everything else.
But with so much choice, how do you know which apps are most fitting for your clients? Now, when you and your clients sign in to a full version of the marketplace, we can use our insights to offer you smart recommendations on apps most likely to be suitable for your clients’ business needs.
And with the app trend looking to go even bigger in 2020, this new update will undoubtedlyhelp you stay ahead.
By Damon Anderson, Xero, Director of Operations, UK & EMEA
CTA: If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper in practice, sign up to the Xero partner programme, where you’ll get the tools, resources and dedicated account management to help get your practice and clients set up. Visit https://www.xero.com/uk/partnership/