fintechFIVE: Xero

Elizabeth Barry 22 June 2017

fintech xero

Trent Innes

Managing director, Xero

In two sentences or less, describe your product or service.

Xero is beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. We have over one million subscribers in more than 180 countries, and seamlessly integrate with more than 500 apps, offering our users all the tools they need for business success.

What has been the company's biggest milestone to date?

Xero surpassed one million paying subscribers worldwide on our global small business platform. This is incredibly exciting and a testament to what we’ve built, but this is just the beginning.

There are over 100 million small businesses globally, and only approximately 3 million are on a cloud computing platform. We want to bring on more to the cloud to give them the tools to succeed.

What’s your most useful advice for having a productive day?

Know what you need to focus on. I like starting my day organised, knowing exactly what I have coming up in the day and what I need to prioritise. Before anything else, I check my email for anything that needs immediate actioning.

One thing I find really useful is my Twitter feed. It gives me a good overview of what’s been happening while our half of the world was asleep. It keeps me across the conversations, and the news of the day that’s taking place.

Where do you see the company in 12 months?

The past decade has been focused on building a cloud accounting platform that disrupted the incumbents in each of our core markets. Achieving that, we’re now setting out to rewire the global economy by enabling big businesses and financial institutions to work with small businesses in completely new ways.

We already work with more than 110 financial institutions around the world including Wells Fargo, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank to help bring banks closer to small businesses to unlock capital and productivity and build the global financial web.

Which book has had the most influence on your professional mindset?

"'Who Moved My Cheese?' An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life" by Dr Spencer Johnson — this book left a deep impression on me for how to deal with change. Whether it’s in business or in your personal life, change is inevitable but the one thing that you do have control over is your attitude and how you deal with it.


The fintechFIVE is a series of five questions intended to shed light on innovative companies from Australia and around the world. Every Thursday we ask the same five questions to a representative from a new fintech company – check out the most recent fintechFIVEs here.
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