Blockchain Technology: Shaping the Future of the Accountancy Profession

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At each inflection point, it has re-established its vital role in building trust and confidence in the capital markets and in the investing public. Today, we are racing toward yet another inflection point that holds tremendous promise and potential for the future of audit. Digital technology has long influenced accounting, but most digital technology has involved replacing analog tools with similar digital counterparts. However, blockchain, a relatively new technology, is poised to change how accounting is done on a more fundamental level. Here are some facts about the blockchain ecosystem and how it will influence accounting in 2021 and beyond. By recording each step of a product’s journey on a shared ledger, they minimized the time required to track the source of contaminated food, improving consumer safety.

  • Combined with manual analysis, these data will help to chart new paths forward for researchers.
  • If this subject interests you, understanding closing your books will help you more easily see the promising value of blockchain.
  • According to Karajovic et al. (2019), blockchain for accounting information systems will reach a critical adoption mass within the next three years and will become mainstream in 2025.
  • As blockchains allow recording and settlement of transactions to occur at the same time as the transaction itself, auditors can obtain data in real-time and in a consistent, recurring format.

Blockchain application in this context creates a mechanical method of data transmission and, subsequently, approval by all users in case of information modification. This subsection analyses the research method used by authors in the selected pools of papers. As DiCicco-Bloom and Crabtree (2006), Miller and Crabtree (1994), Polkinghorne (1995) and Qu and Dumay (2011) indicate, this trend is confirmed by increasing pressure on the quality sphere implying further ramifications.

How Will Blockchain Technology Affect the Accounting Industry?

Accounting has traditionally been a profession that, while highly regarded and respected as quantitative experts, has been focused on historical performance and only been applicable for a small subset of external users. Blockchain technology and AI are disrupting, changing, and transforming accounting, and are viewed by some practitioners as a threat to the status quo, future employment, and the future of accounting. Taking a step back, analyzing and acknowledging that these trends present both opportunities and challenges, enables professional to adapt, evolve, and elevate accounting to the role of strategic business partner. Blockchain accounting is a new approach that some accountants fear could make the profession of accountancy obsolete. It is a transparent technology that offers a global digital ledger of financial transactions.

Gabriella also serves as board director at the Global Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Association, a global voluntary self-regulatory association for the industry where she supports awareness building and education. Gabriella Kusz was a principal, Strategic Initiatives, at IFAC where she supported accountancy’s leadership and innovation in the digital era. The Court of Justice of the European Union (2015) decided that exchanges of cryptocurrencies are VAT exempt under the provision that exempts means of payment. The IRS (2014) of the USA declared that virtual currencies must be treated as property.

The implementation of the technology involves addressing significant challenges, but also has numerous potential advantages. At Deloitte, our people work globally with clients, regulators, and policymakers to understand how blockchain and digital assets are changing the face of business and government today. New ecosystems are developing blockchain-based infrastructure and solutions to create innovative business models and disrupt traditional ones. This is occurring in virtually every industry and in most jurisdictions globally. Our deep business acumen and global industry-leading Audit & Assurance, Consulting, Tax, and Risk and Financial Advisory services help organizations across industries achieve their various blockchain aspirations. With more companies exploring blockchain business opportunities—including the blockchain audit trail—many accounting firms have undertaken blockchain initiatives to further understand the implications of this important and versatile technology.

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.

What is blockchain?

It is also very likely that, in the next few years, more audits will be augmented by cognitive technologies, which confer many of the same benefits and may portend even greater potential than other technologies for the audit. It’s clear that technology is changing the way organizations do business across all functions and industries. But there are particular pairings of tool and team that carry game-changing potential. 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. Blockchain in accounting offers tangible benefits for business owners, revolutionizing financial operations.

Resources for Your Growing Business

For now, we observe that, with the blockchain landscape changing daily, and ideas and research needing to reach the target audience faster than the traditional journal route allows, researchers are turning to SSRN to share their tentative findings (Holub and Johnson, 2017). We also observe that Australian scholarship is now leading the blockchain research in accounting, as more papers were published in journals included in the ABDC ranking compared to the ABS ranking. Moreover, Australian journals such as the Australian Accounting Review and Meditari Accounting Research are among the top tiers of those who welcome such research.

Future of blockchain technology in accounting

Besides, our analysis focuses on blockchain business processes in the field under study and not just applications (Casino et al., 2019). Still, we analyze the characteristics of blockchain while providing indications of the definitions and technical structures most used in the literature. Furthermore, our analysis looks beyond blockchain and cash flow problems attempts to define, whenever possible, a connection with other technologies paving the way to new future research. Finally, we aim to explain what definitions of accounting theory are most used. Our aim with this paper was to define the key topics and trends, past, present and future, that concern researchers in blockchain for accounting.

Bitcoin up more than 5% near one-week high

She is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Enterprise at the Lincoln International Business School and an honorary research fellow at the Sapienza University of Rome. She is an international assessor for the MIKE – Most Innovative Knowledge Enterprise Award for Italy and Iran. She was a visiting fellow and a guest lecturer at several Universities in Japan, Russia, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong and Iran. She has authored several papers in the field of strategy, intangibles and sustainability. (2019), “The forthcoming data ecosystem for business measurement and assurance”, Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, American Accounting Association, Vol. Finally, verifiability is reconciled with the theoretical component of auditing, which requires audit committees to check corporate effectiveness measures frequently (Bédard and Gendron, 2010).

The Future

Please see /about for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms. • Automating transactions with less error in data on both sides of the transaction. With the introduction of digital payments came digital receipts, which are easier to tamper.

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. Therefore, the essential benefits perceived by practitioners are unclear but seem to include reductions in time-consuming activities and the need for additional opinions. Third, our study contributes to the accounting literature with a discussion of the potential future research trends related to blockchain for accounting. We believe that this study will be a helpful resource for present and future scholars interested in addressing the most meaningful connections between accounting and disruptive applications based on blockchain. First, this SLR provides a clear picture of the state of accounting research on blockchain.

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