You're Invited to the Xero Hour

Cloud Accounting Weekly #26

Happy Friday! Speaking of the weekend, are you planning to see the movie The Accountant coming out this weekend? I really want to go (who am I kidding, of course I'll go) but I'm a bit concerned that everyone is going to start thinking that all accountants are autistic genius secret agents. But maybe that's progress?

Anyway, I've got a new app for you. If you're tired of keeping paper mileage logs or dealing with clients who can't seem to do it, check out MileIQ. I think you'll like it a lot.

While we're on the subject of apps, if you want to learn more about Xero and the app ecosystem, you should sign up for one of the new Xero Hour meetup groups in select cities around the U.S. I'm organizing the one in L.A. Hope to see you there!

For all this and much more, keep on scrolling.

Recommended Apps

MileIQ for Mileage Tracking

I've added MileIQ to my list of Recommended Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers. I've been using it for a few months now, and I'm never going back to manually tracking mileage. The best part is tax pros get it free (and 20% off for your clients).

Upcoming Events

You're invited to the Xero Hour

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 — Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Orlando, San Francisco (and Austin on Oct. 18)

Join me and my fellow Xero Ambassadors at a "Xero Hour" near you next week. For our first monthly Meetup, the topic is "Art of the Bank Rec" — we'll discuss how to increase bookkeeping efficiency using Xero's bank reconciliation features. 

We're also featuring app partner Hubdoc, which will allow you to automate document processing for truly "no touch" accounting. I'm hosting the Los Angeles Meetup, so I hope to see you there! Join the meetup group via the link above and RSVP to reserve your spot.

The Accountant movie comes out this weekend. While you wait in line, watch this bit where Jimmy Fallon and Ben Affleck read scenes written by elementary school kids. The children were given only the title "The Accountant" and had to make up the rest. If you haven't seen it, also make sure to check out the movie trailer.

Effects of Automation

Metric of the Month: Number of General Accounting Employees — CFO

Many of us have been saying it — now the data confirms it. A new report from APQC shows that top performing companies require 4x fewer general accounting employees than bottom performers. That's the power of automation through accounting technology.

Software Updates

Deputy is the first cloud-based workforce management solution to offer Two Step Verification, SSO & MDM

Deputy recently enabled two step verification, which protects against password hacking by requiring a code sent to a physical device via an authenticator app or SMS. This additional security is really important given how difficult it can be to enforce secure password management. Congrats to Deputy for leading the way in cloud accounting security!

This week Facebook released a business version of the social network called Workplace. It looks to be a competitor to internal communication tools such as Slack and Yammer. The pricing ought to give those apps a run for their money: Workplace costs just $3 per month per active user for the first 1,000 users. Compare that to $8-15 per user for Slack or Yammer.

Future of the Profession

3 Reasons I View Accounting Differently After Xerocon — Insightful Accountant

Here are the main points from my latest blog post on Insightful Accountant:

  1. Firms using cloud accounting software are growing faster that those who don't.
  2. Machine learning will transform the traditional role of the accountant and bookkeeper.
  3. Small businesses will thrive thanks to the development of the Financial Web.

Practice Management

My company implemented a 5-hour workday — and the results have been astounding — Business Insider

Now that knowledge workers can do their jobs from anywhere, is there a reason to have a set 9-5 workday? I know I'd love a job where I can spend my afternoons how I see fit. That would be the best of both worlds — a steady gig + not being tied to a desk all day.

Sales & Marketing

Taking on the CFO role for small businesses — Xero

I love the new Xero Accountant & Bookkeeper Guides. Here's some practical advice for how to start offering virtual CFO / advisory services to your clients from a partner who is actually doing it.

Podcasts

What Everyone Should Know About Building Multiple Companies At The Same Time — Growing Your Firm

One of the best ways I learn is by listening to the stories of other founders of cloud accounting and bookkeeping firms. In this interview, Michael Ly, founder of Burlington CFO and Reconciled It, shares some excellent advice, including, "The person who listens controls the sale."

Security

After You Strengthen Your Passwords, Here’s How to Store Them — NYTimes

Recommendations by the New York Times include:

  • Dashlane
  • Keeper
  • 1Password
  • LastPass

LastPass is my personal favorite. If you need a secure way to store passwords and share with your team, definitely give it a try.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend! Looking to catch up on the news? Check out the previous issue.

Blake Oliver

Los Angeles, California, United States