Accounting giant PwC announces blockchain auditing service

Posted: 21 March 2018 5:58 pm
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PwC is getting in at the ground floor of business blockchain integration.

Price Waterhouse Cooper LLP, one of the world's largest accounting firms, has announced a blockchain audit service, intended to bring more trust and reliability to the space, and encourage more businesses to expand its use and experience its benefits.

The development is focused on ensuring that the clients are implementing and using the technology properly, allowing people within a company to continuously monitor it and generally getting the most out of it as intended.

By attesting that all is going as planned, it says, blockchain audits can help ease internal discomfort at switching systems and get people more comfortable with it.

"There’s a natural predilection for people with new technology to be distrustful of it,” said PwC partner A. Michael Smith to the Wall Street Journal. "There’s going to have to be some kind of independent validation that the technology is functioning as intended."

"The compliance teams don’t know what to do with it," said Vicki Huff, PwC's global innovation leader to the Wall Street Journal.

With the new system, PwC logs blockchain transactions as they occur, and then applies control and testing criteria. Users within a company will be able to monitor, view and test transactions in near real time. It sounds like it would also make a fantastic blockchain tech sales demo for prospective clients when put side by side with their old systems.

There might also be an element of self-survival in PwC's new offering. Distributed ledger technologies like blockchain are expected to shake the accounting industry exceptionally hard. It can validate and record transactions much the way an auditor does, so a sideline in validating blockchain systems themselves might be a sensible direction for PwC to head. And with big players in many industries now running towards blockchain systems, there's never been a better time to help ease their transition.

PwC might have more experience in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space than most auditors and accounting firms. It's struck a partnership with the relatively prominent VeChain cryptocurrency and worked with the coin's development team on the world's first cryptocurrency disaster recovery plan.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC, NANO

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