A Deloitte-sponsored study released Wednesday concluded the adoption of blockchain technology is likely to cause firms to change or rethink fundamental precepts of accounting and auditing.

The study, called “Blockchain for Financial Leaders: Opportunity vs. Reality,” was conducted by the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF).

Of 200 senior-level financial executives surveyed, 30 percent plan to commit resources to the blockchain within the next 18 months, according to a news release.

The study concludes, however, that it likely will take five to 10 years before it is clear how and when blockchain will be adopted into everyday financial functions.

“Fundamental precepts of accounting and auditing will need to be adapted or completely rethought to incorporate distributed ledger technology,” the release says. “This includes rethinking related staffing and training strategies—an issue for which only a third of the survey respondents believe they are prepared to address.”

Financial executives aren’t taking cryptocurrency values into account when exploring blockchain technology, according to the report. Recognizing that bitcoin and blockchain aren’t synonymous, 64 percent of executives surveyed said they wouldn’t be deterred by a “crash” in cryptocurrencies because value remains in the underlying technology.

“Blockchain is a powerful technology that presents numerous areas of opportunity in the financial sector,” said Andrej Suskavcevic, president and CEO of Financial Executives International and Financial Executives Research Foundation, in the release. “This report provides a baseline to help financial professionals understand where we are in terms of vetting, adapting and adopting blockchain.”

The research also looks into how blockchain may transform recordkeeping and how assets are transferred between parties. Executives surveyed see blockchain’s inherent functions helping to expand analytic capabilities and advance financial reporting.

“Blockchain may one day be seen as an inflection point in accounting and reporting processes,” Jon Raphael, national managing partner at Deloitte & Touche, said in the release.

Companies incorporating blockchain technology into their financial transactions and processes will be looking for a talent pool with both financial and information technology skill sets, Raphael said. Read more here.

ThirtyK Staff
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