• Colin Doyle CFO

3 reasons CPAs should care about blockchain

People’s perspectives on blockchain usually fall into two categories: You believe the technology will change everything, or you believe it’s a passing fad. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle.

At the recent 2nd Annual Blockchain Symposium in New York City, I highlighted three reasons CPAs should care about blockchain:

1. Adoption is coming

You may have heard about the Walmart mandate that will require its leafy green suppliers to use blockchain technology for food safety purposes. Even though we’re talking about the largest grocer in the world, it’s important to realize that this kind of mandate will eventually have a more local effect. By requiring use of blockchain technology, Walmart sets a certain standard and example — and rest assured, others will follow suit.

Ultimately, even if Walmart isn’t your client, one of their thousands of suppliers might be. If you’re a CPA working within an organization, it’s likely that your company or one of your suppliers will eventually use blockchain technology.

2. New opportunities will be up for grabs

Firms and businesses alike will face new challenges with the adoption of blockchain technology. These challenges will change the landscape of accounting. For CPAs who have knowledge and expertise in this technology, there will be a tremendous opportunity to offer support to clients in areas such as tax, audit and advisory services.

While IT professionals might be the ones encoding blockchain technology, accountants will have to know how it works so they can ask the right questions on behalf of their organization or clients.

3. The profession can gain an edge over others

Blockchain is an area where accountants can get ahead of the curve and be thought leaders for those in other professions. Although it could take 10 years for the technology to become seamless, firms have the opportunity to capture the market right now while there is room for improvement. Ultimately, you have the chance to capture a tremendous amount of market share.

Whether you’re a CFO who needs to find ways to work in tandem with a CIO or an accountant who can contribute to creating advisory around chaincode (the term for programs that run on top of blockchain), it’s time to prove that you’re here to work with the future of technology, not against it. CPAs will need to learn how to “speak” code to take their organization or client’s vision and business model and apply it to blockchain technology.

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