Xero just dumped its expenses system and rebuilt it from the ground up

Xero CEO Rod Drury. Image: Alex Heber.

Anyone working in a corporate environment would know the pain of submitting their expense reimbursement claims.

Recognising the universal dislike of the activity, accounting software provider Xero has decided to ditch its old system and built a new one from scratch.

The company’s founder chief executive Rod Drury revealed the overhaul on Wednesday at the Xerocon conference held in Melbourne.

“Next thing we’re going to show you, in tomorrow’s keynote, is a complete rewrite of Xero Expenses,” he said to applause from the 3000 attendees.

“We did it because we were running Xero ourselves… And it drove us batshit crazy that we hadn’t updated it.”

He said that the San Francisco team had, since last year, “completely reimagined” the expense process as a mobile-first experience.

While more details would be revealed on Thursday, the Kiwi entrepreneur said the mobile app would take pictures of receipts and use machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate much of the manual processing currently required.

“As we have more and more progress with AI and machine learning, this is just going to get better, better and better.”

For the business, Xero claims that a separate expenses database will provide it with “powerful insights” as to how money is being spent. Open data access to banks would also allow direct connections between financial institutions and those having their expenses reimbursed.

Xero also launched Xero Discuss – a new communications tool to replace fragmented emails and phone calls between accountants and their clients — and Xero Projects, which is a time tracking and job costing tool.

The journalist travelled to Melbourne courtesy of Xero.

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