Innovation and technology are powerful forces in commoditization. Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term “creative destruction,” a process that involves several stages, beginning with emergence and moving on to growth, status, and a depleted industry.It doesn’t take long to think of several industries that have moved through these stages. Some have transformed themselves to stay relevant, while others have expired. The lifecycle is much shorter now, and commoditization is occurring at an increasing rate. The accounting profession is not exempt.

Characteristics of a depleted industry include commoditization, increased regulation, consolidations, an internal focus, a lack of new value, and outsiders entering the business.

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