The blockchain technology is one of many emerging technologies that also counts artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and data analytics. These are buzzwords that often gets mentioned in media and at conferences, but how will they really affect how things are done. With a focus on financial statement audit and business administration this thesis sets out to analyse and identify the main effects of an implementation of the blockchain technology on the financial statement audit.
This will be done through analysis of the current auditing and accounting standards, a literature review, several interviews as well as an analysis of stakeholders' views on the current and futures ISAs.
We found that the blockchain technology more is something that you talk about than something that is actually truly implemented at its' current state. This is of course due to its' relative short life. However we also found that a lot of innovations is currently ongoing aiming to support and create use cases also within the audit and accounting area. Amongst others SAP's Cloud Platform Blockchain that aims to integrate various products with blockchain capabilities.
The discussion and innovation in the field of audit and accounting in relation to blockchain has also lead to the creation of the term "triple-entry-accounting" where the third entry is in the blockchain as opposed to the traditional and well-know "double-entry-accounting".
We found there is a lot of uncertainty as to how exactly the blockchain technology will be implemented in audit and accounting and further to what extent it will be implemented.
Further, we found that the blockchain technology has the potential to facilitate a higher level of standardization and automation of transactions. However, in order to gain the benefit of these positive opportunities of the technologies we have to face some of the weaknesses and threats to its adoption. These include that fact that the technology is still very premature, it could potentially require changes in auditing standards, together with the other mentioned buzzwords it will most likely have change the required skills and competences of the future auditor. These are just some of the identified challenges to the adoption and implementation of the technology. However, the most significant challenge that will mostly require and mind shift in the way to do business today but has the potential to bring great value in the future is that fact that blockchain requires participants in the network to share data in order for the technology to work. Sharing data is key. Yet companies today are just learning about the value of their data which lowers the potential of them sharing it freely in a blockchain anytime soon.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||117|