Inside the World of Accounts Payable and SMEs



Xero is a global, cloud-based accounting software with 3.95 million subscribers and growing. In the world of small business, the ability to make payments is an essential part of day-to-day operations and keeping suppliers on side. Xero wanted to better understand the accounts payable customer journey to make decisions based on evidence and data, rather than assumptions.


Xero wanted to better understand:

  • The accounts payable customer journey including triggers, drivers, barriers and key moments of truth.
  • The key problems in relation to the accounts payable process that SMBs and their accountants / bookkeepers face each day, to improve the Xero customer experience as well as grow its target audience.


Insights Exchange curated a global team of specialists in seven markets: Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. We managed a multi-method deep dive using global online research communities, in-depth interviews, customer and prospect surveys, and customer journey maps.


Key findings included:

  • An analysis of differentiating needs, behaviors, problems, barriers and defining characteristics of key customer groups.
  • A single view of the user journey for SMBs, bookkeepers and accountants, highlighting key touchpoints and moments of truth.
  • Reactions to existing products including appeal, perceived benefits, barriers to usage and suggestions in relation to future products and useful features.


Insights Exchange delivered Xero a comprehensive suite of tools to suit their appetite for data, including a detailed report, charts and analysis, discussion transcripts, screen recordings, journey maps, and short video for each market showing current behavior, attitudes to payments, and the Xero user experience.

Armed with fresh insights, we gave Xero a clear direction on how to position their billing product features, fix pain points, where to target communication, and which product features to roll out next.


About Xero
Founded in 2006, Xero now has 3.95 million subscribers and is a leader in cloud accounting across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Xero’s online accounting software connects small business owners with their numbers, their bank, and advisors anytime.


"Insights Exchange gave us access to global research specialists that we would otherwise not have discovered. They made it easy by managing the process under one contract and taking care of all the payment and procurement hassles. We look forward to working with them again"

Dale McCarter – Global Insights Manager