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By Denise Lugo
The American Institute of CPAs said Oct. 23 it partnered with Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, a nonprofit trade association, to define the impact of blockchain technology for the accounting profession and to advance it professionally and in public acceptance.
Advocates of blockchain technology have touted it as being as revolutionary an innovation as the World Wide Web. “There are thousands, and thousands, and thousands of people within our profession thinking about what blockchain will do and what they can do to be ready to react to—deal with—blockchain,” Greg LaFollette, a strategic adviser to CPA.com, told Bloomberg Tax.
“The idea is that if everybody understands better what everyone is doing and working on, we are all better off,” he said.
CPA.com is AICPA’s technology arm. It will administer WSBA’s working group on tax and accounting. Other existing blockchain working groups will focus on research and innovation, legal issues, technology, and product.
The associations’ goal is to create a common forum where information can be accessed, LaFollette said. The work will focus on strategy, not on setting rules. “We have no authority or interest in setting standards, there are plenty of places doing that,” said LaFollette. “We’re trying to be an education and information exchange facility.”
Earlier this year, the Digital Chamber of Commerce, a trade organization that advocates for blockchain, asked the Financial Accounting Standards Board to develop a suite of accounting rules for how companies should recognize, measure and disclose the digital currencies blockchain supports. There aren’t any specific rules currently for how to account for them, and therefore there are differences in how they are reported.
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