Blockchain in accounting, accountability and assurance: an overview

Rosanna Spanò*, Maurizio Massaro, Luca Ferri, John Dumay, Jana Schmitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to present an overview of topics addressed in the papers appearing in this AAAJ special issue: Blockchain in accounting, accountability and assurance.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors present a review focussing on the papers published in this special issue. The authors imported the eight accepted papers into NVivo, coding them according to the research topics posed in the call for papers. Then, the authors conducted an in vivo coding for the emerging themes found in the papers.

Findings: Blockchain is a multifaced topic with multiple implications for accounting, auditing and accountability, the accounting professions, and governance. However, blockchain is still a developing topic. Blockchain research traditionally has four stages. More recently, a new research stage deserving more investigation is emerging based on the interaction of blockchain with other technological developments such as virtual reality and the metaverse.

Originality/value: The review not only uncovers and systematises the multiple implications of blockchain for accounting research. It also unveils the dark side of blockchain, focusing on the technology's negative environmental and social implications. Last, the authors highlight why accounting research should more extensively examine contemporary issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1506
Number of pages14
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number7
Early online date12 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022


  • Accountability
  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Blockchain
  • Blockchain 5.0
  • Dark side
  • Governance
  • Professions


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