The blockchain has been a rising focus over the past few years and it seems that it is only starting to heat up. This new data capture method has the possibility to create a more open system by providing a constantly visible ledger of transactions that was originally used for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin but has the possibility to be used for any kind of document, not just currency. With the insertion of documents into the chain, it is possible for Blockchain to revolutionize the ERP space.
What is the Blockchain?
To understand the implications this could have on ERP we should first define what the Blockchain is. I believe this was best done by Investopedia which says,
“A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central recordkeeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.”
The important piece lies a little further down where they state,
“Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize, code and insert practically any document into the blockchain.”
Imagine a decentralized ledger where organizations who might not know or trust one another being able to collaborate on the accounting of who owes what. That has obvious implications for the cryptocurrency world, but in the accounting world as a whole.
Here is a neat video from CNet that does a great job of explaining it.
This is where we can start to piece together the effects that this can have on platforms like Sage Intacct.
Knowing that any type of data can be added to the chain opens up a lot of possibilities. When tracking things like invoices or manifests, they can be added to a block and when that block is full it is added to the chain where it cannot be edited or deleted. Another insightful entry from the Investopedia article is this,
“The blockchain was designed so these transactions are immutable, meaning they cannot be deleted. The blocks are added through cryptography, ensuring that they remain meddle-proof: The data can be distributed, but not copied”
Secure, non-deletable, sharable data. No more fumbling for records, no more accidental edits or deletions. All the information you need in one place.
The Sage Intacct Take
Now with a concept this transformative who better to ask then the leaders in the field? At Advantage 2017, Aaron Harris, SVP and Head of Engineering and Technology at Sage, was asked how the blockchain could impact Sage Intacct.
“I’ll give you a list of things that I believe about blockchain. I believe that blockchain is going to become a critical part of many of what I call sub-ledgers. Think about supply chain. Blockchain has obvious benefits to supply chain. Blockchain has obvious benefits to financial markets.
To read the entire interview click here.
Even things like subscription businesses with consumers. There are high incidents and low volatility on what their customers are buying. So, blockchain makes tremendous sense. It’s instant reconciliation, block transactions; it’s immutable, so it’s easier to audit.”
Where are we Headed?
Now before we go too far we must realize that this technology is still in its infant stages. There is still a need for people who understand the technology to further develop it. Right now, the main focus is still on cryptocurrency but other uses are still in development, though a bit slower. Sage’s willingness to adapt is very promising. Getting in on the ground floor could prove fruitful in the long run as these technologies become more relevant and accessible to the mainstream.
The most important thing you can do for your business today? Be ready for the next steps. You need to be in the cloud. Let Alta Vista Technology help you plan the path to your future and make your jobs easier. Drop us a line on our contact page or give us a call at 248-733-4504 and let us be part of your solution.