Xero revealed a strategic partnership with not one, but two major institutions on Tuesday (Feb. 9). The small business accounting firm said that it will be integrating and collaborating with Barclays and Microsoft, ventures announced at its U.K. FinTech conference, Xerocon.
With Barclays, Xero will integrate the bank into its existing community of live bank feeds. That group already includes names like RBS, Metro Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. According to the company, the move aims to promote Xero’s role in SME accounting automation and the tools it can bring to small businesses via their banks.
When it comes to Microsoft, Xero said it will be integrating its accounting data with the company’s Power BI, meaning small business users can access the power of Big Data, Xero said. The collaboration will come to fruition this March and link SMEs with analytics solutions to visualize the data of 25 metrics, including cash position, debtor days, return on investment and revenue versus expenses.
“Business tools today are smarter and more connected than ever and finally available to the small business sector,” said Xero Chief Executive Rod Drury in a statement following the announcement. “The accounting industry runs on Microsoft Office, and we’re delighted to further integrate with Microsoft Power BI to give our users easier ways to access and analyze information from Xero and other sources to make smart, informed decisions.”
According to Xero, one-quarter of its customer base — more than 150,000 small businesses — take advantage of at least one of Xero’s partnerships, in addition to its accounting software. Those collaborations have yielded more than 500 enterprise apps, the company added.
In a separate statement, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Business Applications, Platform and Intelligence James Phillips spoke of the role of technology in strengthening SMEs' financial performance.
“Technology exists for us to transform and change what we can do,” he said.