Perspectives on Auditing and Regulatory Compliance in Blockchain Transactions
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The recent advent of blockchain technology is anticipated to revolutionize the operational processes of several industries including banking, finance, real estate, retail and benefit governmental as well as corporate information management structures. The underlying principles of information immutability, traceability, and verifiability built-in blockchain transactions may lead to greater adoption of distributed crypto-ledger applications in auditing automation, compliance monitoring, and guaranteeing high assurance. This chapter discusses the contemporary applications of blockchain technology in information auditing, exploring aspects such as data recording, accuracy, verification, transparency, and overall value of a decentralized blockchain crypto-ledger for auditors. Opportunities for timeliness, completeness, and reconciliation in appraising regulatory compliance of organizations employing blockchain-based contractual frameworks are also investigated. The chapter reviews the existing and anticipated challenges blockchain applications pose to traditional regulatory compliance models and the inherent risks for businesses and stakeholders. We highlight the impact of operational concerns such as decentralized transactions, network complexity, transaction reversals, credential management, software quality, and human resources. Finally, the chapter provides perspective on assurance complexities involved in transforming from proprietary to blockchain-based framework while adhering to IT control obligations dictated by three major auditing standards Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), Control Objectives for Information Technologies (COBIT), and International Standardization Organization (ISO) /International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 27001.
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