Blockchain Audit- While blockchain is best known for enabling cryptocurrency payment and trade, this technology has a much wider range of potential uses that could disrupt various industries, including the audit profession. In light of this, auditors should embrace all possible blockchain applications to ensure they remain relevant in the years to come.
This is according to Wiehann Olivier, Partner at Mazars’ Audit Division, who believes that this technology will have the most significant impact on the financial sector.
“There are some people that believe blockchain technology will eliminate the need for an auditor of financial statements altogether, owing to the technology’s transparency and the fact that transactions on the blockchain are captured in a ledger that cannot be altered.”
“However, the truth is that blockchain technology is more likely to become a tool that the auditor will be able to utilise in auditing more efficiently, and enhance the reliability of the information over which they are issuing an opinion,” says Olivier.
He states that auditors will have to remain agile in ensuring that their audit approach can be adapted to mitigate any possible risks, as well as to capitalise on the possible efficiencies that blockchain technology may offer.
“There has been an emphasis on the technology by various educational bodies, including the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants – and quite rightly so, as our industry will possibly see the most benefit from it.”
Olivier explains that blockchain technology was initially designed as a peer-to-peer payment system with certain specific features. “What the technology was trying to achieve, was to have a decentralised ledger, eliminating the need for an intermediary such as a bank to manage and update the ledger.