Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology in Accountancy

blockchain and accounting

The American Institute of CPAs has already launched a cybersecurity attestation framework to address this issue. Stakeholder reporting requires increased scrutiny of the information produced and analyzed by management professionals, and blockchain is an important tool for accountants to become full-fledged data experts. It is no small secret that accounting is the midst of a radical transformation and evolution. Forces include, but certainly are not limited to, globalization, digitization, and a growing amount of technological integration into business operations continue to have ramifications for the industry and accountants. Additionally, regulatory and reporting updates related to accounting for pensions, revenue recognition, accounting for leases, and convergence of national GAAP and IFRS, especially in the US, continue to create opportunities for disruption and change in accounting.

  • The triple entry system helps you to analyze all the financial reports and government transactions of the company.
  • There are signs that the accounting profession is entering a new age of enlightenment with blockchain.
  • It is unlikely that small firms would want to make their transactions publicly available or that they would benefit from blockchain accounting as much as big companies.
  • Establishing a stronger foundation for this non-financial information in turn allows for a more rigorous analysis, conversation, and reporting process to take shape.

To make sure a GL is accurate, you’d use a double-entry accounting system. The move to a financial system with a significant blockchain element offers many opportunities for the accountancy profession. Accountants are seen as experts in record keeping, application of complex rules, business logic and standards setting. They have the opportunity to guide and influence how blockchain is embedded and used in the future, and to develop blockchain-led solutions and services. Performing confirmations of a company’s financial status would be less necessary if some or all of the transactions that underlie that status are visible on blockchains.

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Rather, it involves all the computers in the network, so blockchain does not suffer from point of failure events. Nor can individuals collude to override controls or illicitly change or delete official accounting records (Wang and Kogan, 2018). Companies that incorporate blockchain into their accounting systems therefore may reduce their risk of fraud (Dai et al., 2017). Using blockchain might also mean more transactions what is the matching principle can be automated, less data are lost, transactions can be tracked better and users’ needs throughout the process can be detected more easily (Fullana and Ruiz, 2021; Bonsón and Bednárová, 2019). However, the primary and most valuable difference between traditional databases and blockchain is its novel solution to control whereby transactions cannot be deleted or changed (Coyne and McMickle, 2017; Dai et al., 2017).

blockchain and accounting

The ability for a double-entry accounting system to make such adjustments is crucial to its utility in the modern world. Blockchain negates this ability, making substantiation less beneficial than promoters claim. Additionally, just because a transaction cannot be modified, that provides no assurance that it was entered properly in the first place. Auditing With Blockchain
Auditors view financial statements of both public and private organizations and audit them to provide the users assurance that those statements fairly present the financial position and results of operations of the company. The net effect of this rapidly increased usage of blockchain in financial transactions has created a huge demand for interpreting and understanding tax effects of blockchain-related transactions. Because blockchains are resistant to modification and can efficiently and permanently record information between two parties, it is an excellent system for audits, which are basically dominated by large accounting firms.

How Blockchain in Accounting Can Help Business Owners

The implementation of the technology involves addressing significant challenges, but also has numerous potential advantages. To have the suite of skills needed in 2021 and beyond, having an understanding of how blockchain technology affects audits is important. Furthermore, accountants with blockchain experience can serve as consultants by helping their clients navigate both implementation and regulatory issues related to blockchain technology. Contrary to what may be supposed of tech erasing opportunities, the automation of auditing allows for bookkeepers and accounting professionals to increase their advisory services to interpret results and train clients.

blockchain and accounting

Some in our audience may think that blockchain has been in a bit of a lull. I mean, there was a ton of hype about how it was going to change everything and, you know, change wasn’t instantaneous. The blockchain has gone from the peak of inflated expectations down to the trough of disillusionment.

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Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance issues are increasingly important for both financial and non-financial stakeholders. One consistent problem, however, that consistently presents an obstacle toward a more substantive framework in this area is a lack of high-quality information. Blockchain, via its nature of securing and time stamping information as it is produced and verified by a decentralized network, can help track data and goods as they move (physically or digitally) through supply chains and organizations. Establishing a stronger foundation for this non-financial information in turn allows for a more rigorous analysis, conversation, and reporting process to take shape.

  • The public set represents virtually irrefutable evidence of the underlying transactions.
  • Their idea comes from Grigg (2005), who proposed a third entry recorded by a trusted third party that stores a receipt to which both parties involved in a transaction agree and digitally sign.
  • Such functions ensure that records are not tempered, guaranteeing the integrity of the whole system.
  • Unfortunately, many of the proposals for the use of blockchain are aimed at automating existing processes, typically in an approach to leverage the immutability and digitisation of paper, but generally do not propose or use changes in the processes.
  • Rather, we see it evolving into a new role within companies and the ecosystem of blockchain accounting.

The green line represents all 127 research products that belong to the “Accounting and Auditing” topic. The yellow line depicts articles published in journals ranked as “ACCOUNT” by the ABS AJG2021 journal ranking. Figure 1 shows a considerable increase in interest since 2016, in which year accountants and practitioners began to seriously consider blockchain as an accounting tool (Kokina et al., 2017). This study adopted a systematic approach to conduct a literature review to minimize bias and lend scientific value to its results. Finally, we present our analysis steps using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), which assists authors in improving the reporting of systematic reviews. PRISMA is a protocol for reporting on systematic reviews consisting of a checklist and a flow diagram, which was developed in the life science field to increase the transparency and accuracy of literature reviews (Page et al., 2021).

How Will the Blockchain Transform Accounting Information Systems?

To enforce tax compliance in relation to exchanges of cryptocurrencies, authorities could regulate these exchanges in the same way as they do the banking system and give to the central banks law enforcement power (Volosovych and Baraniuk, 2018). Finally, because cryptos fulfill the asset definition but are not tangible or a type of asset included within the scope of principles other than IAS38, they can be considered intangible assets. Thus, cryptos fall under the accounting rules for “Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives” (IAS 38.107), so they cannot be amortized but only impaired. Furthermore, if an active market exists, then intangible assets can be valued at fair value (IAS 38.75) (Procházka, 2018; Morozova et al., 2020; Beigman et al., 2021).

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Many second-generation blockchains like Ethereum have provisions for adding computer code into the network protocol that allows the network to execute tasks when specific conditions are met automatically. This feature has been the backbone for smart contracts, but its applications in accounting are not to be ignored. Because blockchains are distributed systems, a blockchain accounting system ensures that accounting processes within a company can continue to operate with a few computers down. Even though blockchain technology is more secure than a traditional database, it is still susceptible to a security breach.

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In the agricultural supply chain, blockchain could increase traceability, auditability, immutability and provenance (Kamble et al., 2020). Parmentola et al. (2022) conclude that blockchain could create a more sustainable supply chain in line with the sustainable development goals. Tiberius and Hirth (2019) confirm that auditors’ expectations align with those of academics, who believe that the role of auditors will not be filled by blockchain technology. Ferri et al. (2020) found that performance expectancy and social influence generally lead to blockchain adoption intentions. Kend and Nguyen (2020) found that auditors are skeptical of the usefulness of blockchain for auditing. Dyball and Seethamraju (2021) highlight that auditors consider clients that use blockchain applications as riskier because there is no accounting consensus about how to address their needs.

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