Author

Laine Parker

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Accountancy

First Advisor

Sandra Mankins

Abstract

Blockchain is a digital ledger that records transactions conducted between different parties in a network. This technology has the potential to be very beneficial but is not currently in the place to apply practically to the accounting field. In today’s environment, blockchain is being used in many different areas of business, namely supply chain management and logistics. It is in the process of being translated into the accounting field and potentially replacing the traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems the majority of companies use for accounting today. However, with certain advancements in the technology, it could significantly change accounting in the fields of tax, audit, and financial reporting. Potential applications for tax include simplifying payroll tax, transfer tax, and value added tax (VAT). However, there are no current applications of blockchain with tax as this would require significant changes in governmental regulations. There are numerous potential changes that may impact the audit field with some scholars even suggesting fully automated audits in the future. While this may not be fully realizable, the possibility of real-time auditing is not unrealistic. Blockchain will change financial reporting in many ways but primarily by creating one version of the truth for enterprises to use. This makes the creation and reliability of financial data and statements much more straightforward for all involved parties. Overall, as blockchain continues to evolve, it will never completely take away the need for accountants, but it will certainly change the way accountants do their jobs. CPAs in particular will have new roles such as blockchain auditors, arbitrators, and moderators.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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