Next up in our speaker Q&A series is Xero’s Director of Partners Damon Anderson.  A leader in fintech with over 15 years’ experience delivering digital marketing and payments technology, he’ll be sharing his insights into the rise of automation and how accountants of the future can leverage technology to become truly connected advisors.

How did you get in to the profession?

As far back as I remember I’ve loved business and technology.  I guess it all began when I was 8 years old and I developed, produced and sold my first game on my 48k Sinclair ZX Spectrum.  Admittedly it wasn’t the greatest commercial success, but it triggered a desire to build things that people were willing to pay money for.

Since then I’ve had a broad career across many disciplines and industries.  I joined Xero last year as my first step into accounting software.  I was drawn in by a) the positive impact that beautiful accounting software can have for real people running their businesses, b) the unique assets Xero has to be the first true global business platform and c) our clear vision.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Keeping pace with break neck speed of change.  My background has historically been in large enterprise players and while Xero is a breath of fresh air, our business is evolving at an incredible pace.  Last year we released thousands of new products and features and had 95 new starters joined the Xero UK team!  It’s hard to imagine my ability to remember names ever keeping pace with this growth.

And the most rewarding?

Hearing the incredible sense of community and love (yes love) our accounting partners and customers have for our product.  It’s humbling and extremely motivating.

Who or what inspires you to be even better?

My Mum.  I was one of four kids and she single-handedly brought us up, held down multiple jobs and always put us first.  She instilled in all of us a sense of fun, humility, hard-work and empathy for others.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Always trust your own judgement when making decisions, learn from your mistakes and never look back.

What is the one thing accountants must do to adapt and remain successful?

Accountants have a huge responsibility to ensure better business outcomes.  Attitude is everything and for me, it’s all about stepping up and being a change agent.  In my experience this is the single biggest distinguishing factor from those that are releasing their ambitions, from those who aren’t.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know

I had a (very) short career as an international rugby commentator.


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