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13
Connecticut CPA
g
January/February 2018
Geoff Hopkins is the infrastructure di-
rector for RSM's Northeast Technol-
ogy Management Consulting practice.
His experience over 22 years includes
strategic management of technology
and operations with a distinguished
career supporting high-end infrastruc-
ture engineering, systems implemen-
tation, and resource management for
large multinational infrastructures and
business applications. He has devel-
oped solution frameworks, blueprints,
and scorecards to support standard-
ization efforts for enterprise class ar-
chitecture and reliability for SMB orga-
nizations. He can be reached at geoff.
hopkins@rsmus.com.
its legacy Clearing House Electronic
Subregister System (CHESS) plat-
form, where the smart contract can
automate approvals, calculations,
and other exchanges of value once
components of an agreement have
been programmatically met. Sale of
property (including the instant trans-
fer of payment to the seller and own-
ership of the deed to the buyer) also
ranks highly on the spectrum of com-
mercial usability.
Does this mean that accountants,
auditors, and financial professionals
need to understand programming
code to implement a smart contract
and review issues that arise? Proba-
bly not. However, the future will likely
contain some form of specialized ac-
counting or auditing skillset that in-
cludes the ability to review "DApps,"
which are open-source, decentralized
applications that work on blockchain
technology. Solidity, a contract-ori-
ented, high-level programming lan-
guage, is just one example.
Let's also remember that applica-
tion coding is typically performed by
a human and prone to error. While it
may work as programmed, it may not
work as intended or may have inher-
ent weaknesses and exploitable is-
sues. This has already occurred a few
times, resulting in massive value theft.
Cross-training is certainly unclear at
this juncture, but we will likely see
a new form of accounting and au-
diting that is directly related to de-
sign, review, execution testing, and
after-the-fact audit of these smart
contracts. In this way, computer pro-
gramming will play a more significant
role, but it will be up to humans to de-
termine whether certain steps have
been processed correctly or whether
they have gone awry.
Whatever eventually happens, block-
chain technology has arrived and we
will see it affect all of our lives and ca-
reers in the near future.
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