Blockchain and future of auditing

Stay up-to-date with the latest business and accountancy news: Sign up for daily news alerts. Details on the potential of blockchain, its implications for auditors, how the accountancy profession can lead and what skills are necessary for the future. Blockchain and the future of accountancy Tech Faculty's report on Blockchain describes the technology and its likely impact on business, in particular on the accounting profession. Blockchain has the potential to enhance the accounting profession by reducing the costs of maintaining and reconciling ledgers, and providing absolute certainty over the ownership and history of assets.



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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Future of Audit - Technologies that will change the future of the Audit

For tax & accounting firms, the time to learn blockchain is now


Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession has been saved. Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession has been removed.

An Article Titled Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession already exists in Saved items. While traditional audit and assurance services will remain essential, blockchain business applications and new accounting technology are likely to have a significant impact on the way auditors execute engagements. 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.

Audit and assurance professionals should stay abreast of developments and continue to learn more about blockchain business applications, blockchain in accounting, and blockchain audit technology. Independent auditors will need to understand blockchain technology as it is implemented at client sites, whether clients are pursuing blockchain business opportunities, implementing blockchain business applications, or applying blockchain in accounting.

A blockchain is a digital ledger created to capture transactions conducted among various parties in a network. It is a peer-to-peer, internet-based distributed ledger which includes all transactions since its creation.

All participants i. Every entry into a blockchain is a transaction that represents an exchange of value between participants i. In practice, many different types of blockchain are being developed and tested. However, most blockchains follow this general framework and approach. A properly functioning blockchain is immutable despite lacking a central administrator.

As a near real-time and distributed digital ledger, a blockchain has several unique and valuable characteristics that, over time, could transform a wide range of industries:. The potential impact of blockchain on the audit and assurance profession Some publications have hinted that blockchain technology might eliminate the need for a financial statement audit by a CPA auditor altogether. If all transactions are captured in an immutable blockchain, then what is left for a CPA auditor to audit?

While verifying the occurrence of a transaction is a building block in a financial statement audit, it is just one of the important aspects. An audit involves an assessment that recorded transactions are supported by evidence that is relevant, reliable, objective, accurate, and verifiable. The acceptance of a transaction into a reliable blockchain may constitute sufficient appropriate audit evidence for certain financial statement assertions such as the occurrence of the transaction e.

For example, in a bitcoin transaction for a product, the transfer of bitcoin is recorded on the blockchain. However, the auditor may or may not be able to determine the product that was delivered by solely evaluating information on the Bitcoin blockchain. Therefore, recording a transaction in a blockchain may or may not provide sufficient appropriate audit evidence related to the nature of the transaction. In other words, a transaction recorded in a blockchain may still be:.

Furthermore, many transactions recorded in the financial statements reflect estimated values that differ from historical cost. Widespread blockchain adoption may enable central locations to obtain audit data, and CPA auditors may develop procedures to obtain audit evidence directly from blockchains.

However, even for such transactions, the CPA auditor needs to consider the risk that the information is inaccurate due to error or fraud. This will present new challenges because a blockchain likely would not be controlled by the entity being audited.

The CPA auditor will need to extract the data from the blockchain and also consider whether it is reliable. This process may include considering general information technology controls GITCs related to the blockchain environment. It also may require the CPA auditor to understand and assess the reliability of the consensus protocol for the specific blockchain.

This assessment may need to include consideration of whether the protocol could be manipulated. As more and more organizations explore the use of private or public blockchains, CPA auditors need to be aware of the potential impact this may have on their audits as a new source of information for the financial statements. They will need to consider how to tailor audit procedures to take advantage of blockchain benefits as well as address incremental risks.

There are still many unknowns with respect to how blockchain will impact the audit and assurance profession, including the speed with which it will do so. Blockchain is already impacting CPA auditors of those organizations using blockchain to record transactions and the rate of adoption is expected to continue to increase.

However, in the immediate future, blockchain technology will not replace financial reporting and financial statement auditing. Financial statements reflect management assertions, including estimates, many of which cannot be easily summarized or calculated in a blockchain.

Furthermore, the process of an independent audit of financial statements enhances the trust that is crucial for the effective functioning of the capital markets system. Users of financial statements expect CPA auditors to perform an independent audit of the financial statements using their professional skepticism. CPA auditors conclude whether they have obtained reasonable assurance that the financial statements of an entity, taken as a whole, are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

A blockchain is unlikely to replace these judgments by a financial statement auditor. CPA auditors will need to be conversant with the basics of blockchain technology and work with experts to audit the complex technical risks associated with blockchain. In addition, CPA auditors should be aware of opportunities to leverage their clients' adoption of blockchain technology to improve data gathering during the audit.

They should also consider whether blockchain technology will allow them to create automated audit routines. The auditing profession must embrace and "lean in" to the opportunities and challenges from widespread blockchain adoption.

CPA auditors and assurance providers are encouraged to monitor developments in blockchain technology because they have an opportunity to evolve, learn, and capitalize on their already proven ability to adapt to the needs of a rapidly changing business world.

Kevin Black joined Deloitte in and was admitted to the partnership in To stay logged in, change your functional cookie settings. Please enable JavaScript. Viewing offline content Limited functionality available. My Deloitte. Undo My Deloitte. Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession New challenges and opportunities for audit and assurance. Save for later. The potential impact of blockchain. Blockchain in accounting: What you need to know 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.

Some highlights: Blockchain technology has the potential to impact all recordkeeping processes, including the way transactions are initiated, processed, authorized, recorded, and reported.

Changes in business models and business processes may impact back-office activities such as financial reporting and tax preparation. Both the role and skill sets of CPA auditors may change as new blockchain-based techniques and procedures emerge. For example, methods for obtaining sufficient appropriate audit evidence will need to consider both traditional stand-alone general ledgers as well as blockchain ledgers.

Additionally, there is potential for greater standardization and transparency in reporting and accounting, which could enable more efficient data extraction and analysis. Expand Full screen. What is blockchain? As a near real-time and distributed digital ledger, a blockchain has several unique and valuable characteristics that, over time, could transform a wide range of industries: Near real-time settlement —A blockchain enables the near real-time settlement of transactions, thus reducing the risk of non-payment by one party to the transaction.

Distributed ledger —The peer-to-peer distributed network contains a public history of transactions. A blockchain is distributed and highly available and retains a secure record of proof that the transaction occurred. Irreversibility —A blockchain contains a verifiable record of every single transaction ever made on that blockchain.

This prevents double spending of the item tracked by the blockchain. Censorship resistant —The economic rules built into a blockchain model provide monetary incentives for the independent participants to continue validating new blocks.

In other words, a transaction recorded in a blockchain may still be: Unauthorized, fraudulent, or illegal Executed between related parties Linked to a side agreement that is "off-chain" Incorrectly classified in the financial statements Furthermore, many transactions recorded in the financial statements reflect estimated values that differ from historical cost. Is the blockchain audit trail in our near future?

Get in touch. Kevin Black Audit Digital Leader kevblack deloitte. Contact us Submit RFP. Did you find this useful? Yes No. Welcome back. Still not a member? Join My Deloitte. Keep me logged in. Forgot password. Link your accounts. You previously joined My Deloitte using the same email. Log in here with your My Deloitte password to link accounts. You've previously logged into My Deloitte with a different account. Link your accounts by re-verifying below, or by logging in with a social media account.

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Essentially, as the business world adopts the use of accounting systems that use blockchain technology, accountants will spend less time doing.

Blockchains and Collaborative Auditing

Abstract : The objective of the paper is to examine auditors' awareness and knowledge of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology. Furthermore, the study attempts to emphasise the potential changes that might occur in auditing and accounting practices with the usage of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The study applied a qualitative research method and phenomenology research design. Data were collected from eight auditing professionals in Malaysia using semi-structured interviews. The findings revealed that the interviewees have a good understanding of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Furthermore, the general consensus from the interviews was that blockchain technology will make auditing and accounting practices much easier and more efficient. Nevertheless, the accounting profession is required to enhance efforts to innovate their field to cope with the latest technological developments. This is one of the earliest studies focusing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, as well as their implications on accounting and auditing practices.


Survey on Blockchain Based Accounting and Finance Algorithms Using Bibliometric Approach

blockchain and future of auditing

COVID has accelerated the evolution of the audit experience toward a virtual audit. With more than 20 years of professional experience, he is responsible for identifying and implementing cutting-edge innovation to transform and drive the future of audit. He is also the lead partner on a number of the firm's financial institution clients, having been an auditor and advisor to major banks, insurance companies, investment dealers and finance companies. The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to operate remotely and embrace digital technologies — whether they were ready to or not. While the audit process was already evolving with the emergence of new technology and growing investor expectations, COVID has significantly accelerated the evolution toward a "virtual" audit.

Blockchain has taken the central stage of technology innovation in business, and could significantly disrupt traditional corporate governance, industrial organization, payments, and entrepreneurial finance. Given the labor-intensive nature of auditing and the need to improve audit efficiency and quality, there is increased media and industry attention on the role of blockchain in the world of auditing.

Accounting and Auditing at the Time of Blockchain Technology: A Research Agenda

Blockchain technology is still in its nascent stages but it holds tremendous opportunities. The technology platform has the potential to have a significant impact on the way companies build their processes and, in turn, on how they are audited, offering the audit process greater accuracy, transparency and ease. One day, the use of blockchain may reduce the need for confirmations and reconciliations and allow for real-time transparency to external parties. A blockchain is a ledger where transactions and data are pseudo-anonymously recorded and confirmed. More importantly—particularly regarding an audit—once information is entered, it is extremely cost prohibitive to alter.


How blockchain technology will affect the audit

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Blockchain and the future of accountancy

Blockchain continues to mature and shapeshift, growing its applications and user base in the process. What started as a little-known technology, best known in relation to the crypto asset bitcoin is now a seismic force that, while still evolving, is already transforming entire industries. In this special report, top insights are shared from Understand the accelerated adoption, open regulatory questions, auditing on the blockchain update, use cases including decentralized finance, NFTs, Payments and examples of leading tech solutions in the space.


How Blockchain Tech Will Change Auditing for Good

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Skip to search form Skip to main content Skip to account menu You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. The Internet gave us a powerful way to share and access information. Blockchain now gives us a powerful way to share and access value.

As with many things that gain prominence throughout the years, a point eventually arrives where not speaking about it comes at your own detriment. And while blockchain might be relatively new and may not have a big impact in your business right now, it is not to say that it cannot.

Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession has been saved. Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession has been removed. An Article Titled Blockchain and its potential impact on the audit profession already exists in Saved items. While traditional audit and assurance services will remain essential, blockchain business applications and new accounting technology are likely to have a significant impact on the way auditors execute engagements. 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. Audit and assurance professionals should stay abreast of developments and continue to learn more about blockchain business applications, blockchain in accounting, and blockchain audit technology.

At its core, the practice of accounting involves collecting information and preparing financial reports that individuals will use to make decisions. Auditors add a layer of credibility to this function by certifying the accuracy and completeness of financial reports. Enter blockchain technology: a revolutionary system that uses advanced cryptography to create an unalterable record of transactions. A blockchain is a decentralized ledger that provides network users with an accurate record of transactions in real time and at low cost — effectively replacing the bookkeeping function of many accounting systems.


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