From XU Magazine, 
Issue 31

Updates from Xero, What we’ve been working on...

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Expanding our global leadership team

We’ve expanded our executive leadership team with the appointment of Chris O’Neill to the role of Chief Growth Officer, Jugdip Bath (Jug) as EGM Product Engineering and Hamish Cook as VP Product. Based in the US, these senior appointments strengthen our talent and experience in North America, and bring new product capabilities to meet the needs of customers and partners globally.

Reporting to Xero CEO Steve Vamos, Chris O’Neill is based in San Francisco and responsible for the strategic direction and operational performance of Xero’s newly-created Applications & Services division, which represents part of Xero’s small business platform.

The Applications & Services division comprises a number of Xero’s existing businesses, including recent acquisitions that are an increasing area of growth and of strategic significance for Xero. 

Chris will also lead the strategic development of Xero in the Americas - including US and Canada - working closely with Xero President Americas, Tony Ward. Chris joins Xero having served as a senior executive, board member and investor for a number of global technology companies, including Google and Evernote. He also has deep leadership experience in global and North American consumer and enterprise markets. 

Jug Bath joins Xero to strengthen our engineering leadership team, following many years’ experience in SaaS and cloud product development leadership roles. He is skilled at building organisations for scale and operational excellence, including a track record of delivering new and innovative products to market. Jug joins Xero from Chegg Learning Services (NYSE- listed academic student hub), and prior to this held senior engineering roles at ADP, Citrix and Intuit. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two daughters. 

Hamish Cook is based in Atlanta and joins Xero from VMWare, where he led product management and design for VMware Tanzu lab, helping companies such as Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, and Ford Motor Company design, build and run software delivery labs and product management organisations. Hamish is originally from New Zealand and has over 20 years’ experience in product management across FMCG and tech businesses. He will play a vital role in Xero’s product leadership and Americas leadership teams.

Announcing our new partnership with FIFA Women’s Football

Xero has been named a FIFA Women’s Football Partner under FIFA’s new commercial partnership structure, which takes effect in 2023. The global

partnership will cover the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, the 2024 and 2026 editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™.

Xero Product Updates...

We’ve made a number of other updates on the Xero platform over the past month, including:


More flexibility in new reports

To streamline financial analysis, we’ve added new reporting features, including customised

management report packs, refreshed Xero HQ report templates and flexible executive summary reports.

Enhanced bank reconciliation

We’ve enhanced our bank reconciliation ‘memorisations’ feature to surface even more

suggestions in the workflow. This further minimises manual data entry for customers to save them time.

Distinguishing payment types in Xero

To distinguish bank payments from card payments and make it easier for small businesses to get paid, we’re updating the language used in Xero. ‘ACH payments’, ‘Direct debit’ and ‘Pre-authorized debit’ will be updated to ‘Bank payments’.

Reimagining the Xero experience

We’re working to upgrade the technology that underpins the Xero platform, so it doesn’t slow us down over time and gives us the ability to improve speed and accessibility. Here are the most recent design changes in Xero:

  • A new design for Individual Tax Returns within Xero Tax in Australia
  • A change to the way multi-currencies are displayed in bank reconciliation
  • A change to the way error messages on the ‘Discuss’ tab in bank reconciliation are displayed


New STP Phase 2 experience

This year, we’re transitioning to STP Phase 2 in Xero Payroll. The first stage involves changing the way users add new employees to Xero Payroll. Customers can now opt-in to a limited release of the new payroll experience before we roll it out more broadly.

New Zealand

2022 Income Tax Returns

We’ve incorporated legislative changes in relevant forms, to make it easier for New Zealand customers to prepare and lodge 2022 Income Tax Returns. The updated forms include changes to tax rates, removal of losses, residential income and interest limitations.


New National Insurance categories in Xero Payroll

To help users report accurate payroll information to HMRC, we’ve updated Xero Payroll with the new National Insurance (NI) categories for veterans and

employees who work in a Freeport tax site. Xero will now automatically apply the new tax calculations and remind users if an employees’ NI eligibility period is about to expire.

Xero business news...


Announcing our new Ultimate plan for small businesses

To meet the growing needs of all small businesses, we’re introducing a new comprehensive

subscription plan. The Ultimate plan gives businesses access to Xero’s suite of tools to help manage their business and people processes in one place. The Ultimate plan will be available in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand in the coming months.

Welcoming PKF as a Xero Global Partner

We’re pleased to have signed a global agreement with PKF International, welcoming them as our latest Xero Global Partner. This means Xero will become the preferred cloud accounting solution for PKF’s firms and its small to medium business clients.


New report shows small business boom in Australia

Australia will experience a small business boom led by the next generation of entrepreneurs and those reimagining their careers. Xero’s ‘Where Opportunities Lies’ report reveals that in the next decade, the number of small businesses in Australia could reach as high as 4.2 million. These businesses will contribute over $60 billion per year in value to the Australian economy by 2031.


Report shows UK small businesses struggle to find workers

Small businesses across the United Kingdom are struggling to fill job vacancies to support consistent sales growth, according to Xero’s Small Business Insights report. Based on anonymised and aggregated data, the number of jobs provided by them fell by 4.3 per cent year-on-year in February.

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