The landscape of accounting, auditing, and reporting is rapidly changing due to new technological advancements and digital developments. Among the emerging technologies able to revolutionise business models and consequently change the processes determining management control, accounting, auditing, and reporting is blockchain.
The Department of Financial Accounting at Durban University of Technology (DUT) recently arranged an academic excursion for both staff members and students to the Bull Services Group, a firm that is situated in Musgrave Tensley House.
The programme was organised by Ms NL Mgilane, Dr Ferina Marimuthu, and Mr M Mthembu from the Department of Financial Accounting.
It has two divisions providing specialised IT and Accounting services to small and medium-sized businesses in South Africa. The firm was established in 2016, and the Bull Services Group has developed a diverse set of knowledge and expertise that the team brings to all its projects.
This academic excursion was an eye-opener that left many of the staff members and students in awe of how the Internet of Things has emerged to simplify things for many businesses and individuals across the world.
Trevor Mnguni, IT director of Bull Service group, passionately demonstrated how blockchain has surfaced to replace all the other existing digital methods of payments such as bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
He provided many scenarios to throw light on how these digital technologies work and where we are at this present time in terms of blockchain. He illustrated blockchain as a distributed ledger that is shared by a number of participants in the network; with its aim is to facilitate the recording of transactions and tracking of all the assets. He further narrated that blockchain offers secured methods of payment as transactions are permanently recorded and populated in a sequence chain of previously validated transactions using cryptographing signatures.
This presentation prompted a lot of interesting relevant questions from our staff members and students, and the facilitator was more than happy to attend to every question. He indicated that accountants, auditors, and regulators will be significantly affected by blockchain innovations, more especially in terms of how transactions are initiated, processed, recorded, reconciled, audited, and reported.
Mnguni also stated that blockchain simplifies the job of auditors as they easily pull through the ledger which discloses all the transactions to enable them to prepare their reports. “Furthermore, this technology also eliminates the need for a bookkeeper and increases integrity,” he said.
At the end of this presentation, the students and staff members displayed enthusiasm to practically learn about Blockchain in our curriculum. The Head of the Department (HOD), Dr Ferina Marimuthu, who is also a pioneer of this programme, beamed with joy upon hearing this kind of feedback. She added that the Department is currently in the process of incorporating blockchain into our accounting curriculum.
The general consensus from the group of accounting students who had attended the event, was on how accounting has been digitalised, adding an impression that accounting can be anything depending on how one moulds it.
They further relayed that they were also introduced to new interesting programmes that involve a new system of a universal currency, what drives them, and how it is measured and traced through Accounting and IT. Concurrently, more than two of the staff members threw the idea of collaborating with Bull Service Group to create a blockchain prototype that may possibly improve the existing knowledge of DUT students.
Pictured: Staff and students at the Bull Service Group presentation.
Article Supplied by the DUT Department of Financial Accounting.