Goodbye Financial Statements? New Blockchain Study Evaluates the Future of Reporting

The Chartered Professional Accounts of Canada, the American Institute of CPAs and the University of Waterloo have joined together to see how financial statements might change with the growing digital asset class. From auditing smart contracts to managing permissioned networks, the financial industry looks like being reshaped by the blockchain. But are we there yet?

Immediate Future for Financial Statements Is Clear

Financial statements play a key role in debt and equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, and the overall of the functioning of capital markets in the global economy.

Because of this importance, leaders and service providers in the finance industry focus on the best practices and how to keep industry leaders educated. Industries that don’t evolve together will die.

To examine blockchain’s impact in depth, CPA Canada, the AICPA and the University of Waterloo have released a study on how financial statement auditing and financial statements might evolve.

Still Many Unknowns

As the financial service industry sizes up the impact of various blockchain technologies, leaders in those ecosystems are beginning to establish frameworks and best practices.  Per Gord Beal, vice president of research, guidance, and support at CPA Canada:

“Change comes quickly … and anticipation, early understanding and integration of innovative technologies is critical to the success of our members and the organizations they serve.”

But although roles remain undefined, this study highlights some of the important ones finance professionals will play in a future with blockchain ledgers in production all around the globe. It covers everything from leading smart contract audit systems, to providing cryptographic key management, and ongoing protection for sensitive information.

Many parties will have to come together to connect this growing global sensation. And without discussion and collaboration, we are destined to not have the systems in place to support these technological sensations.

Do you think finance professionals such as CPAs, CFAs and those in other areas will be able to evolve with distributed ledger and other emerging technologies? Let’s hear your thoughts.

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