Edwards, a small business-focused chartered accountant, founded Xero with IT entrepreneur Rod Drury. "We knew the value of the information in accounting systems but couldn’t access that information at the same time” Edwards says. The duo knew other entrepreneurs felt the same way about their accounting systems. Edwards says: “Small business owners are not accountants and often they don’t get the software. “What we’ve done is a completely new take on the way accounting works for small businesses so that small businesses do get it. “It makes it really easy for an entrepreneur to be kept up to date with finances. They know what their bank balance is, where their next pound is coming from and going to. “Financial information is the key to success for a small business.” Edwards says Xero’s application saves entrepreneurs eight hours a week. “That’s huge for small business owners as we know they’re the hardest working people around.” Xero is listed on the New Zealand stock market but Edwards is leading the company’s expansion plans in the UK. “For the next 12 months, I think we’ll be seen as the emerging leader in the online accounting space,” Edwards says. “We’ll grow the team, get a lot more customers on board and build new partnerships. We’ve just come out of early release and all the participants are still customers today. Last month we did a soft launch and are looking to sign up more clients.” Picture source
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