SEC Chief Accountant Urges Profession: Explore Blockchain Impact on Financial Reporting

In a November 14 speech before the Financial Executives International (FEI) 36th Annual Financial Reporting Issues Conference, SEC Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker, called on the accounting profession to "light a lamp" to understand distributed ledger, i.e., blockchain, technology, and its impact on financial reporting.  He noted that the SEC's Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is doing similarly, and "with a compass; namely the Commission's existing accounting and auditing requirements, books and records requirements, auditor independence rules, and the federal securities laws more generally".  Referring to these things collectively as a "framework," Bricker urged the profession to invest the time to understand the impact of new technologies on commerce and financial reporting within the current framework, even though those rules predate the development of recent technologies such as blockchain.