C&W Financial Services' Annie Vanbest and Gerri Cruckshank take plenty away from Xerocon accounting conference

Gerri Cruckshank and Annie Vanbest were able to take plenty away from the recent Xerocon accounting conference.
Gerri Cruckshank and Annie Vanbest were able to take plenty away from the recent Xerocon accounting conference.

Dubbed the 'Coachella of accounting conferences', Xerocon is an accountant's holy grail - thousands of finance specialists flocking to the two-day conference annually - all with the same gusto as if Beyonce was taking the stage herself.

This year, two C&W Financial Services representatives, Annie Vanbest of Moree and Gerri Cruckshank of Wee Waa were fortunate enough to attend Xerocon, with both describing the event as mind-blowing.

Held in Brisbane, Annie said the theme of the conference focused on 'smart, simple and seamless' and how Xero will be implementing updates based on these principles.

A passionate advocate, Annie admits she loves talking all things Xero with anyone who will listen.

As such her recently appointment as the Cloud Solutions Manager for C&W is a perfect fit.

"At the conference it was fascinating to hear all the product updates we can look forward to in the near future, and I would encourage anyone thinking of moving to Xero to come in and speak with us," she said.

"It's our passion to see clients transition seamlessly and this is a product that makes me very excited!"

The girls also had the opportunity to attend breakaway sessions focused on how to drive a learning culture within the workplace, cash flow advice that supports practices and clients, plus how to make further use of Xero's extended products to better build C&W's capabilities and efficiencies for its clients.

Gerri also believed the opportunity to network with like-minded fellow accountants and gain exposure to international and city firms was invaluable.

Guest speakers including Xero CEO Steve Vamos, Leigh Sales from the ABC's 7:30 Report and Peter Baines OAM, proved exceptionally motivating, and a mental health key note by Xero managing director for New Zealand and Pacific Islands Craig Hudson proved extremely timely given the current season.

Craig spoke about his life with four beautiful children, a happy marriage and a successful international rugby career all whilst suffering at the hands of a debilitating mental health condition that led him to eventually attempt to take his own life.

He has been recovering every day since and attributes his stability to his family and the supportive environment that is his work space.

So moving was his story that there were plenty of goosebumps and tears shared amongst the 3,000 attendees.

The girls agreed this talk married well with another key note speaker, clinical psychologist and author Nigel Latta, who spoke on being kind to those around you.

Focusing on 'the science of influence' Nigel believed that there is a simple way to be influential, both professionally and personally, build stronger, more resilient teams, build client loyalty and foster more resilient families and relationships - and that is through kindness.

While Annie admitted that even though the underlying neuroscience is so complicated it almost makes your head hurt, the strategy itself is so simple it can be summed up in just two words.

"It's not infallible, and it isn't some kind of weird mind-control trick, it's just a simple thing which more likely than not will get you closer to where you need to be - those two words are 'Be Kind'," Nigel explained, and both Annie and Gerri couldn't agree more.

Key takeaways from the conference included security online updated from CISO Jaya Baloo, with the girls recommending a twitter follow at https://twitter.com/jayabaloo?lang=en plus a TedxRotterdam Cybersecurity Everyday youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_k9W14F76s - which Annie laughed she was seriously fan-girling over.

Amongst the speakers and product updates, the conference was also a sensory wonder, full of interactive displays highlighting the importance of human interaction when dealing with cloud-based softwares.

Both Annie and Gerri said they were extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend the event, and have returned full of knowledge, motivation and enthusiasm for all things Xero.