The event kicked off with an introduction to Xero covering most of the things that are clearly presented on their excellent web site by Xero’s UK Managing Director Gary Turner. Gary’s background includes Microsoft and Pegasus and he hinted at some of the frustrations he experienced in those positions just as we all do in our careers from time to time. Xero offered a positive and fresh move for Gary by becoming involved in a forward thinking organisation with global aspirations and a pretty good accounting solution (even at this early stage) for smaller businesses. Gary introduced Rod Drury, the CEO and Co-founder of Xero, who gave a brief demo of Xero and as you would expect of someone who knows their product inside out, highlighted some of the key features that are particularly useful to smaller businesses. Rod himself started off as a small business and quickly became frustrated with the aging desktop paradigm. A further realisation that just knocking out ‘the figures’ in time for board meetings did not really help interpret and understand his business’ performance. Allied to this was the inherent understanding of the smaller businessperson’s needs for flexibility in work and play – hence Xero. Rod is clearly passionate about SaaS and the potential this has to change the accounting landscape, he appears committed to expanding the reach of Xero within the small business market in general and there are already some great SaaS products that work hand in hand with Xero, such as Salesforce.com and WorkFlowMax. Likewise Accware believe this is the way to go and we are now in a position to offer accounting and consultancy services through Xero for smaller businesses.