Blockchain and Its Impact on Accounting, Advantages of Blockchain

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blockchain in accounting

In the future, the implementation of blockchain may also raise questions related to the regulation of social and environmental accounting that becomes possible with this technology. All this will help to improve transparency further and decrease information asymmetry in the market. Following this introduction, the second section presents the details of our SLR methodology and introduces bibliometric visualizations of the 346 included research products. The next section discusses the primary and most impactful contributions on the links between blockchain and accounting and auditing (Section 3.1), finance innovations and the representation of cryptoassets (Section 3.2) and business model innovation and supply chain management (Section 3.3). Finally, the Conclusion highlights our threefold contribution and provides an agenda for future impactful research on blockchain for accounting and auditing. Due to various limitations, it may not be possible in traditional audits.

  • Furthermore, major complementarities emerge between blockchain and RFID (van Hoek, 2019), IoT and ERP (Kayikci et al., 2022).
  • However, they use client ledgers and accounting records to achieve that.
  • To others, blockchain technology is essentially about reducing information risk and providing trust regarding accounting data.
  • Blockchain will only become a “game-changer” if all parties involved in the accounting ecosystem are open to its potential.
  • But they will need to know how to advise on blockchain adoption and consider the impact of blockchain on their businesses and clients.

To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to examine the current state of blockchain’s diffusion within accounting, auditing and accountability using a bibliometric and coding approach. Therefore, our contribution joins two methodological approaches in this field, starting from the research of Dal Mas et al. (2019), Dumay and Cai (2014), Massaro et al. (2016) and Secinaro et al. (2020). Our work contributes to a solid foundation for researchers who want to start future analysis in this research field.

Features of Blockchain Accounting

First, in this research area, the articles are primary qualitative and use, especially, discursive analysis. Therefore, it opens the possibility of significant challenges for future researchers in testing new methods. The explosion of contributions starting in 2017 has an annual growth rate of 89.88%; the data justify the in-depth analysis of the literature, which is continually expanding and progressing the stream of knowledge over time (Bonsón and Bednárová, 2019). … continuously collect data from the real world, create a variety of intelligent modules for real-time auditing, monitoring, fraud detection, etc., and thereby improve the effectiveness and efficiency of assurance services.

blockchain in accounting

In the agricultural supply chain, blockchain could increase traceability, auditability, immutability and provenance (Kamble et al., 2020). Parmentola et al. (2022) conclude that blockchain could create a more sustainable supply chain in line with the sustainable development goals. This impact has raised questions about the nature of cryptos, their function as payment systems, their performance and the role of central banks. As blockchain is an innovation, the financial market also had to learn to value companies that announced that they were pursuing investment in this new technology.

Blockchain in accounting and auditing: unveiling challenges and unleashing opportunities for digital transformation in Egypt

Fatz et al. (2019) use blockchain technology to create a system that issues certificates of arrival for goods, which are relevant in the VAT context for transactions between two businesses located in different EU countries. Besides accounting, blockchain technology can also impact the auditing field. Essentially, auditors confirm transactions and balances from the financial statements. However, they use client ledgers and accounting records to achieve that.

Real-time accounting would also reduce the potential opportunities for earnings management (Yermack, 2017). Additionally, using blockchain means anyone can review all transactions, even those that may be suspicious or related to conflicts of interest. Irreversible transactions also mean accountants could not backdate sales or report depreciation expenses in future periods when they should be expensed immediately.

blockchain in accounting

Several authors combine blockchain with auditing and control systems, applying it to different business functions. In total, four articles—two from 2019 (Chang et al., 2019; O’Leary, 2019), one from 2018 (Wang and Kogan, 2018) and one from 2017 (Kokina et al., 2017)—are remarkably significant in terms of the number of citations received over several years and the ranking obtained. This indicates that the papers provide high-quality information on accounting, auditing and accountability and blockchain. The publications do not present a relevant grouping in a single journal. The leading journals deal with the topic of technologies and information applied to accounting, auditing and accountability.

The potential of blockchain

Information in DLT is stored in a distributed or a shared ledger, which is protected by public and private keys. The information in DLT can be made available to the concerned parties in a secured manner. So, if anyone makes changes to the data, it will be known to the owners of the data. Such data is stored in a series of blocks which form a chain, hence the name Blockchain.

  • Gonzalez (2020) shows that peer-to-peer (P2P) lending decisions are influenced by the gender of borrowers and herding behavior.
  • The consensus mechanism is the first feature of blockchain that allows all network actors to exchange data (Brown-Liburd et al., 2019; McCallig et al., 2019).
  • The above encompasses the primary way that companies can use blockchain in accounting.
  • The major advantage of blockchain is that the data is shared across the network for verification.

A snowball sample was used, and in-depth interviews were chosen as the primary data collection method due to their ability to capture rich and nuanced information (Rubin and Rubin, 2011). A snowball sample was used to identify experienced auditors and audit industry experts in disruptive audit technologies and their impact on the accounting and auditing profession. The interviews were conducted face-to-face or online, depending on the participants’ preferences.

Blockchain Technology: Shaping the Future of the Accountancy Profession

Through a horizontal consensus between actors, blockchain leads to overcoming the previous hierarchical information exchange paradigm created by the traditional information technology (IT) system (Cai, 2018). Consensus and longitudinal exchange facilitate applying audit and governance systems and smart contracts (Dal Mas et al., 2020a; Joseph, 2019; Rozario and Vasarhelyi, 2018). Consent requires a common language among all components of the network. The information is tracked with different hashes without the possibility of changes in each block (Kokina et al., 2017). Cryptographic hashes remove the ability to change information and facilitate the protection of data even after archiving (White and Daniels, 2019).

Further, the ways of creating effective smart audit contracts and smart reporting contracts should also be studied with a special focus on executing traces and enforceability (Schmitz and Leoni, 2019). Implementing blockchain may benefit most accountants and auditors, but it may be negatively perceived by those who work in the black economy, those who are keen on earnings management, and those who need to manipulate the appearance of illicit transactions. Therefore, we assume that quickbooks desktop review automating data collection and storage using blockchain will not mean the auditing profession disappears. Rather, we see it evolving into a new role within companies and the ecosystem of blockchain accounting. A blockchain-based supply chain process could facilitate instant tracking, preserve privacy through a private chain with preauthorization, reduce costs related to updating information, enable automatic payments and, in general, improve automation (Chang et al., 2019).

3 Perceived benefits, challenges and impact of blockchain-based accounting on auditing

However, small and medium-sized audit firms express concerns about reconciliation automation posing a risk to the profession, potentially eroding their client base. This apprehension may stem from their limited technological and professional resources to compete effectively in the blockchain-based accounting environment. Distributive technologies are changing the business world as we know it. Blockchain technology (BT) is one of the most significant disruptive technologies nowadays (Parmoodeh et al., 2023; Perera and Abeygunasekera, 2022). BT gained popularity after its inception in 2008 as the underlying technology supporting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (Alarcon and Ng, 2018).

Additionally, this study’s findings could help practitioners, as accountants and auditors, understand the effect and opportunities of blockchain technology for their profession. Thus, this work aims to help professionals understand blockchain characteristics and find points of comparison rather than criticism or fear of change. The current work does not consider technical issues, such as security mechanisms and privacy in the accounting field.