Last Thursday, August 16 2018, Xero held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at The Establishment Sydney. Whilst not in the league of a Xerocon as far as attendance (a factor of 100 fewer attendees) or entertainment (I remained 100% sober, even at the after “refreshments”), I have been a regular of Xero AGMs for the last few years due to the access it provides to senior management and the board, both formally during the meeting and informally before and after. Access that filled in a few gaps for me on recent announcements and showed the dynamic of the leadership of the newly, post-founder-succession company. Here are 5 takeaways I garnered from the event:
There’s been quite a stir around “the industry” over the last month about the churn of key people at Xero. First there was the “succession” of founder Rod Drury, cased in rumours and innuendo, that bears not repeating.
The concern for (not many) investors (judging by the share price since Rod’s departure) was the timing.
On the 16th of November it was announced that MYOB (subject to regulatory approval) had acquired the assets of Reckon’s Accountant’s Practice division for $180m. Over the past month, I’ve spoken to more people about the deal, than I care to count. Rarely at my instigation I might add. It seems everyone wants to talk about it! From people close to Reckon to big ticket clients, former staff, current staff and the average man on the street. I was even provided the opportunity of a private audience with senior MYOB execs in a no-holds-barred session in which they laid-bare their core strategies.
I’ve distilled my own thoughts, stolen some from others and now have my opinions and theory of what is to come. Here goes:
This article continues on from Part 1 from last week.
Whilst in Part 1 I reviewed the “big nuggets” from the Smarter QuickBooks messaging from QB Connect, this week I reflect on my own takeaways from the event and my “access all areas” pass.
The World Event…
An American, a Canadian, an Aussie, an Englishman and an Indian walk into a bar… No, its not a joke, its QB Connect 2017. The bar was the Fairmont San Jose and the topic of conversation was typically accounting and accounting technology.
Alex Chriss, Intuit’s SVP & Chief Product Officer, Small Business, commented that he felt the next 18 months would see more innovation than the previous 2 decades at intuit!
So, I am sorry #StephSocial (who made the point to tell me my conference reviews aren’t designed for her short-attention span #snap), but with this year’s review of Intuit’s annual conference, I have so much to write about, it is actually going to be longer than my previous articles!