Xero, the global small business platform, today announced that it has expanded its collaboration with UOB, offering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that qualify for the UOB Start Digital pack six months’ free access to its cloud accounting platform. The initiative reinforces UOB and Xero’s commitment to help SMEs become more competitive and resilient through digitalisation.
As SMEs cope with the disruptions and uncertainty arising from the pandemic, many are looking for ways to improve their accounting processes for real-time visibility into their finances. According to the UOB SME Outlook 2021 Study, accounting is the top process that SMEs are looking to digitise, with one in three respondents stating their intention to do so. This comes as a Xero study found that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of SMEs in Singapore indicated cash flow and cost management as their most significant business challenges.
Xero’s cloud accounting solution is offered as part of UOB BizSmart, the Bank’s suite of digital solutions to help businesses improve their efficiency and lower their operating costs. The accounting solution is integrated with UOB’s business banking account, enabling SMEs to import bank transaction data seamlessly. This makes it easy for businesses to reconcile their transactions and to have an up-to-date view of their financials.
Mr. Kevin Fitzgerald, Managing Director for Asia, Xero, said, “The COVID pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for SMEs as they continue to navigate ongoing business disruptions and economic uncertainty.”
“Digital transformation has played a crucial role in the success and survival of many SMEs, and will continue to do so. We are inspired by the tens of thousands of Xero customers and businesses across Asia, who have thrived by implementing digital tools and solutions to develop greater resilience, efficiency, agility and productivity. Xero is proud to partner with UOB to support SMEs embarking on their digital journey as they recover and become stronger, more competitive and resilient for the future,” Fitzgerald adds.
Mr. Lawrence Loh, Head of Group Business Banking at UOB, said, “The pandemic has driven home the benefits that technology offers a business. Not only does it enable business continuity and survival, but given the challenges many businesses face, technology also has the potential to create revenue opportunities. In fact, the UOB SME Outlook 2021 Study found that SMEs who had adopted digital initiatives last year experienced stronger revenue growth than non-adopters.”
“Accounting is a vital process for business viability. With accurate, real-time data on the company’s financial position, SMEs are able to make more informed decisions which in turn leads to better business outcomes. Through Xero’s accounting solution, our customers will be able to reconcile their bank statement with transactions such as their daily sales in one simple click, giving them up-to-date information on their cash flow.
“The addition of Xero to the UOB BizSmart ecosystem demonstrates our continued focus in expanding our suite of digital solutions, thereby deepening the support we can offer SMEs seeking to overcome business challenges or seize growth opportunities. With SMEs making up 99 percent of Singapore’s enterprises and employing 70 percent of the workforce, it is imperative that we help them make it through these challenging times. UOB has, to date, helped more than 10,000 SMEs digitalise various functions of their businesses,” Mr Loh said.
The Xero platform seamlessly integrates with an ecosystem of more than 1,000 connected apps that support business activities such as cash flow forecasting and management, payroll, inventory management, point-of-sale and more.This offers businesses a range of customised solutions to help them manage their finances, operations and administration seamlessly with improved accuracy and efficiency.