Cybersecurity, Emerging Issues in Security

Survey finds that Blockchain and Cryptocurrency are Having Impacts on Accounting and Finance Departments

Blockchain has been making plenty of headlines this year and is beginning to disrupt how business is conducted. Accordingly, it’s also placing additional demands on accounting and finance functions. Cryptocurrency is the major source of these changes which, according to 50% of financial leaders in a Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey, will become at least somewhat common for business transactions over the next five years. Survey respondents also noted that blockchain and cryptocurrency will force financial professionals to expand their skill sets and develop a greater focus on specialized accounting.

Blockchain Encryption Keys

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Robert Half asked finance leaders “How do you think the rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will affect accounting and finance departments?” Their responses are broken out here:*

Staff will need to expand skill sets to adapt for new accounting and finance technologies 36%
It will increase the need for specialized accounting 34%
There will be more cross-departmental collaboration with IT 30%
It won’t impact accounting and finance until it becomes government-regulated 29%
No impact at all 9%

*Multiple responses permitted.

“Companies waiting to see how they’ll be affected by blockchain and cryptocurrency will find they’re too late,” said Steve Saah, executive director for Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “Organizations must act now to stay ahead of the resulting challenges and opportunities.”

Saah added that there are difficulties for companies who are trying to hire for blockchain and cryptocurrency expertise, including for roles involving payments, security and risk. “A big talent gap exists between blockchain experts and jobs demanding their knowledge, making candidates with these skills in high demand. Companies should proactively hire for this knowledge and provide training to help current employees get up to speed.”

Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers the following additional tips for companies looking to build their accounting and finance teams’ blockchain expertise:

  • Facilitate collaboration. Encourage communication with the IT department for seamless integration of the new technologies. IT colleagues may also be able to share best practices and training.
  • Relax the job requirements. Blockchain expertise is hard to find but can be developed. When hiring for roles requiring this knowledge, consider focusing on candidates who will have a short learning curve and can be trained on it.
  • Accelerate the hiring process. If you find a candidate you want to hire, move fast. Enlist the help of a specialized recruiting firm that has access to candidates you may not be able to find on your own and can assist with your hiring efforts.

Additional advice about best hiring practices can be found on the Robert Half blog.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 2,000 finance leaders from companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Robert Half Finance & Accounting
Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, is the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For more information, visit roberthalf.com/finance. For finance and accounting management and career advice, visit our blog.