Blockchain: impact of fin-tech on professional services- audit function

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Bwala Dika, Amina
Issue Date
MBA in Finance
Dublin Business School
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Technological advancement is really no news. The relationship between the financial industry and the rest of the economy has remained a complex one, however this relationship with technology is simply a long standing and unique marriage involving an intertwined and mutually beneficial development. The driver of this change or evolution in recent days is the new buzz word of ‘blockchain’, described as fin-tech’s game changer. Blockchain platform is already revolutionising various industries, as it has successfully put both the fin-tech start-ups and companies within various industries on their toes. So, this study has chosen to look at how this technological evolvement called Blockchain is set to affect audit, in what way does validation differ, how is this shock reacted to, and what does the future of not just the firms but the profession and ultimately the global market look from the microscopic lenses of 2018. To carry out this study, relevant data were obtained from two sources beginning with a secondary in-depth analysis of academic journals, official reports, books and corporate business reports published by industry experts. The primary data were obtained from four interviews of experts within the financial service industry and blockchain. The results of this research have indicated that the blockchain platform as introduced by Nakomoto is doing exactly what is proposed in the published white paper in 2008, which is the eradication of a trust based model. From the four conducted interviews, all participants are of the opinion that blockchain will have an effect on the financial function of audit and even as far as the profession, the effects however on audit processes could be in form of a revolution or a negative impact, with the profession set to see a change as well, but the blockchain platform itself is still largely under review and a bit of speculation as to where it fits in within the processes. However, in time it becomes clear what the immerse potentials of the platform is, where it can be used in collaboration or eradicating the need for traditional audit according to standards and also the shift in the profession.