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What Is The State of Blockchain In Accounting? 5 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 14 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

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

Erich Braun“Blockchain is moving beyond hype to reality. It has the potential to solve pressing business issues, like creating a more transparent supply chain for food companies or reducing fraud in the financial services industry.

Businesses experimenting with blockchain may be able to gain a first-mover competitive advantage in their industry and begin solving decades-old problems.”

2. Steve Briginshaw, CEO of Clarity Project

Steve Briginshaw“Blockchain is certainly being explored, but we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of its use and adoption. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY) and KPMG, better known as the ‘big four’ auditors, all have established solid long-term blockchain roadmaps to remain relevant in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

It is important that the big four have recognized the growing demand for both blockchain and crypto from an accounting perspective, and have taken different approaches to facilitate the rapidly increasing interest in the blockchain space.

As a starting point, their interest and allocation of resources to the technology further solidifies blockchain’s legitimate and longstanding future within the industry.”

3. Paul Banker, General Manager of Tax Reporting in Sovos

Paul Banker“The regulations surrounding tax information reporting for crypto transactions are murky. Language is ambiguous, and specific reporting requirements are unclear. But it’s completely clear that the agency plans to enforce existing 1099 reporting regulations on crypto for now — something it has already shown a willingness to do.

The question is how those regulations will continue to take shape. The IRS promises to offer clarity, but the timing of any new information is still uncertain. IRS Notice 2014-21, now five years old, is still the only guidance on crypto taxation the agency has ever released, and that document is neither comprehensive nor final. However, the recent changes in 1031 (like-kind exchanges) have moved the needle closer to the reporting in the ’traditional’ broker dealer space on Form 1099-B.”

4. Steve Saah, Executive Director at Robert Half Finance & Accounting

“As blockchain becomes more prominent, accounting firms are exploring ways to adopt it while measuring the benefits and risks. A big part of the adoption process includes many executives trying to figure out what blockchain means for their company and how they can use it. Its impact remains an unknown for many organizations.”

5. Chris Cardinal, EVP of Software Engineering at AbacusNext

Chris Cardinal“Business-to-client (B2C) companies are increasingly experimenting with accepting payment via Bitcoin, the blockchain-based cryptocurrency that’s enjoyed major headlines for the past several years, with big names like, Microsoft, Square, and Shopify all accepting Bitcoin payments.”

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.