This article is part of our Blockchain In Accounting series where industry experts give their take on how blockchain is changing the accounting industry and predict what's coming in the future.
Here's what they've shared:
1. Erich Braun, Audit Partner at KPMG US
“Even with advances in technology, many business transactions remain inefficient, expensive and vulnerable. Blockchain has the potential to disrupt many of the systems that organizations have relied upon by building greater transparency, speed, reliability and trust into core operations.
Blockchains, if designed appropriately, may be able to help businesses eliminate some supply chain inefficiencies, address challenges of global trade and tariffs, improve product tracking and safety, reduce fraud, and track and protect customer data.
Blockchain has the potential to automate processes and aid auditors in moving to a real-time auditing structure, instead of completing much of their work at the end of the year, as they currently do.”
2. Steve Briginshaw, CEO of Clarity Project
“Blockchain technology provides transparency, allows for speed and enables automation in the accounting profession. It has the potential to enhance accountancy by reducing the costs of maintaining and reconciling ledgers, and from an audit perspective we are able to see with absolute certainty the ownership and history of assets.
By obliterating menial tasks, the automation that blockchain technology offers in replacement gives accountants the time and resources to better serve our clients, move away from compliance, and focus on consultancy.
The ICAEW agrees in stating that “Blockchain could help accountants gain clarity over the available resources and obligations of their organisations, and also free up resources to concentrate on planning and valuation, rather than record keeping”.”
3. Paul Banker, General Manager of Tax Reporting in Sovos
“The blockchain is immutable and easily reconciled. There are enormous benefits around reducing manual processes and minimizing the potential for fraud, such as preventing backdating of transactions, as well as a whole host of other concerns that come with utilizing legacy technology.
Intelligent tax information reporting will contribute to the future success of cryptocurrency exchanges. The IRS is clearly intent on bringing crypto platforms and investors into reporting compliance. While crypto exchange platforms wait for clearer reporting guidelines, they can safeguard themselves and their investors from the burdens and risks of modern tax compliance with tools that enable automation and services that deliver reliable regulatory insights to ensure compliance in advance of forthcoming regulatory waves.”
4. Scott Nelson, CEO of Sweetbridge
“The number one benefit for blockchain in accounting that will inevitably be the future of the blockchain in this industry will revolve around its ability to continuously assure the audit for transactions with a triple entry accounting system.”
5. Chris Cardinal, EVP of Software Engineering at AbacusNext
“Blockchain will improve transparency, which will lead to faster, cheaper settlements and transactions. Financial services transactions often require large amounts of time and money to process. Using “smart contracts” with blockchain technology could greatly reduce – or even automate – the work that goes into such settlements, allowing accounting firms to work more quickly and with more accuracy.
It will also help firms fight fraud authoritatively. The power of blockchain lies in its ability to reconcile accounts and track and measure assets. The result is an “indestructible and incorruptible ledger” that allows stakeholders to instantaneously verify the truth of any records from a client’s tax audit to business records. This will save accounting teams a lot of time and resources from manually digging through paper trails and other verification-based activities.”
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