Podcasts

Xero’s Keri Gohman: ’70 percent of small businesses are using cloud technology’

  • Keri Gohman is the president of Xero Americas, a global cloud accounting platform.
  • She describes the challenges and opportunities in serving small businesses and where her firm is headed in the future.
close

Email a Friend

Keri Gohman is president of Xero Americas, the leading cloud-based accounting platform outside the U.S. She and her team are tasked with expanding the platform’s footprint into the Americas. On this week’s Tearsheet podcast, we spend some time talking about the financial web, a term she uses to describe the technology ecosystem forming around SMBs that includes interconnected banking, accounting, and advice.

SubscribeiTunes I SoundCloud

Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.

The impact of tech on accounting
Accounting is a really interesting space. For years, technology was lacking for small businesses and you can see that in where investments were being made in the past. They were primarily made in bringing new financial technologies to consumers. We’ve seen a massive change over the past 10 years. VC investment in small business financial technology in 2010 was around $600 million. In its peak at 2015, that number was around $6 billion.

Banks also have underinvested in small businesses. Having run small business at Capital One, I can tell you that most of the investment goes toward large commercial firms or consumers, where you have volume.

Our expectations as consumers are also changing. I expect my world to connect. When I’m on Google Maps, I expect to be able to access ratings and reviews, Uber, and everything else. Small business owners now expect technologies to work differently. About five years ago, only 20 percent of small business owners were using cloud technologies. Now, it’s 70 percent. Our problem today is that there’s almost too much choice.

Intuit’s and Quickbooks’ influence in the market
Quickbooks was around during the days where you bought a physical CD from a store and inserted it in your computer. Their business, as much as they’re starting to incorporate technology, is still predominantly on the desktop.

Xero started about ten years ago and was born in the cloud. We started with this idea of how to take advantage of modern technology in the cloud and put the pieces of an SMB owner’s financial life together. How do we help a business owner work seamlessly with her accountant? How do we make sure that banking data is going directly into the accounting system, reducing the manual work for a small business? How do we integrate all the apps a small business owner uses to run his business, like Shopify for ecommerce business.

We started out from the beginning with this idea of an open ecosystem and integration and that’s how we’re different from Quickbooks.

Integrating the online world with the offline
Technology is an enabler and lets us, humans, spend time on When we think about the online, offline paradox, we look at how technology plays alongside humans. There’s no better place than that comes together for us than with the small business owner and the accountant.

Most small business owners are passionate about their businesses. They didn’t start their businesses because they wanted to spend time on accounting or financial management. We’ve taken advantage of technology so that business owners don’t have to spend time doing account reconciliation and management. All of that manual entry moves to the back end for the business owner and frees them up to do what only they can do for their business.

Same thing with accountants. We’ve recently seen that accountants started out doing manual bookkeeping and manual entry. We’ve taken that work off the accountant. We’ve automated all of that. The data from multiple bank accounts or ecommerce platforms comes into our app and accountants can now spend more time on higher level activities, like advisory.

Accountants that can act as a virtual CFO typically see twice the amount of revenue per employee and can handle 3x the number of clients. Technology is impacting what they do and enabling them to be more efficient and effective at what they’re doing.

 

0 comments on “Xero’s Keri Gohman: ’70 percent of small businesses are using cloud technology’”

The Green Finance Podcast

The Green Finance Podcast Ep. 10: Tangible steps banks can take to help their customers lower their carbon footprint

  • The majority of people want to know more about the environmental impact of how they spend their money and want their banks to help them take action and reduce their environmental impact.
  • I'm talking about this today with my guest Emma Kisby, UK & Europe CEO of Cogo - a company that provides carbon footprint management products.
Iulia Ciutina | September 30, 2022
Where Credit's Due Podcast

Where Credit’s Due Ep. 10: Getting capital without dilution or debt through recurring revenue financing, with Pipe and Anthemis

  • Today we're talking about another way of accessing capital: recurring revenue financing. If there's cash flow coming in, this recurring revenue is made into a tradable asset that can be sold to investors.
  • It's a dilution-free and debt-free form of financing, which we explore in detail with Michal Cieplinski, Chief Business Officer at Pipe, and Farhan Lalji, Investor at Anthemis.
Iulia Ciutina | September 28, 2022
Podcasts

Behind Amex’s use of Kabbage as ‘the heartbeat’ of its strategy to help SMBs with cash flow

  • Two years after American Express bought small business lender Kabbage, the products are integrated and growing.
  • Tearsheet sat down with Kabbage's head of marketing to get insight on where the growth is coming from and where the company is headed.
Zachary Miller | September 27, 2022
Payments, Power of Payments Podcast

Power of Payments Ep. 14: JPMorgan vs Stripe and Block, CFPB is coming for BNPL, and is LTO a viable BNPL alternative?

  • This week, we talk about JPMorgan’s acquisition of payments firms Renovite, and the CFPB’s recent report on BNPL firms, which suggests that regulation is coming for the sector.
  • We also discuss why lease-to-own, which is another type of installment payment option, has been gaining popularity in recent months.
Ismail Umar | September 23, 2022
Data, Podcasts, Sponsored

‘Earned wage access is the next evolution in improving day-to-day liquidity’: Argyle’s Matthew Gomes

  • Director of strategy at Argyle, Matt Gomes, joins us on the Tearsheet Podcast.
  • Listen in to our conversation about how payroll and employment data API platforms enable financial institutions to bring the next generation of financial products to consumers.
Argyle | September 22, 2022
More Articles