An Accountant, a Barber, and a Skateboarder Walk into a Bar*

*cocktail hour at Xerocon Brisbane 2019

With little more than warning of “what happens in ‘BrisVegas’…Hailey and I took to the skies and headed Down Under, ready to proudly rep on the expo floor at the notorious (and aptly nicknamed), Coachella of Conferences.   

Much has already been said about the epic-ness that was Xerocon Brisbane, and if you haven’t already checked out the fabulous recaps from Kylie Parker of Lotus Accountants, Andrew Van De Beek of Illumin8, and Steve Vamos of Xero (and so many others!), you’re missing out. 

Here’s a handful of highlights from our short but sweet time in the sunny city of Brisbane.


A nod to our gracious hosts 

When was the last time you successfully gathered 3000 of your closest friends and convinced them to not only attend an accounting conference, but to walk out of said accounting conference 48 hours later with sick new haircuts and customized skateboards in hand? Leave it to the Xero team to make that bizarre and unconventional concept a reality.  

Xerocon Brisbane Tweet

Organizing and executing events is far from simple, especially an event of this calibre and scope. But when you toss in the curation of exceptional content, plus a commitment to building a true sense of community, driven by progress and embracing change in this ever-changing ecosystem? Well, that’s just the cherry on top.

Kudos, high fives, and a huge thank-you to everyone at Xero, once again, for all that they did to make the conference such a success.


Well, @#$% 

Everyone’s talking about the 39 F-bombs that were dropped onstage within the opening hours of Xerocon, but only 38 of those came from the infamous Nigel Latta (clinical psychologist and author) in his compelling and outrageous keynote on the power of influencing people. How does one connect a face covered in spiders, an unconventional love story (at best) with a farm animal, and an unsupervised conversation with a dangerous criminal in a prison wood shop with the radical concept of leading everything one does with kindness? Well, if you know, you know. And if you don’t? You kind of had to be there.

Nigel Latta at Xerocon Brisbane  

Oh, and about the 39th F bomb dropped on stage? Forecasting. Cash flow forecasting, to be exact. Which leads us to our next point… 


Time to go with the flow

Several exciting product announcements were made at Xerocon, including the introduction of a short-term cash flow feature pilot which was introduced by Anna Curzon, Xero’s Chief Product Officer.

Not surprisingly, cash flow was the talk of the town (well, the expo floor) throughout much of the conference, and for good reason. It’s well known that cash flow can make or break small businesses. At, we know that accurately forecasting cash flow is key to better business decision making. No wonder it’s becoming increasingly valuable for financial professionals to add cash flow forecasting services to their advisory tool belts. In light of that, our team was excited to announce our newest in-app feature, one that we’ve been working tirelessly on for several months: Cognitive Cash Flow Forecasting. 

Xerocon Brisbane

At, we’re a little data-centric (okay, a lot) and that’s really the foundation of our cash flow forecasting philosophy. We’ve developed an AI-driven learning system that automatically produces cash flow forecasts based on the historical data of each individual business. Our system steers away from the popular approach employed by several other app partners in the space (three way forecasting), instead opting to zero (Xero?!) in on each business’ historical data at a transactional level, factoring in additional parameters like cyclicality and temporality for enriched detail and insight.

Our awesome team of data scientists and engineers has leveraged their extensive experience with machine learning to create a system that automatically learns from the patterns of each individual business and responsively adapts its own models as new data comes in. This means that users can expect an increasingly accurate forecast as more transactional data points enter the system over time.

The system not only learns and adapts from new data coming in, it also recognizes its own margin of error (effectively learning from its own mistakes) and automatically adjusts its models to reduce that margin on a go-forward basis. With the availability of this Cognitive Cash Flow Forecasting feature, users can visualize their future cash flow up to 6 months in advance and make data driven decisions with greater confidence and considerably less effort

Our goal, as always, is to empower business owners to make data driven decisions more easily and more often. With this new feature, we’re aiming to provide more realistic and actionable view of the future that’s based on the most objective source of truth: the dataBut don’t just take it from me: as our founder and CEO, Kelly Cherniwchan says, “Historical data is the story, or true narrative, of a business. The best way to create a possible picture of what will happen in the future is to assess what has happened in the past.”  

If you didn’t have a chance to chat with us and see this feature in action at Xerocon, no worries, mate! Kelly goes into further detail about what we built, why we built it, and what users can expect out of this new tool in our recently published article,  A Fully Automated Approach to Cash Flow Forecasting. Check it out if you’re interested in learning more, or try it out for yourself in the app! 


Until next time Xeroconers! 

I’m confident can speak for Hailey and myself, but I think I can also speak for pretty much everyone in attendance when I say that Xerocon Brisbane was nothing short of impressive, inspiring, and delightfully exhausting. Our team was thrilled to be a part of the event and, as always, we look forward to connecting and providing new value to members of the Xero community as we move into the future!

Xerocon Brisbane


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