Why Aren’t More Auditors Talking About Blockchain?

Recently we stood before an audience of about 300 people and asked a very simple question:

Who understands blockchain?

Not a single hand went up.

So we tried it again a couple of weeks later at another forum of about 100 people:

Who understands blockchain?

This time we were luckier – one lady put her hand up (and as an aside kindly offered to give the group a quick tutorial).

So out of our (albeit unscientifically constructed) groupings of auditors and aspiring auditors less than 1/3 of 1% of the audience were comfortable in publicly acknowledging that they understood blockchain.

But … isn’t blockchain going to be the next big thing?

This technology represents nothing less than the second generation of the Internet, and it holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.

(A good explainer on blockchain can be found here and here)

So why haven’t auditors embraced blockchain?

We are yet to see any auditing professional body, consultancy or well meaning amateur properly and simply explain blockchain through the prism of what it means to auditing.  The closest we have seen is this February 2017 Deloitte announcement. 

If even half of the futurists’ excitement is accurate then the blockchain technology will completely change a validation like profession such as auditing.

So there may be an element of unconscious self preservation at play.

But we suspect it is bigger than even that.

We suspect that the profession of auditing (both external and internal) is playing too passive a role – waiting for blockchain to come to it rather than reaching out to blockchain and, to the extent that one can, shaping even further the validation aspects of blockchain.

Blockchain is THE technology that we all grew up hoping one day that it would exist.

It is here.  Now.

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