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Xerocon 2018 Brisbane


As the dust settles from another event I look back and reflect on what XeroCon meant to me.

This year there were a number of  technology updates and discussions about Add ons and the benefits that they provided but for me XeroCon was about heart. Yes you heard that right and you wonder how a software company is going to show that to 3500+attendees.

Dr Gill Hicks is a survivor of the 2005 London Bombings, and she made us reflect on what is the worst that can happen! This hit home with many and you could see a tear in their eyes. In the hour that she was in the dark on that train after the bombing and how her life passed before her eyes. She told us about how survivors were comforting those that were passing during that time her attitude and sheer guts to survive. Hearing her story about humanity was an inspiration.

Dr Gill Hicks


Mark Manson, the author of ‘The subtle art of not giving a F*ck’ opened Day 2! He told us that without suffering, there is no meaning. Without meaning, happiness is empty. How true success and happiness are based on our achievements and what we deem to be success. If we do not have to work for it or struggle for what we want are we really happy when we achieve? Suffer Better, Not Less. We will always have problems and issues it is the way we choose to handle our problems.

Mark Manson- Author of "The Subtle art of not giving a F*ck"
Mark Manson- Author of “The Subtle art of not giving a F*ck”

Trent Innes from Xero talked about how people expect the 99% but the 1% is what they remember. Clients are surprised when they receive that extra 1%. Trent also had us all post on social media about the one thing we wanted to do when we left the conference as it is easy for many to say they will do something and not follow through. #myonething was to write this blog.

A breakout session that I attended was about how to best tell our Story with Bernadette Jiwa. We all have our story as we have all gone done a different journey to reach were we are today. It is about sharing this journey with others and connecting and engaging with others.

For many a favourite session was to demand work-life balance with Sharon McClafferty. We were told a story of how a man had everything on the outside with all the success and trimmings that come with that. This success bred ignorance towards his family and eventually he lost everything. Only to find out that this story was not fictional but one from the heart as it was about her father. This emphasised to us all not to lose sight of the true purpose of what is important to you. It especially hit home for me as just a few weeks ago during an Australian Bookkeepers Network meeting, I brought up this exact topic topic as I wanted everyone there to reflect on what we are doing in our lives and if we needed to make changes for life to be more rewarding.  


Sharon McClafferty- Slipstream Coaching

Steve Vamos A new way of thinking- We are now the connected age not the industrial age and that technology is being developed to act more human, and less like a machine.

Xero account managers Alicia Moreau and Lauren Wood organised for partners to get together so they could meet and share stories.The support that I saw from the account managers was much more than selling software! Hats off to my manager Alicia.

The wrap party at Cloudland was themed BrisVegas allowing us all to have fun and say goodbye to friends we had made and our conference travelling buddies. Looking around the room it allowed everyone to get to know each other on a more personal level and share their story.

Brisvegas Xerocon Wrap party
Brisvegas Xerocon Wrap party


Heading home after the conference was a time for reflection and and what is most important to me in my life and it is my family they mean everything to me. This is my heart!!

My Family
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The Australian Payroll Conference 2017


The Australian Payroll Conference took place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney and was informative for all attendees. Payroll is an area that is very important to all businesses and individuals that are in the workforce as it is imperative that employees are paid correctly.

Mike Munro was the MC for the event. I have grown up watching him on Australian television, with my favourite of his appearances being in ‘This is your Life’.


Mike Munro
Mike Munro

Andrew Griffiths, a well known author, speaker and mentor, opened the conference with “It’s time to become a mighty communicator” and stressed the importance of communicating. Relaying great stories he explained how we are losing the art of communicating. Andrew touched on the differences between the way men and women communicate. He also believed that we need to make the meaningful moments in life count, which signifies living in the moment and devoting your attention to the now. He had us laughing about life and paying each other compliments.

Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths

The ‘Changing Landscape of Payroll in Australia’ component was presented by Simon Gallagher- CFO Drake Australia, MD Drake Allegiance. Simon explained to us that there is an increase in self employment and casual workers.  They are saying that  permanent employment will reduce by 50% moving forward. Work/Life balance is becoming a driver as more people rely on attaining a certain lifestyle.  It was interesting to hear that young people will have 17 different jobs in their career. From a technological arena we are seeing the evolution of eye detection technology which is now being used to track employees. A point that Simon made that I regularly reflect upon, is to be more proactive than reactive, embracing technology and automation. By doing this you will gain new skills and become more valuable.

Simon Gallagher
Simon Gallagher

Next year on the 1st July 2018 the Australian Taxation Office is introducing the One Touch Payroll for employers that have over 20 employees and then the following year businesses with smaller numbers of employees will be required to come on board.

Single Touch Payroll
Single Touch Payroll


In preparation for the Single Touch Payroll businesses are urged to check all employee records ensuring details are correct, especially Name and Date of Birth.

A favourite presenter of mine is always Maria Nikoletatos – Chief Knowledge Officer at Australian Payroll Association. She covered the technical aspects of Long Service Leave and ETP payments and Superannuation. Always entertaining and full of knowledge.

Meanwhile, I had the pleasure of catching up with Leanne Lewis at the Australian Bookkeepers Association stand supporting and uniting bookkeepers and Bas Agents around Australia

Leanne Lewis and Fiona Failla
Leanne Lewis and Fiona Failla

Tracy Angwin – CEO at Australian Payroll Association ended the day with the 4 types of analytics one can get from payroll.  They are the Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive and Prescriptive. I loved her passion for the future of having payroll personnel trained in payroll Administration or payroll Management. Having more individuals qualified in payroll can only improve knowledge in an area that is the backbone of all businesses.


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QBO Connect Conference Sydney 2017


Attending the first Australian QBO Connect Conference in Sydney was definitely an exciting event.  

Rove Where are your Socks!!

 Rove McManus always the character was missing his socks! He found them later but I got this great shot of him without them……

 The technology available today that will be integrated in the future into QBO is quite simply amazing. In just a few minutes by voice recognition into your mobile app you will have added a new customer, created an invoice, organised the delivery schedule, checked how much Gross Profit you are making on the sale and be able to search other suppliers to see if you can make more profit, if you cannot fund the monies for the upfront payment you will be able to check for finance, speak to your trusted advisor and have this all organised in the matter of say 5-10 mins. This is absolutely revolutionary and I cannot wait for this technology.

Frazer Sisters from The Block

 I met the Frazer sisters from the Block and their message was that you will get knockbacks but your drive will keep you going. I totally agree with this point and that was that you need to be passionate about what you do and you need to question yourself about whether you will be happy in 5 years doing this. You need to have good staff.

 Melody Shiue from mPort said that the 3 Cs were important: Cost, Consumers, Communication.

Also if you have staff, you should take the ‘boss’ out of the title and be part of the team (That is what I definitely believe with my team). It is also important to keep up to date and read lots of info to stay ahead in your industry. Ultimately to drive your business you need Passion and Perseverance…………….

Mick Spencer from ONTHEGO Sports


 Mick Spencer from OntheGo Sports explained that there were lots of challenges in growing a business.  He explained about the 4Ps Purpose, People, Planet and Profit. Try and find suppliers and partners that are the right fit with you. His brand is focused on delivery in full, trust, dependability and to do what they say.

Rove interviewing Steve Baxter

 Steve Baxter from Shark Tank was interviewed by Rove McManus on stage and they were hilarious. Steve made a valuable suggestion that was to that never listen to an opinion unless it is from a customer.

 Michelle Bridges even managed to have everyone in the room doing squats.  I thought that was quite an achievement 🙂 Her philosophy of JUST DO IT is so true. As Michelle said sometimes we do need to just do it and then plan for it, you need to work out what is holding you back and then overcome it. This is not only in exercising this is across all facets of our lives.

Overall it was a great day. It totally reinforced my ideals and beliefs that I have for business and that the future is a very exciting place!!

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