Computer technology is continuously transforming the way humans work — the advent of blockchain makes this especially true.
If you’re an accountant (or curious about the intersection between blockchain and accounting), you might be wondering what the future holds for bookkeeping. We know cryptocurrency has an important role in the future, but what are the implications for accounting jobs in crypto?
What is the impact of blockchain on accounting professionals? Will crypto bookkeeping still exist, or will everything be done by computers?
By 2030, it’s estimated that 50,000 accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing positions will be downsized or eliminated. Even before the rise of blockchain technology in accounting, this was predicted.
There’s an irony to blockchain replacing traditional methods of accounting. Blockchain is built on a ledger — the same system used by accounting professionals, and the same one that will lead to the demise of bookkeeping (at least as we know it today).
If this is true, it’s worthy of our attention. Firstly, it’s important to better understand the connection between blockchain and accounting — how do they intersect?
Secondly, if the future of bookkeeping is going to transform the profession, how can bookkeepers and accountants best prepare for the coming change? What will be the impact of blockchain on accounting professionals?
What is bookkeeping?
Traditionally, bookkeepers have been responsible for recording, classifying, and organizing the financial transactions for a business.
While CPAs are capable of handling more complex business transactions, bookkeepers are generally responsible for the routine record keeping.
The resources provided by a bookkeeper are used by the accountant to prepare financial statements and provide a coherent picture of an organization’s financial situation.
Before I joined Gilded, I supervised a team ranging from clerks to accountants. I’ve always been interested in workplace efficiency. If I discovered a way to simplify a task using technology, I’d try my best to redirect an employee’s energy to a different responsibility.
My introduction to cryptocurrency was from the annual update on new technology by the Louisiana Society of CPAs. They talked about the inner workings of the blockchain, and the way it might help accountants in the future.
When I learned about the blockchain, I had a strong feeling it would become more prominent in the years to come — this would most obviously have a major impact on bookkeeping professionals.
Blockchain is triple-entry accounting
For decades, the next generation of bookkeeping was only theoretical. The concept of triple-entry accounting was mapped-out, but computers weren’t yet capable of performing the task.
Forty years later, the future of bookkeeping became clearer as blockchain emerged as a proof of concept of triple-entry accounting.
When a transaction occurs on the blockchain, the information is automatically synchronized to multiple locations. One of these is a public ledger that uses cryptography to store immutable records of each transaction. Everything on the blockchain is permanent, so it’s impossible for a third party to change the information.
In traditional finance, audits occur on a periodical basis. However, the process looks different when performed by computers.
The blockchain will automatically record transactions as they occur.
In the future, a separate audit could be unnecessary — as the blockchain can perform the function of an external audit. Account information is publicly available, so the process will be transparent to a degree we’ve never seen before.
The only tool required (if you’re bookkeeping for cryptocurrency, we’d guess you’re not relying on a spreadsheet) is crypto accounting software.
Crypto accounting software is necessary because the blockchain only provides cold data.
For example, Etherscan will show the transactions that have taken place between different wallets on the Ethereum blockchain. However, it shows only a limited amount of information for each wallet.
Gilded transforms data into accounting-ready debits and credits. Our software cleans up the information provided by the blockchain. Gilded gives users the ability to customize QuickBooks crypto mappings for their specific needs.
Gilded streamlines the crypto bookkeeping process, and saves both time and energy to focus less on administrative responsibilities.
As the Solutions Expert at Gilded, I gather information on the business models for a wide variety of organizations. I design action plans for companies using our products.
Most of these businesses have experience with crypto — however, many don’t fully understand the potential of the underlying technology and the future impact of blockchain on accounting professionals.
Bookkeeping of the future is where data entry is a thing of the past.
Computers will be able to automatically map data to the correct subledgers. With a simple click of a button, the financial reporting can be processed and even delivered to management on a determined schedule.
Blockchain has been around for a little more than ten years. As a technology, it’s still remarkably young. A unique opportunity exists for professionals in crypto bookkeeping and accounting to discover new responsibilities for themselves in the crypto space.
The future of bookkeeping
The nature of accounting jobs will be remarkably different in the future. Blockchain will have a massive impact on the accounting profession as a whole.
Ultimately, the most successful accounting professionals are going to lean into the transformation.
With blockchain leading to more automation of mundane bookkeeping tasks, accountants will be free to focus on higher-value advisory work. Bookkeepers familiar with cryptocurrency will have the advantage of helping businesses to navigate these emerging networks of information.
New opportunities will emerge in the field of consulting — helping companies to develop integrative business solutions. Navigating the changes that come from the link between blockchain and accounting.
This is applicable to understanding the complexity of DeFi transactions, the calculation of NFT royalties, and even DAO treasuries and contributor payments.
Understanding how the blockchain functions and the interpretation of decentralized financial information will be a huge advantage.
Some believe that cryptocurrency is just another asset for bookkeepers to track and organize.
It's imperative to understand that cryptocurrency isn’t just a new form of money — it carries a technology that will invite substantial changes to almost every industry.
As mass adoption of blockchain technology looms, what industry will feel the greatest seismic shift? Accounting.
Professional bookkeepers will have the opportunity to become curators of the blockchain.
Similar to how librarians shifted from record keeping to information management, accountants will need to shift from bookkeeping to helping others understand the blockchain. At Gilded, we’re here to help accounting professionals make this transition as smooth as possible.
Our crypto accounting software helps accounting professionals interpret the blockchain in a language they already understand.
With a simple interface and the ability to customize nearly every aspect of your transactions page, Gilded is the bookkeeper of the future's faithful friend.
For growing businesses, the future is now.
Gilded has a seamless integration with software like QuickBooks Online. The goal is to simplify the learning curve for accountants new to blockchain by integrating tools and processes that organizations already use.
The future of accounting and technology is not the end of the industry. In fact, this is an incredible opportunity.
It's true that aspects of the field will become increasingly automated, but with that, brand new — and arguably more exciting — possibilities emerge. The unique skills of accounting professionals will always be valuable to society.
Want to see how Gilded can transform your crypto accounting workflow? Request a demo today and lean into our bookkeeping magic. 🪄
Founded in 2018 by a team of developers and CPAs, Gilded believes that the future of finance is global, open, and powered by blockchain. Our mission is to onboard the next million businesses to web3 by providing the financial tools to succeed in this new reality. Backed by Techstars and the Association of International Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Gilded powers operations for companies building in web3.