The dark side of the industrialisation of accountancy: innovation, commoditization, colonization and competitiveness

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Technological innovation continues to play a fundamental role in disrupting many industries, but the impacts of digital innovation on accountancy and its effect on firms and individuals remain somewhat overlooked. Nevertheless, technological innovation is transforming accountancy work and business models as firms react to competition and regulatory restrictions. The analysis of sixty semi-structured interviews with UK accounting firms reveals how the adoption of new technology and alterations in regulations impacts on accounting practices. In turn, this research raises questions about the nature of professional occupations, the deskilling of accountancy and colonization of new service areas, challenging the extant conceptualisation of knowledge-intensive services.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Early online date12 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2020


  • accounting, audit, regulation, technology, colonization, professional services, deskilling