Entrepreneur friends, let me ask you something: On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited do you get about reconciling accounts, issuing invoices, and handling other accounting matters for your business? Now, let me ask you this: Did you know there is accounting software that will streamline and automate all of this for you?

Ryan Himmel, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Xero, spoke with me recently about Xero’s cloud-based software solution. He also talked a bit about their mission to help small business owners save time from tackling mundane tasks in accounting and beyond. Curious to find out more? Then keep reading.

Xero: The Accounting Software Born in the Cloud

If you’re not familiar with Xero yet, you will be soon enough. The company has been around for about 11 years and has expanded dramatically since then. Starting in New Zealand and later making a splash in Australia and the UK, Xero is now making serious moves with the U.S. small business market.

Himmel, a former small business owner himself, said, “As a small business owner, you have to wear multiple hats, so it’s really important to be able to leverage technology so that you can run your books, run your e-commerce platform, and all the information talks to each other.”

“As a small business owner, you have to wear multiple hats, so it’s really important to be able to leverage technology so that you can run your books, run your e-commerce platform, and all the information talks to each other.”

This is why the people behind Xero chose not to make it an isolated software. They wanted to enable business owners to seamlessly integrate all of their business apps together. That’s why Xero integrates with tools like Shopify.

In addition, Xero understands that they’re not going to have every accounting solution covered for their customers. That’s why their site is equipped with a chat bot that helps customers search for potential accountant matches in their region. “We’re looking at different ways we can help a small business owner run their business beyond accounting software,” explained Himmel.

“We’re looking at different ways we can help a small business owner run their business beyond accounting software.”

If you want to hear more about Xero’s mission to empower entrepreneurs to take their small businesses to greater heights, check out my interview with Ryan Himmel here:

Why Artificial Intelligence Is the Next Frontier for Small Business

We’ve been hearing about business intelligence (BI) and big data for years. But now there’s talk of artificial intelligence (AI) moving into the operational side of businesses, too. Is this something that small business owners even need?

According to Himmel, it is. “It’s really about letting the machines handle all of the tasks. AI takes away all of the commoditized tasks that an accountant [or the business owner] would have to do.”

“It’s really about letting the machines handle all of the tasks. AI takes away all of the commoditized tasks that an accountant [or the business owner] would have to do.”

And based on how Himmel explains it, AI takes it a step further. Xero processed over $1.4 trillion in transactions over the last year. So, in addition to automating reconciliation, categorization, invoicing, and other accounting-related tasks for small business owners, the AI in Xero’s software also “learns” how to manage these tasks more accurately and efficiently based on all that data—not just from your business, but from all businesses.

Xero is just one type of cloud-based software that is effectively making use of artificial intelligence to improve the small business landscape. For those of you out there still on the fence about whether you can trust this new type of “intelligent” technology, take it from Himmel: “If you think about how long it takes you to conduct a manual process, and if you can make that happen in seconds and milliseconds by leveraging technology—especially in the cloud—you should really consider it.”

“If you think about how long it takes you to conduct a manual process, and if you can make that happen in seconds and milliseconds by leveraging technology—especially in the cloud—you should really consider it.”

The post Ryan Himmel of Xero Talks About Artificial Intelligence and Business appeared first on SmartHustle.com.

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