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OCA trying to understand blockchain technology applications: SEC Chief Accountant
The Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is focusing on blockchain technology and its applications, a senior official at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said recently.
Speaking at the Financial Executives International 36th Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference, chief accountant Wesley R. Bricker said that the OCA is exploring the potential impact of distributed ledger technology (DLT) for financial reporting.
Bricker that the department’s interest in blockchain technology applications is particularly driven by the fact that those involved in this space may be utilizing capital from investors.
“OCA is investing time to understand blockchain technology applications such as cryptocurrencies, coins, tokens and so forth as they are offered, bought, held, sold, and traded. I suggest that it is warranted for the accounting profession to also invest time in understanding these areas,” he said.
However, Bricker emphasized on ensuring compliance with the SEC’s existing accounting and auditing requirements, books and records requirements, auditor independence rules, and the federal securities laws.
“These collectively form a framework for us, and they should as well for everyone, because these requirements apply to all matters within the purview of the SEC, even if they were developed prior to the emergence of the types of facts and circumstances, including blockchain technology applications,” he added.
In his concluding remarks, Bricker urged accounting professionals to devote time to understand latest trends and technologies, saying:
“I realize that none of us can foresee exactly how these technologies may be developed and applied in the coming months and years…I think it is important that those in the accounting profession invest the time to understand new trends and developments in technology and commerce to identify their potential effects on financial reporting to investors.”