Trent Innes

About Trent Innes

Trent Innes has more than 17 years of experience growing and managing major businesses in the accounting and IT industries. Trent joined Xero Australia in 2013 as National Sales Director, managing the company’s growing network of 10,000 accounting partners and more than 260,000 paying customers. He was appointed Xero Australia Managing Director in January 2016 to manage the company’s next phase of growth in a highly competitive accounting software market. Prior to Xero, Trent worked at Microsoft for six years as National Sales Manager of the Microsoft Business Group in Australia, managing company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) businesses. He started his career as a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). Trent’s experience includes business leadership, sales management, channel development, strategic planning and scaling software-as-a-service businesses.

Meet a CEO: Trent Innes from XERO

TBS spoke to the new Managing Director from Xero, Trent Innes, to find about his path leading to Xero and how he manages his day effectively. 

TBS: Can you tell our TBS audience a little bit about your background and how you came to this new role at Xero?

Trent Innes: My background was very much in the IT industry, but I started my career as an accountant almost 20 years ago. Although I actually love accounting and I love numbers, I realised pretty early on that I had a big passion for technology, which started with me implementing a technology-based accounting solution for a client for a company that I worked for, which led me down the path of the Technology industry; but it’s always been the technology industry in relation to the accounting industry.

So, it’s a real passion of mine to be able to combine accounting and technology together.


TBS: What is the one thing you wish people understood about Xero when they connect with you for the first time?

Trent: I think the key thing they need to understand is that it unlocks them to the world. The thing about cloud computing is it actually magnifies your small business to the rest of the world, the world now is very flat place, and I think they initially saw it as an accounting function between debits and credits, but the reality is that it is a small business platform that gives you an enterprise grade capability to connect you with world markets.


TBS: What’s the toughest obstacle for Xero and for you since you’ve been in this role?

Trent: I think the biggest obstacle was the really successful transition from the current Managing Direction, in Chris Ridd, he has a fantastic legacy, he and I worked closely together over the last three years at Xero. The main challenge we faced was to ensure a really slick transition that looks after our customers, our partners and most importantly our staff.


TBS: How do you manage your own personal schedule? Do you any daily rituals you can share with us?

Trent: The most notable daily ritual is that I run every morning. After the alarm blares at 5:40, and I get up and I run between 6-7 Km. That time allows me to really clear my head, and I think about what I need to do for that day, and then I come back and I am on!


TBS: What would be your main piece of advice be for aspiring CEO and Entrepreneurs in Australia

Trent: I think my biggest piece of advice would be to take the opportunities when they present themselves, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

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