From tech developments to late payments, the power of people and SME cash flow concerns. We share the best of what we saw and heard at this year's Xerocon.
The MarketFinance team were at Xerocon London a couple of weeks ago, rubbing shoulders with some of the UK’s most tech savvy accountants. Did you get a chance to swing past our stand? We were the ones talking all things cash flow and enjoying a front row view of the cricket on the pop-up village green.
When we weren’t chatting to you about your clients and their funding needs, we were with you at the main stage enjoying a line-up of fantastic speakers. Here are just some of the standout insights…
THE MORE TECH PREVAILS, THE MORE PEOPLE CONNECTIONS MATTER
There’s no denying that the rise of tech has gone beyond a future trend and become the status quo for SMEs. From Making Tax Digital and Cloud adoption to add-on apps and challenger banks as ‘the new normal’, tech isn’t coming – it’s here.
In his keynote, Xero’s Gary Turner asked you to consider how you’re making sure you stay relevant to your clients in these times of change. He firmly believes that the more tech prevails, the more important communities and connection will become.
There’s never been a better time for you to use these developments in tech to delve deeper into insights about your clients’ businesses. Critically, you can use these insights to ask the right questions, at the right time. Hold your clients to account, encourage them to take action and to make the improvements that will have a real impact on their businesses.
50% OF SMES FAIL, THE NUMBER 1 REASON IS CASH FLOW
One of the things we took away from a great talk by Xero CEO, Steve Vamos, is your important role as advisor to your clients. He highlighted two key figures: 50% of small businesses fail and the number one reason is cash flow. Critically, a lot goes wrong before a business runs out of cash – but your clients are often too busy to see it.
That’s where you come in. Get your clients to slow down and reflect on their cash flow position. Help them identify the gaps that need filling and the best funding solutions for the job. Be the source of essential support and financial advice that allows your clients to thrive.
50K BUSINESSES BECOME INSOLVENT EVERY YEAR BECAUSE OF LATE PAYMENTS
Over the course of the two day conference, Xero released stats from their own research including this worrying figure: 50,000. That’s how many small businesses become insolvent each year as a direct result of late payments.
On top of this, more and more large corporates are extending their payment terms – some to as long as 120 days. Waiting this long to get paid is likely impossible for the vast majority of your SME clients. They have staff and suppliers to pay, other business overheads to cover, not to mention the upfront costs of kicking off the next contract or project.
As Anna Curzon, Xero’s Chief Product Officer, discussed in her presentation: only 51% of SMEs have positive cash flow at month-end. That means that almost half of the clients on your books right now need help with managing cash flow. By becoming an expert in the best forms of SME finance, your advice could be the difference between success and insolvency for your clients.
SMALL BUSINESS IS A TEAM SPORT
At MarketFinance, we believe that ambitious business leaders are building the world we all want to live in – and that’s not easy. They need support from financial partners who understand what they’re going through and genuinely want to see their businesses grow and thrive.
That’s why we work with accountants across the country to help their clients take charge of cash flow. Because small business is a team sport and together we can do so much more.
The theme of this year’s Xerocon was Communities of Purpose. With you as a Xero accountant and MarketFinance as a Xero partner, we’re part of the same community whose purpose is to stand up for small businesses. If you watched Priya Lakhani tell her inspiring founder story at Xetocon, then you’ll know what it means to be “one of the 13%”. That’s 13% of people who are truly fulfilled by what they do because they genuinely believe in the purpose behind why they do it.
If there’s anything we can do for you and your clients, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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