NZI and PlaceMakers join Xero Business Connect ecosystem

Xero has signed up PlaceMakers and NZI to its Xero Business Connect ecosystem, and three more companies will be joining the platform by the end of the year.

These are Meridian Energy, Watercare Services and Office Max, according to Xero, which had announced the new members to its partnership program at its annual partnership conference Xerocon in Auckland.

The platform aims to connect thousands of enterprises and make it easier for small businesses to manage their finances and save them more time in manual processing.

Xero integration enables invoices to be fed straight into Xero, or documentation and information to be automagically sent between Xero and big businesses that Xero small business customers transact with.

Victoria Crone, managing director of Xero New Zealand, says their studies show some small businesses using the Xero platform spend up to one less day on paperwork per month as a result. She says this is further bolstered by automatic reconciliation software that pays invoices directly to the right accounts reducing the risk of manual errors.

Integration with NZI goes live this week and with it the launch of the beta version of NZI’s insurance add-on CoverKit. CoverKit will allow Xero customers to access their own information in Xero to compile a comprehensive financial profile of their business.

Stephen Everett, NZI general manager commercial underwriting, says the partnership means Xero customers will have access to rich information that will enable them, with expert advice from their broker, to create tailor made systems to manage their risk.

“Forty per cent of SMEs fail immediately after a loss occurs and 25 per cent within a year, so a quick resolution to any problem is critical to business survival,” says Everett. CoverKit will make it easier for brokers to help their customers understand where their business is most vulnerable and do something about it.”

Xero customers, meanwhile, can also now register to receive invoices from PlaceMakers directly into their Xero online accounting platform. This reduces the time spent by small businesses manually entering transactions each month and greatly improves accuracy.

“PlaceMakers relentlessly looks for ways to make it easy for our customers to do business. Xero Business Connect is aimed at making life simpler and spending less time with administration. That’s a real benefit for our customers and we’re pleased to be on-board,” says PlaceMakers brand engagement manager, Maria Reinbergen.

Crone says Xero is working with more big businesses to join the partner ecosystem.

Current Xero Business Connect partners are Z Energy, BizRewards and PGG Wrightsons.

Crone also announces the upcoming rollout of Xero Signals, a regular report on the SMB sector.

“Xero Signals will provide insights into how this important part of the economy is performing, based on information in Xero complemented with survey data,” says Crone. “It’s real time and it surfaces information around the small business economy that we haven’t been able to see before.”

“Small business owners usually do not recognise the importance of their place in the world economy and usually fail to appreciate their own contribution to the world’s gross domestic product.”

In New Zealand, for instance, she says small businesses make up around a third of the workforce, just under 40 per cent of GDP and nearly 97 per cent of all businesses.

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