There are joys and sorrows, the blockchain battles of the Big Four accounting firms

Author: Chen

Source: Finance and Economics Network on Finance

On October 16, Ernst & Young announced the official launch of the EY OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM). According to Ernst & Young, EY OpsChain PFM is a blockchain-based solution designed to help governments improve the financial management process for public funds. Currently, the solution has opened several pilots around the world, including Toronto.

In addition to Ernst & Young, the other three of the Big Four accounting firms have already made corresponding arrangements in the blockchain field. The blockchain has become a new battlefield for the four majors.


Ernst & Young – the world's first consulting firm to receive bitcoin services

According to the financial network and chain financial inquiry, in 2016, Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers entered the blockchain at the same time, but Ernst & Young has always held a wait-and-see attitude. In this period, Ernst & Young has established a special blockchain. The group, but did not launch specific products or services like the other three.

At the beginning of 2017, Ernst & Young Switzerland opened a Bitcoin payment channel to its customers. Customers can choose to use Bitcoin to settle audits and consulting services. Since then, Ernst & Young has officially become the world's first consulting company to accept Bitcoin services.

Since 2017, Ernst & Young has gradually carried out a number of layouts in the blockchain field, involving currency analysis, intellectual property and royalty management, travel, insurance and other industries, and has reached a number of well-known companies such as Microsoft and Maersk. Related cooperation.

Most notably, Ernst & Young launched its first blockchain business application, EY OpsChain, in April 2017. Companies can build and manage a network of business partners through EY OpsChain and then run shared processes throughout the ecosystem, including Purchasing, inventory, logistics, invoicing and customer management.

Since then, EYOpsChain has become the bottom layer of the Ernst & Young blockchain architecture, and many of Ernst & Young's products have been running on EY OpsChain. According to public information, its latest EY OpsChain PFM runs on EY OpsChain.

In April of this year, EY OpsChain conducted a second-generation program update. According to Ernst & Young data, EYOpsChain will support up to 20 million transactions per day on the private network.

Paul Brody, head of global innovation at Blockchain in Ernst & Young, said:

“ EY Ops Chain is evolving into a full-featured business application that enables companies to digitize and automate interactions with key business partners, from purchasing to financial settlement. Now our customers come from cars, food, beverages And multiple industries such as healthcare, all using the same scalable code base and open blockchain standards."


PricewaterhouseCoopers – direct involvement in the currency circle key layout cryptocurrency audit

In January 2016, the cooperation with Blockstream officially announced that PwC officially entered the blockchain field. According to the entry point, PwC's cut-off point is to provide evaluation services for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. PwC is in essence compared to other companies that focus on technology development or provide blockchain services. Is still providing consulting services.

Up to now, PwC has only launched three tools at the tool level, two of which are cryptocurrency auditing services. Chain Finance understands that so far, the industry has not developed a set of industry-approved and practical auditing standards for the cryptocurrency sector.

In March 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced a partnership with the US Trustee Northern Trust to launch a new tool that allows private equity fund auditors to quickly access data stored on their private blockchain. This allows the auditor to get relevant information almost immediately, without waiting for the fund manager to take action on a regular report.

On June 1, 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia announced that it is working with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Brisbane Port to develop a new platform that attempts to link supply chain information using blockchain technology.

On June 19, 2019, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced the launch of a cryptocurrency auditing software. PricewaterhouseCoopers said that the Halo Audit Suite tool in the software can be used to "provide guarantee services for entities engaged in cryptocurrency transactions." PwC can provide independent evidence of public-private key pairing (establishing ownership of encrypted assets) and collect transaction and balance information from the blockchain.

In addition, PricewaterhouseCoopers is the only company in the Big Four that is directly involved in the currency circle. On May 4, 2018, PricewaterhouseCoopers acquired a minority stake in startup startup VeChain. According to reports, PricewaterhouseCoopers intends to integrate VeChain's service platform into its infrastructure.


Deloitte – focus on technology development

In May 2016, Deloitte established its first blockchain laboratory. Since then, Deloitte's layout in the blockchain field has also been an "academic" route. In addition to the development of various blockchain technologies, it is also committed to publishing various blockchain research reports.

On July 14, 2017, Kazakhstan and Deloitte reached a cooperation to study the application of blockchain technology in government systems.

In September 2017, Deloitte announced the official establishment of the Asia Pacific Blockchain Technology Lab in Hong Kong. In addition to developing strategies, the lab will assist corporate customers in the Asia Pacific region to implement and deploy distributed ledger technology (DLT).

According to Joe Guastella, managing partner of Deloitte Global Management Consulting Financial Services,

“Deloitte's Asia Pacific Blockchain Technology Lab in Hong Kong is the third global blockchain technology laboratory after Dublin and New York. These three laboratories consolidate Deloitte in digital, financial technology and The global network foundation of the blockchain center is dedicated to supporting customers' digital innovation projects."

Combining Deloitte's initiatives in the blockchain field, it is known that it rarely launches specialized tools or solutions. In the blockchain field, Deloitte is more like a technology provider.


KPMG – it’s hard to go halfway

In October 2018, Arun Ghosh, head of the US blockchain at KPMG, who had just taken office for a month, said KPMG had decided to “refresh” its distributed ledger technology (DLT) strategy.

He told the media that KPMG has extended its blockchain activities beyond the previously focused financial services sector to explore a development path that is relatively less explored. Previously, KPMG's main direction was roughly the same as Ernst & Young.

Since then, some media analysts believe that KPMG’s “slightly less explored development path” refers to risk assessment and auditing. This business has a certain degree of overlap with PricewaterhouseCoopers, but KPMG does not have the experience of PricewaterhouseCoopers in the field of cryptocurrency auditing.

So far, PwC has launched two hardware related to cryptocurrency audits, and KPMG has achieved results.

In October 2018, the big change of the KPMG blockchain leadership led the industry to believe that KPMG may have a larger development in the blockchain field, but the “change coaching” has been one year since then, and the KPMG blockchain remains. It is difficult to come up with representative results.

According to the development direction of the four major accounting firms in the field of blockchain, most of them combine their traditional advantages and extend on the basis of the original business. The comprehensive fields involved have also covered the current blockchain field. Most of the subdivided businesses have also proposed corresponding solutions for the current pain points, but based on the immature nature of the blockchain field, the four majors still have a long way to go in the blockchain field.

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