The blockchain transformation of accounting and auditing

December 28, 2017

By Jack Shaw

A short trip to the near future

As a professional technology futurist for the past 30 years, I’ve learned to heed the words of that great philosopher, Yogi Berra, who said, “Making predictions is very hard, especially about the future.”

Nevertheless, I’m going to go out on a limb and make a few predictions about the future of the accounting and auditing profession. To understand how the roles of accountants and auditors will change, you need to understand how the world you’ll be working in will change. So, please join me on a short trip to the near future.

In our first scene, a pre-teen needs orthodontic work. She and her parents don’t just see the nearest orthodontist or one a friend or relative recommends. Instead, they post an online request for proposals that can only be seen by registered orthodontists with offices nearby, and they receive several such proposals. Each proposal states their qualifications and a suggested treatment plan with costs based on the family’s healthcare insurance plan. After speaking to a couple of orthodontists by phone, the young lady and her parents select one to meet with in person.

Once they’ve reviewed the treatment plan and payment schedule with the orthodontist, they authorize it via digital signatures through their smartphones. The family’s insurance makes progress payments within 30 seconds of completion of each visit. The family makes co-payments using their airline frequent flyer miles. And no paperwork is ever required.

Excerpted from the article originally published in the December 2017/January 2018 edition of The Accountant. Read the full story: The blockchain transformation of accounting and auditing (PDF)

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