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Idealog—in the ideas business

Xero’s latest acquisition a ‘compelling’ one for accountants

Xero has bought Wellington-based software developer Spotlight Workpapers Limited for $800,000 – made up of a combination of cash and shares with a component of the price payable in March next year – strengthening its offering for accountants and bookkeepers.

Rumours were rife last week about an impending acquisition by Xero, including the possible purchase of online POS software and fellow Kiwi startup Vend, which integrates with Xero's online accounting solution.

Spotlight Workpapers’ software has been developed to work specifically with Xero. It enables year-end compliance to be streamlined through avoiding paper processes and use of spreadsheets.

“The acquisition of Spotlight Workpapers continues our strategy of providing a compelling platform for accountants and bookkeepers,” said Xero chief executive Rod Drury. “We’ve been very impressed with the feedback the Workpapers team have received. We’ve had clear signals from our accounting partners that we should add Workpapers to our stable.”

The deal follows Xero's purchase earlier this year of Max Solutions, and subsequent entry into the NZX 50.

“These acquisitions further strengthen Xero’s hand in the accounting software market, particularly against incumbent suppliers.”

Globally, Xero has more than 4300 accounting partners.

Spotlight Workpapers is in beta use by more than 100 accounting and bookkeeping partners. Xero said it would continue to build out the functionality and scalability of the software and release it under the Xero brand in March 2013 for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Spotlight Workpapers owners Richard and Julie Francis will continue to be involved in product development and operation of the software.

“The experience and resources available at Xero will make Spotlight Workpapers even more compelling as a core modern practice application,” said executive director Richard Francis.

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That's how things work in global business - bigger fish always eats smaller one)) That's natural. Xero is a great company and its products are of high quality. Having smaller companies inside of them will only be good for all the parties.

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