Top SEC Accountant Wants Auditor Eyes on Crypto

The SEC's chief accountant is taking distributed ledger technology seriously, exhorting other accountants to do the same.

AccessTimeIconNov 14, 2017 at 6:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:09 a.m. UTC

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission's top accountant has a message: private practitioners should hone their cryptocurrency skills.

That recommendation of sorts was featured in a speech today by Wesley Bricker, who serves as chief accountant for the U.S. securities regulator. Bricker revealed that his office is investigating "cryptocurrencies, coins, tokens and so forth," as well as the ways in which they are exchanged and traded.

Indeed, he noted that his team is "journeying with a compass" by researching applications of the tech through the lens of the SEC's accounting and auditing requirements. And according to Bricker, accountants in the private sector may want to do the same.

He was quoted as saying:

"I suggest that it is warranted for the accounting profession to also invest time in understanding these areas. I have not heard particularly good rationales for turning off – or never turning on – the profession’s lamps at this time."

Bricker's comments come months after he, in another address, said that both ICO organizers as well as those who contribute need to be mindful of relevant reporting requirements.

"An entity involved in initial coin or token offering activities will need to consider the necessary accounting, disclosure and reporting guidance based on the nature of its involvement," he said at the time.

Calls for deeper investigation within the accounting industry have been made in the past, including a recommendation in May from the the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The group said in its report that the technology could reshape the way in which accountants make money.

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