Inspiration

Bookkeeping and accountancy can be confusing - so instead of pages of numbers, why not chat to your accounts?

Allow business owners to ask a question of their books, rather than having to navigate around to find the answers.

"What is my account balance?" "Which clients owe me money?"

What it does

HelloXero provides a business owner with a natural language interface that allows them to interact directly with their business on Xero. It will allow business owners to ask a quick question, or give a quick order, and the system interprets what's been said, turns that into calls the API understands, and then replies.

How we built it

HelloXero leverages a series of APIs to receive, understand, action and reply to business owner queries. Messages sent to HelloXero on Facebook are passed to our NodeJS service by the Facebook Messenger API, interpreted by Dialogflow where they are further enriched by our service, then responded to using the Facebook Messenger API having been fulfilled by the Xero API.

Challenges we ran into

Providing a user with enough information to use a chat interface can be challenging. HelloXero aims to provide users with hints and tips through use of the interface, as well as cover-all documentation to ensure users are aware of things they can ask and how.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Logging into Xero in order to access information can be an arduous process, especially on a mobile device. The time saved by being able to communicate with Xero using an app they already likely use every day, with an interface they're used to, using language they use every day.

What's next for HelloXero

We've just scratched the surface here. Once we've got the technical implementation set up for our Facebook Messenger demo, rolling it out as an app for Google Assistant, an Alexa Skill, or offering it as a plugin or integration to chat/email/ticket software accountants and bookkeepers already use to communicate with their clients. It would allow business owners to ask questions of the app itself through chat, or ask their accountant/bookkeeper, and HelloXero could offer a reply, with figures, in order to send back to their client.

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