Blockchain – Painting The Picture
Have you ever thought about the ‘middlemen’ that are involved in your daily transactions? Think about when you buy a coffee from your local café – a bank confirms the amount you need to pay to purchase that coffee and then sends that amount to the café owner. Now let’s relate this to a larger scale business example – an auditor will examine a company’s financial records to ensure accuracy, and make sure that they comply with laws and regulations. Blockchain is an upcoming technology that might remove the need for these intermediary services.
The Blockchain offers the chance to bypass the middleman and provide secure verification for all sorts of transactions – saving time and money by eliminating the need for third party processes. John O’Connell of Macquarie Group has touted the Blockchain as “a layer of trust on top of the internet”. With this technology, there is the potential for vast improvements to transaction security and speed, market visibility, and elimination of fraudulent activity and disputes.
How Does It Work?
Blockchain technology is different to the classic accounting ledger – which typically records transactions in one place. The difference with the Blockchain is that it stores transaction information in several “blocks” creating an audit trail that builds as more information is added. Every party involved in the transaction is able to access the Blockchain, and are all responsible for maintaining it.
There have been concerns that the Blockchain could disrupt several industries; this technology could mean that there would not be any need for auditors to verify transactions conducted in the Blockchain. The presence of the Blockchain also eliminates the need for accountants to reconcile and process transactions, leaving companies, their clients, banks and tax authorities to record and share information independently.
However, several experts have assured that this technology will not displace the need of financial advisory – they instead see the Blockchain working synonymously with accountants. Claire Mackay, principle advisor at Quantum Financial has insisted that Blockchain technology will enable advisors to provide a faster and more efficient service, but the interpersonal relationship between the advisor and the client will still remain the key to business moving forward.
One thing is for sure, the Blockchain has the possibility of transforming accounting, audit and banking – creating one true record of transaction. Due to these changes, these services might have to re-evaluate the way they operate in the near future; ensuring that they still offer a value proposition that won’t be eclipsed by fast moving technological development.
Information gathered from intheblack.com