Xero just surpassed 1 million subscribers worldwide on its accounting software platform. The growth comes at a time when cloud-based accounting software is catching up in popularity to desktop solutions.
Founded in New Zealand in 2006, the company expanded into Australia and the United Kingdom in 2008, and the United States in 2011. Last year, Xero made it to number 12 on PwC’s list of top 25 fastest growing cloud companies with a growth of 81 percent recorded between 2013 and 2014. Its cloud revenue in 2014 was $86 million.
Xero currently has 1,400 employees and 20 offices globally. According to the company, its subscribers come from 180 countries, some of whom use Xero to conduct cross-border business.
Founder and CEO Rod Drury often describe the foundation of his company as “built in the cloud for the cloud.” But the software industry as a whole is now looking towards machine learning and artificial intelligence as the next growth area. Earlier this year, Xero introduced a machine learning automation system within its software that uses statistical analysis to learn how a business categorizes its invoices, and then automates categorization.
“Machine learning and automation will open up the next phase of innovation in accounting, driving a transition in the industry bigger than the move to the cloud did ten years ago,” Drury said in a statement. “With technology doing more of the time-consuming, data entry work, we will see more accountants take on advisory and virtual CFO roles within the small businesses they support. Rather than just keying in data, they’re interpreting the output — and with the power of machine learning, they’ll provide higher level advisory services that help clients feel in control of their finances which is a key human function that cannot be replaced.”
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