Xero unveils AI assistant to revolutionise small business accounting

Xero previewed its new AI-powered smart assistant, Just Ask Xero (JAX), at its inaugural Investor Day. JAX aims to transform accounting and advisory services for small businesses through conversational interfaces and automation.

As outlined by Chief Product Officer Diya Jolly, Xero is integrating AI across its products to streamline accounting tasks, improve efficiency, and provide data-driven insights. This includes natural language conversational interfaces on apps and platforms like mobile, email, and WhatsApp.

JAX, currently in beta testing, will let users complete accounting jobs through voice commands on these interfaces. According to Xero, JAX can generate an invoice, edit a quote, or pay a bill just by asking it to. It can also anticipate related follow-up tasks, like sending payment reminders, and rapidly provide personalised insights such as cash flow projections to empower data-driven decisions.

Xero has already deployed AI tools to enhance customer onboarding and support. A virtual assistant provides relevant information to help new users, while a separate AI agent has cut average customer search times by 40% and reduced requests for additional support by 20%.

The company recently hired AI experts Eitan Sharon (Senior VP of Data & Science) and Akankshu Dhawan (Senior VP of Product) to further develop its AI products. It also already uses AI for features like bank reconciliation predictions, data capture, and cash flow forecasting.

“AI already powers many of Xero’s everyday features, saving our customers time and delivering them important insights,” said Jolly. “Our AI vision builds on our strong foundation to hold true to the responsible data use commitments that guide our decisions.”

Xero aims to open up JAX to customers later this year. Its conversational interface and automation could revolutionise accounting for the 30+ million subscribers across its global small business platform.

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