Latest trends to be aware of in the accounting industry As we head quickly towards the end of the financial year, it is always interesting to gaze back at the past year to review the trends and changes in the industry.2016/2017 saw a wide range of new changes for the accounting industry as a whole, in particular, a massive increase in cloud-based accounting software users with QuickBooks Online seeing an increase of 41% for subscribers and Xero experiencing growth of 51% online. Other accounting trends which are evolving that your business should be aware of are outlined below:Cloud computing for client’s booksKeeping your client’s information in the cloud allows you to easily share data and keep up to date with all the latest information. Moving from paper-based reporting allows for a more fluid conversation with your clients and ensures you are allowing for increased productivity and convenience for accounting files. SMEs are using cloud-based accounting programsThese days most SME’s are using programs such as QuickBooks or Xero for their day to day accounting and bookkeeping due to the convenience, affordability and user-friendly options for managing a business. It’s important that accountants are experts in these programs and can integrate with cloud-based accounting programs. Be up to speed with accounting appsAdvances in digital technology means it's very common for businesses and individuals to use apps to fast track processes and provide a higher level of productivity. Being up to speed with apps that can help your clients to run their business is essential. Introduce your clients to apps such as Chaser for following up late payments, Deputy for tracking staff timesheets and Receipt Bank.DIY accounting is popular so be more valuableThe age of doing your own accounting or bookkeeping is here as cloud-based accounting programs work to empower small business owners and reduce the amount of time and money spent on accounting professionals. While you might be worried automation and apps might be pushing you out of a job, the reality is accounting will always be needed, however, you may need to focus on automating low-level tasks and focusing on services clients can’t live without. While clients may be moving to cloud computing and apps for their accounting needs, there is still a demand for accounting services provided by a human. Being aware of the shift to accounting automation is important and shifting to meet the needs and demands of SME’s is essential in today’s new accounting world. Read more about future trends for the industry here.