It’s interesting and exciting that Xero now offer their Xero Learn service to training course publishers like EzyLearn for $6 per month. This ongoing access to Xero Accounting software seemed exciting at first but then I realised that it’s just accounting software! AND it’s just for training! AND 30 days is MORE than enough per case study!
Most students don’t want to access Xero accounting software forever. Even business owners don’t really want to pay an ongoing fee for their accounting software – they want something else..
What makes Xero so popular is that it is inexpensive software that’s simple to use and has lots of time-saving features.
In doing so, it’s basically left MYOB to hold the mantle of the accounting software used by accountants and bookkeepers.
Now, however, Xero is looking to close that gap, with the launch of “Xero HQ”; a data and insights platform for bookkeepers and accountants who are part of the Xero Partner Program.
Xero HQ wants to help you grow
To shake MYOB’s stranglehold on the accountant and bookkeeper market, Xero had to do something to differentiate itself and tempt accountants and bookkeepers away from MYOB.
And they’re betting that Xero HQ will be the thing that does it. Xero HQ will provide bookkeepers and accountants with data and insights tools so they can provide “advisory level” services to clients.
Xero’s focus on “advisory level” services is important here, because it reveals a couple of things Xero plans to do with the industry. The first is to continue to automate many of the tasks a bookkeeper would traditionally carry out — the introduction of bank feeds eliminated data entry, for instance — and the second is to up-skill junior bookkeepers, while simultaneously embedding them within the Xero ecosystem — which will fit nicely with their recently launched Xero Lifelong Learning platform.
What exactly is the Xero HQ platform?
If you’re part of the Xero Partner Program already, then access to the Xero HQ platform is free. The Xero HQ platform is essentially a separate workflow that you access online, which provides a number of features not available though your regular Xero software.
These Xero HQ features include the following:
Activity feed: When your clients’ GST or activity statements are due, a notification will appear in the activity feed to alert you.
Client list: This is essentially like a contact book, where you can store all your clients’ information in one place; even those clients who aren’t on Xero.
Explorer: This feature pulls data Xero knows about your clients to help you provide them with better advice, or help you up-skill in areas you know are important to them. For example: it will show you which apps are popular across all your clients, so you can learn how to use them.
Xero HQ app marketplace
The Xero HQ platform also has an app marketplace, which has a focus on apps that will help bookkeepers and accountants with their business. That’s different to the existing Xero app marketplace, which is geared towards small businesses in any industry.
The Xero HQ app marketplace is split up into three tiers, depending on the size of your bookkeeping or accounting practice.
Which Xero HQ app marketplace will suit you?
If you’ve 100 or fewer clients, then you’d be best suited to the “activate” package of apps especially “curated” by the Xero HQ team.
If you have between 100 and 200 clients, then you’re best suited to the “energise” package of apps; practices with 300 or more clients suit the “supercharge” package.
It’s up to you which apps you switch on, but Xero has eliminated the leg work involved in finding apps to suit your business needs.
Some common third party apps, recommended across all three Xero HQ app marketplace tiers include:
Futrli: A forecasting and reporting app designed to help control cash flow and accelerate growth. Technically, you can pull all these data out of Xero by running a number of different reports and exporting them into Excel, but this app does all that work for you, and just delivers the insights. Partner pricing starts at $399 per month.
Receipt Bank: Extracts relevant information from paper receipts and invoices, imports the data into Xero, categorises it, and stores both the data and receipt safely in the cloud. Your clients just snap a picture of the receipt using the Receipt Bank app on their smartphone or upload from their PC.
BOMA: Is a marketing and advertising platform that lets you export data from Xero and use it for your marketing and advertising campaigns. With BOMA you can create and broadcast marketing and advertising messages across five channels (email, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), including sponsored advertising posts on those platforms. It also provides you with all the imagery, templates and other design needs to create your campaigns. It’s basically a one- stop -shop for digital marketing and advertising. Partner pricing starts at $49 per month.
Xero HQ is where accounting meets CRM
In essence, the Xero HQ platform is where accounting and customer relationship management meet. Xero provides bookkeepers and accountants with a platform that enables high-level analysis and data management through integrating third-party Xero HQ partner apps.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles; and they can use the Xero Lifelong Learning platform to up-skill and provide those services.
“Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles…”
When it comes to Excel skills, a needs analysis can cost money and take a huge amount of time, when in reality, staff can simply do their own needs analysis when they do their courses.
A lot of EzyLearn’s students are re-skilling or up-skilling because they are sent from rehab and retraining companies. This may be because they’ve been injured at work and need to move to a different area of the workforce. In these situations, many aspects of the person’s needs have to be assessed to make sure they can work in an office, as opposed to out in the field where they use to work.
In this situation a needs analysis and learning plan are very important; however, when it comes to ensuring all your staff are simply up to speed at an advanced or intermediate level in Microsoft Excel can be much simpler.
Enrol into all Excel Training Courses with EzyLearn for the same price (but usually much less) than going to a physical training centre. You receive ALL skill levels and students can start at the level they “think” they are at and simply do the beginner levels if they realise they need it.
After we shifted to delivering online courses, we discovered that by bundling all our Excel courses together for one low price, companies could forgo spending many hours and many hundreds of dollars in conducting needs analysis for their staff, only to find that their employees’ skills weren’t quite at the level stated.
Give staff comprehensive training
We’ve bundled all of our Excel training courses into 9 half-day short courses — each taking 4 hours to complete — so that, regardless of a student’s skill level, they can access all of the course content from beginner right through to advanced.
Companies can let their staff do their own needs analysis, while giving them comprehensive Excel training at the same time.
Many students who enrol in our Excel training courses for the intermediate and advanced modules often report that they’ve learned lots of new skills by also taking the beginner modules, while beginners usually always continue training right through to the advanced stage.
The great bonus of giving intermediate Excel users access to beginners courses is that most of them go through these and find they have a much more rounded level of skills using Excel.
Excel has real-world case studies and scenarios
Our Excel training courses use real-world examples so students can apply their new skills to tasks and projects you mightn’t ordinarily consider using Excel for — working out how much money a property investor can borrow, for example.
Even if your staff only require rudimentary Excel skills, by providing them with comprehensive Excel training for a fraction of the cost of in-person beginner training, you’re creating a workforce of highly skilled employees for your business.
When you choose the lifelong learning approach for your staff, they’ll have access to all Excel courses for life so they can access them whenever they want or need them.
Lifetime Access lets students up-skill at their own pace
When you enrol your staff in our Excel training courses, choosing the Lifetime Access option means your employees can up-skill at their own pace. This is especially useful for employees who may only require rudimentary Excel skills in their current role, but who are later promoted or give more responsibility, requiring great Excel knowledge.
Rather than enrolling them again, your staff will still have access to all the Excel course content so they can go back and refresh their skills as they need to. And that’s all for just one low price!