Xero to Debut Generative AI Ask Xero Tool for Small Businesses


The small business accounting platform Xero will release a generative AI tool in August called Ask Xero. The platform will complete simple tasks like generating an invoice or editing a quote, help small businesses answer questions about their finances, and generally make it easier for business owners to stay on top of their cash flow and make informed decisions.

Xero is calling Ask Xero a “smart business companion” that will help small businesses and their advisors run their business more efficiently. Ask Xero will work in Xero and other commonly used apps and devices that businesses use day-to-day, such as mobile, WhatsApp and email.

Xero says the proprietary technology ensures far greater accuracy than other AI models that only rely on large language models (LLMs). It uses a control system to ensure the data that’s fed to the LLMs is only related to the relevant task, such as quoting an invoice.

Additionally, the new proprietary technology provides data security in line with broader Xero platform measures. It ensures the LLMs only receive data that the user has permitted Xero to access, and keeps the data safely within the platform.

“It’s critical to ensure accuracy in accounting tasks, which means using GenAI presents a unique challenge,” said Xero Chief Product and Technology Officer Diya Jolly. “When they are ungrounded and don’t have access to the right information in context, they can make up data points. In accounting, we can’t make up information. That’s why implementing a technology like this is so groundbreaking for the accounting industry. It puts the right guardrails in place around the AI to ensure Xero customers using AI for accounting tasks can trust the precision and accuracy of Ask Xero.”

Xero has introduced other generative AI developments including:

  • Embedded new generative AI-powered help content summaries inside the Xero platform to surface accurate answers quickly.
  • Launched generated answers in Xero Central, the customer support and learning site, which reduced search times by approximately 40%.
  • Rolled out an AI-powered setup guide for those onboarding to Xero, providing all new users with relevant answers and information as they set up their Xero dashboard and get started in the product.

Xero has also published tailored AI guides for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers. The guides summarise relevant AI updates, practical ways to get started with AI, and showcase small businesses and advisors successfully implementing AI in their business.

“Small businesses and their advisors make hundreds of decisions to complete even the simplest tasks,” adds Jolly. “Generative AI can be a powerful companion to help them run their businesses more efficiently and automate back office tasks.”


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