Xero Revamps its Partner Program

Written by Greg Lam

Xero has just revamped its partner program to update some existing tools, benefits, and programs as well as add some new ones.

Xero Partner Program

With this series of releases, Xero is laying the groundwork for what it wants to offer you as an accounting professionals, whether you’re an accountant, bookkeeper, or financial advisor. I say “laying the groundwork” because you have to separate the vision from reality. When Xero talks about how great their enhanced partner platform is, they’re talking about how great it will be versus how great it currently is. So while there are some new things, much of this revamp is a repackaging of what Xero looks like for partners.

If you’ve been following Xero’s blog like me, you may have gotten lost in the plethora of articles about theirxero-logo new partner program. Probably the best summary article I’ve seen on Xero is this one, so check it out if you want the official overview. Keep on reading to see my version.

Before I get into the overview, first let me define what a Xero Partner is. It’s simply a business that wants to use Xero as a platform to serve other small businesses. If you work with clients that use Xero, you’re basically a Xero partner. All you need to do is fill out their form to become one.

If you want to be a certified partner, you’ll have to undergo 4 hours of free online training, and then every 12 months maintain it with an additional 2 hours of training. Out of almost 900,000 businesses using Xero, roughly 100,000 are partners. There are actually a lot of benefits to becoming a Xero Partner, too many to name in fact, so you can check out the entire list of benefits here.

All right, now I’ll briefly explain the different parts that make up the partner platform and highlight some of the changes being made.

Advisor Directory

This is where potential clients can go to find a Xero Partner to help them with Xero.

The Directory already existed in Xero, but this relaunch makes a better attempt to match the right advisor with the right business. This is what the interface looks like for a potential client:

Xero Advisor Directory

That’s the initial simple search form, but when you click on “Find firms” you’ll see that you can further refine results, as shown below.

Xero Advisor Directory

Your search criteria can now be filtered by:

  • Industry experience
  • Location
  • Advisor type (Accountant, Bookkeeper, Financial Advisor)
  • Firm size
  • Xero champions only

The industries that can be chosen from are:

Xero Advisor Directory

By providing all these different criteria, Xero is aiming to ensure that potential Xero users get paired with Xero Partners that are most likely to be able to serve them successfully. Something that’s changed regarding this new directory is that now businesses can’t completely create their own profiles, listing whatever experience or achievements they like. Instead, a good portion of the profile is based on real stats that Xero has on record, like:

  • Industry experience — derived from the industries a partner’s clients are in
  • Xero Add-on experience — derived from the add-ons that a partner’s clients are using
  • Number of Xero-certified staff
  • Achievements — such as length of time they’ve been a Xero partner, whether they’re a certified advisor, and whether they’ve attended Xerocons (Xero’s conferences)

These are areas of the profile that a Xero Partner can choose themselves:

  • Description — whatever you want
  • Video embed — any video (but you need to be a champion to get this ability)
  • Associations — you can add associations you’re a member of, such as Accountex or the American Institute of CPAs

If you boil it down, the more a partner is invested in the Xero space, the more visible they’ll be in the Xero Advisor Directory.

About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

1 Comment

  • How about a reality check…if a business is seeking a professional accountant. There are important indicia to look for starting with a CPA license, not merely a certificate for having passed the exam, but a license. In California, the license SHOULD be a Type A license with real attest experience. The next thing to look for is how the firm is involved in the profession. Memberships in AICPA PCPS, CAQ, and PCAOB recognize professional accounting firms in the US that ARE MEMBERS OF THE PROFESSION. Being an Enrolled Agent [unless they have 30 hour of accounting credits] IS A LESSER LEVEL OF SKILLS THAN A CPA. Xero Certification and QBO Pro Advisor Certification are CLERICAL designations like Notary Public….NOT professional. If you are wondering what a professional accountant’s education and experience ought look like my Linkedin profile would be a good place to start…..bookkeepers are important to small business and do important work…BUT LET’S STOP PRETENDING THAT NON-CPA’S ARE SOMETHING THAT THEY WILL NEVER BE.

Leave a Comment