Originally posted on Xero.com/blog
Xero’s app marketplace has over 700 apps which help small businesses and their advisors reach their goals. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive – find out more about Xero’s app partner program here.
Introducing G-Accon, our June app partner of the month
G-Accon brings a simple solution to the messy problem of having to connect different sources of financial information faced by many businesses. As an integration tool between Google Sheets and Xero synching both ways, G-Accon has helped over 4000 customers since launching on Xero’s app marketplace in early 2018.
By connecting to Xero Accounting, Payroll, Projects and Assets, users can extract live data and reports from their Google Sheets while automation takes care of auto-refresh, emails, backups and alerts as often as the user wants.
G-Accon’s founder Andrey Kustarnikov says making life easier for users through automation was always the goal, and very important to the business.
“G-Accon is mostly about automation. Many operations these days can be done with a little bit of direction from human supervision. Accounting is one of those fields where you can automate many things.”
Ain’t nothin’ but a G thang
Andrey says the rising popularity of G-Accon is because the small, agile team are all specialists in bespoke cloud solutions.
“Being specialised in AWS, Azure and Google meant we knew we could somehow link Google and AWS to build prebuilt applications. We chose Google because it’s a huge market, and the G Suite marketplace provides a great opportunity for customers to discover us.”
With Google Sheets being free and highly adopted by small businesses and their advisors, Andrey knew marketing and advertising wasn’t required as much as other platforms. This saved resource during the crucial launch phase so the team could focus on product development.
“It’s attractive to sell on G Suite because there’s an entire marketplace where people go and check what’s there. It’s a great opportunity.”
Finding customers fast through Xero
Since G-Accon launched in February 2018, Andrey notes tech-savvy advisors are a growing persona embracing the integration.
“We find a lot of bookkeepers, accountants and advisors with a good understanding of software who are creating automated solutions for their clients are our main users.”
Getting these users on side was a key part of G-Accon’s launch strategy with Xero.
“We started to look and around and tried to find companies who were targeting small businesses. Xero was a really attractive market from that point of view, and the power of Xero’s ecosystem was very attractive. The platform makes it much easier to advertise your product.”
Since joining Xero’s app marketplace Andrey has seen how advisors experienced in Xero speed through traditional marketing funnels much faster than leads from other sources.
“It’s been a great channel for us. We’ve noticed people coming from Xero are usually more precise, more professional, and they know Xero very well. That’s great for us because if we don’t understand what they want, they can explain it to us.”
The difference in traffic source alone has a huge impact on conversion for G-Accon.
“Customers coming from G Suite may not know as much about their accounting solution, meaning it can be more difficult to understand their needs. Xero has helped us a lot in this way, as customers really know what they want early on.”
Timing (and quality) is everything
G-Accon’s rapid growth comes down to two things – a great product and great timing. Offering a solution to a heavily adopted product like Google Sheets opens up doors to a massive market, but any product needs to be good for mass adoption.
Having spent 20 years as a developer working for financial institutes, Andrey spotted a gap in the market and wanted to jump fast.
“When we started, we were the first G Suite application for Xero. We saw it wasn’t there, and we knew it would be a good idea.”
Andrey considers competitors to G-Accon vary from the traditional to very indirect. While there are obvious ones like Excel, many of those users sit behind firewalls. In an open marketplace economy where those firewalls don’t exist, Andrey finds any and all cloud solutions are competitors.
“At first there was a lot of competition, and it wasn’t easy to stand out. But when we developed new features, we found a few customers. To stay ahead of the game we listened to them and their advice. We developed what people were asking for. Being customer oriented is very important to us.”
Growing with Xero and ramping up the roadmap
Having won Xero’s Emerging App Partner of the Year at the Xero America Awards in 2018, Andrey’s eyes are focussed on the future as he considers exciting ways to grow the product.
“There are a lot of product updates and releases coming soon. Consolidation reports, more robust workflows, and running different tasks with data… we’ve got a lot of ideas to make G-Accon more user friendly and ramp up the platform element.”
G-Accon is available all around the world on Xero’s app marketplace.