Ever since the double-entry bookkeeping system was created in 1340, accountants and business owners have been focused on the fidelity of financial reporting systems. The double-entry system prevented misreporting and forced accounting to be reliable. With more reliance on computerized information systems, more reliable information is imperative. The blockchain database structure is designed to achieve this reliability.
What started as a theoretical vision of integrity in recordkeeping has evolved into a distributed database structure with high fidelity of information quality and availability. This database structure could help prevent and detect fraudulent transactions by trading parties. The blockchain concept carries some risks, but with a built-in audit trail, these risks are manageable. The implementation of blockchain technology into corporate information systems is in its early stages, but it is likely to be adopted by diverse businesses, large governmental agencies, and various exchanges. Once mature and widely adopted, blockchain may bring about a “system of systems,” or a master “journal of journals.” Accountants, managers, and educators can play a pivotal role in this growth opportunity, and should be familiar with its basic tenants: an independent database self-validating a single ledger.