In November 2014, online accounting company Xero relaunched its education and training platform for accounting professionals and small business, Xero University (Xero U).
Xero U differs from the earlier training site Xero TV by offering more modular courses divided into curricula, says Chris Ridd, Xero’s managing director for Australia.
“If you were a business owner, or an accountant, or bookkeeper or a CFO you would have different requirements of what you needed from our software. So we’ve tailored all of the education to meet that,” Ridd says.
“We’ve now got over 160,000 customers in Australia [and] we’re signing up over 300 customers every day. With that sort of growth, we have to be mindful of the fact that we need to put the knowledge and the education in the hands of those customers that are moving to the cloud that want to have a great experience,” Ridd says.
The software company will encourage accounting partners to direct their customers to Xero U as it adds information about how to run a small business on Xero.
“It might just be a really easy three-minute video that gives enough information to create an invoice or do their bank reconciliation. If you’re a bookkeeper and you want to go super deep into payroll, you may need to do a 30-minute deep module,” Ridd says.
The first release of content on Xero U has about 70 modular courses and the company intends to add “literally hundreds” more courses.
“If you have a look at what other software vendors are doing, I think education is often an after-thought,” Ridd says. “We want to lead with education; we want it to be as great an experience as using the product, and we know that if we do that right, and we make that investment, our customers are going to be much more successful in how they use the product,” he says.