Case Study: Xero and BDO partnership

How BDO partnered with Xero to transform the advisor-client relationship

Xero is proud to have worked alongside BDO on a digital transformation of accounting software across its firms, especially within the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Katherine O’Carroll, Mark Sykes and Tanya Titman at BDO report

We set out to make life easier for BDO advisors and their small business clients through beautiful, easy to use accounting software and the support of a great team. BDO has leveraged Xero’s ecosystem of apps that help with anything from industry-specific needs, through to enhanced reporting and business planning. We were pleased to welcome BDO as the first Xero Global Partner in March 2021.

Katherine O'Carroll, 
Head of Cloud Accounting Advisory, BDO

Mark Sykes,
Head of Entrepreneurial Business, BDO

Tanya Titman,
Chief Digital and Innovation Partner, BDO

The challenge

The key challenges BDO faced were out-of-date financial data for clients, and not having the flexibility to collect and view data and deliver timely insights to clients. BDO was seeking more efficiency, flexibility and consistency across firms, as well as the ability to move beyond compliance work towards being advisors of the future.

Before moving to Xero, BDO firms and their staff were constrained. Slow and siloed systems created delays for advisors to find information to send to clients. It was difficult to get data in and out of systems and coupled with a lack of automation, this meant hours were being spent on information retrieval and data entry.

BDO quickly realised the flexibility that a cloud platform offers, which would enable them to achieve a consistent approach across firms.

The solution

Xero and BDO worked closely together in stages to ensure a smooth transition to the platform. The first step was for BDO to map out its current state, looking at processes and parts of the organisation where there was a duplication of assets. This painted a clear picture of inefficiencies and differences between firms and within teams. Together, BDO and Xero put together an action plan to close the gaps and create consistency and alignment.

In order to unify the change, it was critical for BDO to bring everyone on the journey. From building awareness of the changes amongst employees, to showcasing the possibilities of Xero, and engaging staff and clients so they could be part of the solution. Once the set up was complete, the next step was for Xero to provide training and education for BDO employees and align it to their ways of working.

The benefits

Moving to Xero enabled BDO firms to reap the benefits from a single or shared ledger and real-time data and insights, creating synergy between advisors and clients. BDO has leveraged Xero’s open platform to connect specific third-party tools from the Xero App Store that provide even more efficiency, flexibility and access to deeper insights. The unified and consistent way of working that comes with implementing Xero across the board delivers incredible efficiency gains for BDO. It means advisors are able to share resources across national firms, which brings new opportunities for improvement and growth to practices.

To learn more about how Xero can help your firm locally or if you would like to know more about our global offerings, please, contact the Xero enterprise team, visit