Blockchain Technology: Shaping the Future of the Accountancy Profession

blockchain accounting

There is a particular challenge of continuity of action for professionals at the audit level. The decentralized system also allows the creation of management alerts that can intercept possible liquidity crises much more quickly using AI applications (Gomaa et al., 2019; Kokina and Davenport, 2017). New technologies and digital innovations are gradually reshaping the contours of accounting, auditing and reporting (Bonsón and Bednárová, 2019; Dai and Vasarhelyi, 2017; Lombardi what is the difference between roe and roi and Secundo, 2020; Mancini et al., 2021; Marrone and Hazelton, 2019). Among the emerging technologies able to revolutionize business models and consequently change the processes underlying management control, accounting, auditing and reporting is blockchain (Schmitz and Leoni, 2019). A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger shared by several peers in a network that facilitates transaction recording and property tracking for tangible and intangible assets.

blockchain accounting

Data availability

Accountants are already participating in the research, but there is more for the profession to do. Crafting regulation and standards to cover blockchain will be no small challenge, and leading accountancy firms and bodies can bring their expertise to that work. 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. Valerio Brescia is a researcher at the Department of Management at the University of Turin.

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To create the Merkle root, hashes of two records are hashed together to produce a hash of the combination, and then the process is repeated moving up the tree until all the records in the block are represented in one hash. Figure 5 illustrates this process for four transactional records (Trans1, Trans2, Trans3 and Trans4). (2018), “Auditing with smart contracts”, International Journal of Digital Accounting Research, Vol. Anyone could aggregate the firm’s transactions into the form of an income statement and balance sheet at any time, and they would no longer need to rely on quarterly financial statements prepared by the firm. Massaro et al. (2016, p. 2) characterise an SLR as “a method for studying a corpus of scholarly literature, to develop insights, critical reflections, future research paths and research questions”. The possibilities that blockchain brings to information disclosure, fraud detection and overcoming the threat of shadow dealings in developing countries all contribute to the importance of further investigation into blockchain in accounting.

Education and skill development

In the case of auditors, blockchain makes it possible to validate and request clarifications immediately by resolving errors or identifying potential attempts at corruption and fraud (Birch and Parulava, 2017; Horner and Ryan, 2019). Starting from Massaro et al. (2020)’s analysis exploring the crypto economy, we wanted to examine whether the authors’ discussion focuses on the analysis of new business models based on blockchain. Others, such as Demirkan et al. (2020), initiate an in-depth reflection on the role of business model change, especially for accountants and auditors.

  1. Many current-day accounting department processes can be optimised through blockchain and other modern technologies, such as data analytics or machine learning; this will increase the efficiency and value of the accounting function.
  2. Without an accompanying “mental revolution”, new technologies may result in incremental as opposed to step change.
  3. This process is likely to take many years – it has already been nine years since bitcoin began operating and there is much work still to be done.
  4. The money is then transferred from company X to company Y, and the transaction is complete.
  5. To gain real efficiencies in the use of blockchain or any technology, there is a need to reengineer, rather than just automate, existing processes.

Offering remote options has been increasingly popular across the business world, in a shift spurred by Covid pandemic changes. Studies do indicate that remote work makes employees happier and less stressed. Plus, it opens up your hiring options, because it helps your company hire better people from all over the country. The rise of automations and AI wizardry will have an impact on the skills that accountants need. Now that streamlining tools can handle the boring parts, employees will find the soft skills more important than ever. Developing a high “EQ,” or emotional quotient, refers to a talent for addressing your own (and others) emotions in ways that relieve stress, communicate better, demonstrate real empathy, and ultimately defuse conflict.

Therefore, the time spent on recordkeeping can be utilized for other productive works. You only need to deploy the smart contract based on the accounting format that your company operates. As a result, the blockchain stores all the transactional data that satisfies the conditions.

blockchain accounting

As such, a literature review on the status of blockchain in accounting is both topical and timely. The insights provided into this emerging technology will have implications for the accounting ecosystem–some beneficial, others challenging. Hopefully, this SLR will serve as a helpful baseline for practitioners, professionals and academics as we navigate the next potential revolution in accounting information systems. When implemented correctly, the blockchain provides a high degree of trust, which some accountants worry will reduce demand for traditional accounting work. However, with the blockchain comes a number of additional demands, especially as it becomes more and more embedded within mainstream finance. Along with data analytics and machine learning, the blockchain will make some more tedious tasks easy to automate, but accountants will be needed to ensure accuracy and provide the analysis of the information their employers or clients need.

They may also help journal editors decide on calls for special issues as interest in this topic grows. At the same time, these innovations can create a favourable organisational climate that can overcome barriers and resistance to change (Clohessy and Acton, 2019). Future research might therefore investigate the structure of management bodies and the role of top management in blockchain implementation. We agree that blockchain will impact how accounting information is recorded, but we do not expect that accounting functions will disappear.

Similarly, you can use it to validate and verify information that you receive from suppliers and other businesses to make sure that everything lines up. You’ll boost efficiency while freeing up your staff to enjoy more interesting tasks. By taking care of the most menial jobs, automation gives you the time and headspace to focus on more pressing things, such as giving your company or third-party clients great service. With software robots picking up the slack, errors will be reduced, as staff will have more mental space to concentrate on tasks. Still, one study found that as many as 76% of workers say they would actively start looking for a new position if their employer decided to roll back their existing flexible work options. That’s a high level of push-back, and it aligns with similar findings indicating that businesses without any remote work options available are having a harder time hiring.

Blockchain has revolutionised Supply Chain Management by providing unprecedented transparency. Participants can track a product’s journey from raw materials to consumers, ensuring authenticity and identifying areas for improvement. It boosts product quality, combats counterfeiting, and enhances consumer trust.

However, especially in light of other SLRs on similar topics, we see an opportunity to perform future in-depth analyses to test new methods, including empirical and quantitative methods. Second, other machine learning techniques could be applied while working with the corpus of literature. Although our LDA approach is much more advanced than mere word count or word cloud methods, it still models documents using a bag-of-words representation. Third, we included articles uploaded to the SSRN database as well as published articles in ranked journals.

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