Deloitte blockchain technology a game changer in accounting

Welcome to ComplianceWeek. This site uses cookies. Read our policy. Blockchain is evolving rapidly from enigma to imperative in financial reporting circles, and one audit firm has even introduced an early audit approach. The blockchain validation software that PwC says it is now deploying in a limited number of use cases provides real-time testing for anomalies covering a full population of transactions. The firm says it will find longer-term patterns of indicators that are not evident to humans, is immediate and predictive, and provides objective results.

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This technology has the potential to be very beneficial but is not currently in the place to apply practically to the accounting field. It is in the process of being translated into the accounting field and potentially replacing the traditional enterprise resource planning ERP systems the majority of companies use for accounting today. However, with certain advancements in the technology, it could significantly change accounting in the fields of tax, audit, and financial reporting.

Potential applications for tax include simplifying payroll tax, transfer tax, and value added tax VAT. However, there are no current applications of blockchain with tax as this would require significant changes in governmental regulations. There are numerous potential changes that may impact the audit field with some scholars even suggesting fully automated audits in the future.

While this may not be fully realizable, the possibility of realtime auditing is not unrealistic. Blockchain will change financial reporting in many ways but primarily by creating one version of the truth for enterprises to use. This makes the creation and reliability of financial data and statements much more straightforward for all involved parties.

Overall, as blockchain continues to evolve, it will never completely take away the need for accountants, but it will certainly change the way accountants do their jobs. CPAs in particular will have new roles such as blockchain auditors, arbitrators, and moderators.

Parker 4 Blockchain Technology: The Disruption and Impact to the Accounting Profession Over thirty years ago, multiple developers created a new network that eventually came to be known as the modern internet. A new form of technology that is gradually increasing in popularity and gaining renown across the globe is blockchain. Best known for its Bitcoin application, blockchain is a recently created technology that allows users to exchange value electronically.

As the technology has improved over recent years, larger organizations such as banks, accounting firms, and technology companies have begun to experiment with blockchain to find more ways to apply its secure, distributed, and immutable network to various business practices, including the accounting field.

Its greatest potential is in financial services, especially accounting. Bookkeeping is essential to accounting and an immutable database such as blockchain could immensely improve the efficiency and security of several areas of the profession. Blockchain technology has the potential to be very beneficial but is not currently in the place to apply practically to the accounting field. Background In , a programmer under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto developed blockchain as a public digital currency system secured with cryptography Dai and Vaserhelyi 6.

Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions conducted between different parties in a network. This ledger includes every transaction since the creation of the Parker 5 blockchain. One node adds a transaction by sending value to another. All of the other nodes must approve the validity of the new transaction using a consensus algorithm, which is a problem-solving operation on a computer that allows the nodes to agree on the accuracy of the transactions at hand. These three parts of a block ensure security because all of the hashes are unique.

An attempt to change one block would change its respective hash value and require changing each hash of all prior blocks. Fraudulent activity is very difficult as the majority of nodes must approve the blocks Nofer et al. The more nodes there are in a blockchain network, the more secure it will be. Consensus Mechanisms One of the most important aspects of blockchain systems is the consensus algorithm. Consensus is necessary so that all parties involved in the network have equal opportunity to approve the validity of transactions.

There are two popular methods of consensus that are currently in use, usually for Bitcoin. The first is proof-of-work PoW. Miners compete to solve the puzzle and add the next block to the chain. This method has some flaws that will prevent it from being applicable to a business blockchain, such as the need for large Parker 6 amounts of electricity which makes confirmation time take much longer Frankowski et al.

The second method is proof-of-stake PoS , which is less resource-intensive than PoW and more ideal for blockchains that do not involve cryptocurrency. The more of a stake a participant holds in the company, the more likely he will be tasked with verifying the transaction.

This method encourages self-policing by currency holders Coyne and McMickle However, the issue with PoS is that it is not a fair method of verifying transactions for all parties involved. If certain parties hold a greater stake in the company than others, they can influence the transactions more than other parties. PoS does not fall in line with this strength. There are countless different consensus algorithms in existence now, and as blockchain continues to expand, new methods are continually being created.

These two are the most common methods of consensus but both have drawbacks. Smart Contracts Another aspect of blockchain that contributes to its efficiency is the smart contract. The idea of a smart contract was originally introduced in but has not become a realistic option for computers until now with the growing popularity of blockchain Nofer et al.

Tax specialists from Deloitte make the comparison of smart contracts to vending machines. Smart contracts allow for the execution of terms based on certain conditions to be carried out by the network rather than being done manually. This can relieve certain employees of repetitive tasks and speed up business processes, reduce error, and reduce costs. The terms and conditions are built into the blockchain so that when a certain event takes place, the blockchain knows to carry out the appropriate response.

The possibilities with the combination of blockchain and smart contracts are endless. Defining Characteristics There are multiple defining characteristics that make blockchain unique and advantageous over current accounting systems. The first of these is its ability for near realtime settlement. Once a transaction is posted, all parties can see and approve the transaction, allowing payments to be settled quickly.

The second quality is the distributed nature of the ledger. This presents a solution to the problem presented in the theory of information asymmetry. When one party has better information than another, it creates imbalances and inequality that can lead anywhere from small discrepancies to major disagreements.

Blockchain helps alleviate this Parker 8 issue by giving all parties involved in a transaction access to the same records. This increases security because there is not one single point of failure in the system and each user has a copy of the blockchain. The blockchain provides a single version of the truth to users rather than different records on each side of a transaction.

The third characteristic is irreversibility, or immutability. All of these qualities come together to enhance security through hashing and distribution as well as increased efficiency of recording and approving correct transactions. The characteristics of real-time settlement, distributed nature, and irreversibility are what make blockchain more beneficial than current record-keeping systems.

Types of Blockchains Blockchains can be public, private, or permissioned. A public blockchain is open for anyone to participate, like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Organizations typically do not want the public to have access to all of their records and financial information. This led to the creation of private blockchains, which involves giving access to a limited number of predetermined participants. This allows the company to protect private business data but still benefit from using blockchain technology.

There are also permissioned blockchains which allows one authority to select the parties allowed to authorize and verify transactions. Irrelevant parties are not involved in transaction verification, making the verification process much simpler and quicker Dai and Vaserhelyi 7.

The issue is that the private and permissioned blockchains do not have all of the benefits Parker 9 of a public blockchain like Bitcoin. Looking at the setup of the Bitcoin blockchain network gives insight into the beneficial qualities that come from using a public blockchain.

Relation to Bitcoin Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency created for blockchain, displays blockchain in its purest, most effective form. Users keep Bitcoin in virtual wallets, which are represented by long chains of numbers and letters. Each Bitcoin user has a private and public key. The public key sends deposits to other Bitcoin users.

These deposits can only be accessed with the private key. This private number must be guarded carefully to protect against Bitcoin theft Guzzetta The easiest form of a Bitcoin wallet for users to obtain is an app on a smartphone. However, it is important to note that Bitcoin is its own currency and not just another form of online payment.

For any transaction, there is a 15 minute window to pay an invoice. If the payment is not made in 15 minutes, the invoice expires and a new one must be created to go through with the transaction. There are three different ways to pay for an invoice: scanning a QR code, opening the invoice in the wallet, or sending the payment manually with a URL.

There are miner fees or network cost fees that accompany each transaction. Miners are the users who are responsible for validating all of the Bitcoin transactions in a certain block and adding blocks with a hash and a nonce to the blockchain. The process of solving a block is extremely difficult and takes significant amounts of electricity and proper computing equipment to complete. However, the reward for solving a block is Most miners today can solve a block in an average of ten minutes, but it is still a very difficult task to complete Guzzetta Bitcoin is a public blockchain, meaning it is open to anyone in the world who wants to invest in and use the cryptocurrency.

It is this openness to the public that makes blockchain so effective in this form. As mentioned earlier, blockchain becomes more effective and secure with more active members or nodes in the system, as in the public blockchain of Bitcoin. Looking at the defining characteristics of blockchain, one can see how Bitcoin is the purest form of a public blockchain. The first quality is real-time settlement.

A Bitcoin invoice must be paid in 15 minutes.

What CPAs must do to capitalize on disruption

Kurt Kunselman is an accomplished senior executive, advisor and thought leader. 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 and beyond. Although there's plenty to be said about how the blockchain works, accountants should understand the basic role of blockchain: maintaining a ledger of financial information and transferring the ownership of assets in a safe and verifiable manner.

Blockchain technology makes it possible to transform business, of Accountants CEO Dr Nurmazilah Mahzan said blockchain is a game-changer for accountancy.


Transformative, disruptive, ground-breaking, exciting are a few words I can think of when looking at the possibilities of a blockchain technology driven future. The truth is that the blockchain revolution has already begun, and the accounting industry is one of the many industries that shall be impacted. So, if you are an accountant and you are merely standing on the sidelines witnessing this technology unfold without taking an active role in getting to grips with blockchain, the time has come to start dipping your toes into the technology that will be omnipresent in the years ahead. Blockchain is currently a buzzword, therefore it is easy to get sucked into a rabbit hole when you start exploring this topic. So today I would like to dive into how blockchain will change the way we do things in accounting and how YOU as an accountant can prepare for what is coming. It also validates new data against a set of pre-agreed rules, then shares the new data to other network participants to ensure everyone has the same updated data. So, we can extend the definition to; Blockchain is a digital ledger for recording, storing, verifying and sharing transactions to all network participants. With the beauty being that the data is decentralized, meaning no one authority controls it and all participants can have access to the same data in real time. In traditional accounting, you would use the accounting software application of your firm to maintain and store all your accounting records, i.

Blockchain and the Future of Accounting

deloitte blockchain technology a game changer in accounting

In fact, very recently, more than 60 accounting firm leaders and innovators gathered for a symposium that was hosted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and CPA. The focus was on the impact of the technology in accounting, auditing, tax, and finance. The rise of blockchain technology has led to a need for more understanding in the CPA profession, sparking the Blockchain in Accounting Symposium that took place on May 2. Being part of a larger collaboration with the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, a leading nonprofit trade association promoting the adoption of blockchain technology across global markets, the event addressed the implications for the accounting profession. So, what is blockchain and how does it work?

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The Future Of Blockchain In Accountancy

Blockchain Technology: A game-changer in accounting? Introduction Blockchain technology has the potential to upend entire industries. Especially the financial sector may undergo disruptive change. Although this technology caught the attention of many of the largest financial institutions, use cases still remain in the experimental phase. This whitepaper lays out the benefits of the blockchain technology for specific use-cases in accounting across industries.

Blockchain: The Transformation of Accounting

Blockchain: A game changer for audit processes has been saved. Blockchain: A game changer for audit processes has been removed. As blockchain rises beyond being just another buzz-word, what impact will this technology, described by many as a cultural paradigm shift, have on the traditional audit and assurance process? The internet has been flooded with information about blockchain over the last few weeks. Linked to this is the exponential increase in the value of cryptocurrencies - such as bitcoin, a virtual currency based on blockchain technology.

for auditors; opportunities and challenges of blockchain technology application; Deloitte (), “Blockchain technology: a game-changer in accounting?

The impact of blockchain technology on audit

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Get the most out of blockchain

This paper aims to design, build and evaluate a blockchain platform in the accounting domain, taking an ecosystem perspective. To achieve this aim, the research provides evidence for developing a decentralised architecture rooted on blockchain technology, designing a proof of concept and modelling an accounting blockchain-based system. Moving from the analysis of previous literature and leveraging on the design science approach, this paper provides a framework grounded on the main pillars of blockchain and accounting functions, identifying technical and non-technical issues that must be addressed embrace blockchain technology's full potential. We propose and discuss a conceptual framework for a blockchain-based accounting context, moving from the identification of a typical accounting scenario.

The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected.

How can an Accountant prepare for a blockchain future?

Preparing Future-Ready Professionals. 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. Even against this backdrop of radical, and continuous, change there are two forces standing out as potential game changers for accounting in the US and internationally. Blockchain technology, although most well-known for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is forecasted to have wide-ranging implications for how data is secured, transmitted, and protected.

Blockchain Technology A Game-changer In Accounting?

This paper analyzes accounting publications of the largest publisher by accounting journals, to evaluate the coverage of accounting directions, and indicate the current popularity of International Financial Reporting Standards IFRS , eXtensible Business Reporting Language XBRL , and blockchain technology. The source of the accounting articles which support the study is Wiley Online Library. The methods used in this research are based on a cross-sectional survey between the Wiley Online Library and SCImago databases covering the years only.

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  1. Cinneididh

    Well, why is this the only way? I think why not expand on this topic.