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www.ctcpas.org
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.
(continued)
If current bookkeeping
processes are no longer
necessary due to automation,
accountants and auditors
will be able to shift their
focus away from manual
work to examination of very
complex transactions, internal
controls, forecasting, and
other value-added activities.
funds in accordance with contract in-
telligence provided in the past such as
a will or a futures contracts without any
middleman arbiter or risk.
Ethereum projects are already starting
to come into play in the space of vot-
ing, identity management and control,
and supply chain, as well as the design
of company-based digital tokens to
represent a business share, member-
ship, or asset ownership.
Exponential, Disruptive Growth for
the Accounting Profession
Blockchain technology may usher in
exponential and disruptive growth with
an ecosystem of private and public
blockchains where firms, clients, com-
panies, customers, and suppliers can
collaborate in a secure, auditable, and
virtual way. Blockchain fundamentally
challenges the operating principles
of banking transactions and therefore
bookkeeping, making it arguably the
greatest disrupter to the global finan-
cial system in a generation.
For accounting specifically, the impli-
cations for payment and transfer of
value for audit trails is quite profound.
Blockchain-based accounting and in-
voicing could dramatically lower the
costs of accounting and compliance
by reducing the need for human re-
sources in reviewing transactions. The
payments being made on a distributed
ledger could also provide increased
transparency to trigger the execution
of a transaction when certain condi-
tions are met (such as the delivery of
goods or services performed in real
time, which would be time stamped
and interlocked to ensure integrity).
With blockchain providing this reliable
data on transactions, the possibility
exists for the elimination of large in-
house or outsourced accounting pro-
cesses, but not necessarily staff. This
means that accountants would be
tasked with making the business more
efficient through reporting and analy-
sis, since there would be a substantial
reduction in the need for reconciliation
and verification of transactions.
Accountants may soon see the secur-
ing of records with the possible move
to fully verifiable and mechanized au-
dits. Cesar Bacani, the editor-in-chief
of CFO Innovation, suggests that if
current bookkeeping processes are no
longer necessary due to automation,
accountants and auditors will be able
to shift their focus away from manual
work to examination of very complex
transactions, internal controls, fore-
casting, and other value-added activi-
ties. This means elevating, not substi-
tuting, human judgment.
What is clear about technologies like
blockchain is that their use could be
quite pervasive across industries and
that disruption, in some form, will oc-
cur for accountants and auditors. As
the increase in blockchain use occurs,
the need for accountants to acquire
additional skills around strategy and
automation audit is highly likely.
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