The Potential Impact of Blockchain Technology on Audit Practice

Date
2018-08-31
Authors
Brender, Nathalie
Gauthier, Marion
Morin, Jean-Henry
Salihi, Arber
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Abstract
In today’s debate about the disruptive effect of Blockchain, audit and control professions are not in the spotlight while the characteristics of the technology (transparency, traceability and integration of rules and procedures in the technology itself) combined with current technical developments, process and service innovation, applications such as smart contracts and publicly-held registers, have the potential to significantly change audit and control activities. In this context, we conducted a study based on the grounded theory to understand how auditors in Switzerland anticipate the impacts of Blockchain on their daily activities. Based on the findings, three hypotheses have emerged. First, the potential disruptive effect of the technology on the profession is not anticipated, particularly by smaller audit firms. Second, the profession might go through a paradigm shift in two ways: become more IT than accounting oriented and become more forward than backward-looking. Lastly, the profile of the auditors will change.
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Keywords
Audit, Financial Auditors, IS Auditors, Blockchain, Technology
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