Episode 63

Andrei Belonogov on Technical Accounting for Crypto (SAFT, Derivatives, Staking, Stablecoins)

Andrei Belonogov on Technical Accounting for Crypto (SAFT, Derivatives, Staking, Stablecoins)

What We Discuss With Andrei Belongov

Digital assets and their underlying blockchain technology are an evolving area, and as such accountants frequently face the daunting challenge of scrutinizing existing accounting standards to derive the most reasonable interpretation.

Innovation outpaces the speed of accounting regulation, leaving standard-setting bodies like the FASB for US GAAP or the IASB for IFRS struggling to keep pace.

Whilst the Wall Street Journal reported that 300,000 accountants quit their jobs between 2019 and 2021.

There is an emerging class of accountants who have upskilled themselves to understand blockchain for accounting. 

On Episode 63, I spoke with Andrei Belonogov, the Managing Partner of TechAccountingPro, a company that provides accounting & US GAAP advisory services for digital assets. 

Andrei is not your typical accountant. His blog focused on deciphering the accounting treatment of digital assets under US GAAP was recognized in the top 100 accounting blogs by Feedspot.

Connect with
Andrei Belonogov
Managing Partner @TechAccountingPro

[00:00:00] Umar: Welcome to The Accountant Quits brought to you by the Web3CFO Club, a community by Request Finance. With a curated community of web3 CFOs from companies like Aave, The Sandbox, Binance, Consensys, Ledger, and many more, joining this club will allow you to network and learn best practices on web3 financial operations.

[00:00:24] Umar: On The Accountant Quits podcast, we discuss how blockchain will impact the accounting profession and how accountants should prepare themselves for the future of work. My name is Umar, your host, and even if some might refer to me as the accountant gone rogue, my job is to provide you with the blockchain knowledge that you need that will be relevant for the accounting industry as a whole.

[00:00:47] Umar: Welcome to Episode 63. Digital assets and their underlying blockchain technology are an evolving area and as such, accountants frequently face the daunting challenge of scrutinizing existing accounting standards to derive the most reasonable interpretation. Innovation outpaces the speed of accounting regulation, leaving standard setting bodies like the FASB for US GAAP or the IASB for IFRS struggling to keep pace.

[00:01:17] Umar: While the Wall Street Journal reported that 300,000 accountants quit their jobs between 2019 and 2021, there is an emerging class of accountants who have upskilled themselves to understand blockchain for accounting. Today I have the pleasure to be speaking to Andrei Belonogov, the Managing Partner of Tech Accounting Pro, a company that provides accounting and USGAAP advisory services for digital assets.

[00:01:46] Umar: Andrei is not your typical accountant. His blog focused on deciphering the accounting treatment of digital assets under USGAAP was recognized in the Top100 accounting blogs by Feedspot. Previously at Figment, one of the largest proof of stake validators, Andrei was responsible for providing guidance on accounting for complex on chain transactions.

[00:02:09] Umar: This episode today will cover a range of subjects, including SAFT accounting, accounting for token development costs, receivables and derivatives for crypto, staking rewards for delegators, accounting for stablecoins, and much more. 

[00:02:27] Umar: Lastly, it's important to remind you that nothing in this episode today should be construed as accounting, tax, legal, or investment advice, and you should instead consult with the appropriate professional.

[00:02:40] Umar: Andrei, welcome, and thanks for taking the time to be here. 

[00:02:45] Umar: Thank you so much for inviting me. It's a pleasure to be here. 

[00:02:48] Umar: I want to dive straight into the topics for today and start with SAFT accounting. So for the listeners, I'll briefly describe what is SAFT. So SAFT stands for Simple Agreement for Future Tokens.

[00:03:03] Umar: The basic structure of a SAFT is based on a similar mechanism called a SAFE, so a Simple Agreement for Future Equity, and the startup accelerator Y Combinator launched the first SAFE back in 2013. Basically, a SAFE is an agreement that the investor will transfer funds to the startup now, but receive shares of that startup at a later date.

[00:03:26] Umar: So a SAFT, a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens, works similarly except for one major difference. The agreement is for tokens rather than equity. So web3 projects receive financing now in exchange for a certain number of tokens later. I want to go through SAFT accounting both for the investor and the web3 startup.

[00:03:49] Umar: So starting with the investor, should the accounting treatment fall under an investment in equity? Or is this a derivative? Because now there's a promise to deliver a fixed amount of tokens in the future. How do you see this going about Andrei? 

[00:04:03] Andrei: Of course, thank you for this question. I think the most important is to understand that SAFT usually does not provide you right in the residual interest in the entity or any rights to the future dividends or profits.

[00:04:16] Andrei: And as such, it's not representing interest in equity of the company. SAFT usually when it's issued there is no token on the active market traded at the moment yet. So it means that token doesn't have market price and it means that it's not convertible to cash.

[00:04:35] Andrei: If it's not convertible to cash, you can't account for this as a derivative. However, occasionally there are situations when a SAFT have payment schedules that results in that tokens are distributed to the holder throughout the term that begins before the token being marketed and ends after. So at this period, when token is released to the exchange, this point in time, it's exactly when you would account for the derivative in this SAFT agreement, if it makes sense.

[00:05:07] Umar: Okay. So one of the follow up questions I have is how should companies measure the SAFT asset, with or without an active market and how would they present that on their balance sheet? 

[00:05:20] Andrei: Okay, so without active market, you usually measure SAFT at costs the amortized cost basis. So it means that whatever the investor was paid for the SAFT agreement is the cost that you represent on a balance sheet.

[00:05:33] Andrei: However, once you have an active market for the token and you have a price, you will revalue the value of SAFT based on the active market price as of reporting date. 

[00:05:44] Andrei: From balance sheet perspective, usually there are different approaches again to this accounting. So, and on balance sheet we would usually record it as other investments or other assets because it's not an equity investment as we discussed before, and does not strictly comply with any classification guidance on other types of investments we have.

[00:06:05] Umar: So now let's go through the accounting for tokens on the issuer's books. Let's say I have received funding for my startup and I will distribute the tokens at a later date to the investor. How should the token development cost be accounted for? Because this is used as the basis to come up with the price of the token at the token generation event, basically.

[00:06:29] Andrei: Yes now, unfortunately, and let me probably say a disclaimer that everything that I'm talking about right now is US GAAP, so it's not IFRS. Okay, so what we need to understand is that there is a difference between accounting for standard research and development cost and token development because our tokens in majority of cases don't have definite life and it means that under US GAAP you need to expense costs as incurred. You cannot capitalize cost related to development and only account for token development costs on management books.

[00:07:08] Umar: So like I said to the listeners today, we'll be covering like a range of topics, like one after the other.

[00:07:14] Umar: So jumping onto the other topic I have today is to discuss a bit accounting for smart contracts. And you wrote an article for this. So generally speaking, smart contracts can be set up to provide another party, the ability to manage funds, right? And in your article, you argue that if that party controls fund in the smart contract, they may need to recognize these assets as their own assets in their balance sheet.

[00:07:41] Umar: I did not fully understand what you meant. So I want to take a practical example. Let's say what should companies be thinking about when assessing who controls assets stored in a multisig Safe? 

[00:07:54] Andrei: Thank you so much for this question. It's a very interesting one. What drives accounting in this situation is, not only who controls and can move the assets, but also who directs the party that controls and moves the assets. For example, if the signer is following action of the customer that they have, then in the normal course of business, it will not be asset controlled by the signer, it will be asset controlled by a customer. However, if you're talking about US GAAP, there is also a unique consideration, like SAB 121, that actually requires both parties to account for the assets on their balance sheet in this case, because customer who controls the assets will be accounted for the control concept that customer and the signer who direct the assets as customer provides them will account for the assets on their balance sheet and the SAB 121.

[00:08:51] Andrei: So it's an interesting question. 

[00:08:54] Umar: All right. So, okay. So I'll move on to the next, next topic, which is receivables. So a business that chooses to bill customers in volatile crypto. And today, like you mentioned earlier, we are focusing a little bit more on USGAAP, this would fall under the revenue standard, which is ASC 606 under USGAAP while stablecoins like USDC, USDT, DAI typically fall under financial assets.

[00:09:23] Umar: I want to go through the concept of an embedded derivative when the market price of that volatile crypto changes after the contract inception date. So again, I want to go through a little bit practical example. So let's say on January 1st of 2024, I have invoiced a customer for 1 ETH, when the price of ETH is $1,000.

[00:09:46] Umar: Now I will therefore debit my receivable and credit revenue with a thousand, nothing complicated. Now let's say we're February 1st and the market price is now $1,500. Could you walk us through whether the correct treatment would be to adjust the receivable amount and the revenue amount? 

[00:10:05] Andrei: Of course. Thank you for this question.

[00:10:07] Andrei: I think the most important is to understand whether the token that we're talking about is actually marketed or not. And in this case of Ethereum, of course, we know that it's second largest by market capitalization token, it has market price and it has active market. So in this case, we can apply generally embedded derivative guidance.

[00:10:29] Andrei: I will not go through in details about criteria that we need to follow but in this specific case, if we account for the change in the price from January to February from $1,000 to $1,500, the difference would be reflected as increase in embedded derivative assets on accounts receivable. So a separate line item in financial statements, separate account where you reflect the $500 corresponding with embedded derivative gains and losses.

[00:11:01] Andrei: You will not adjust the revenue recognized, from your customer because under ASC 606, you'll have to use the inception date price for the contract in order to measure revenue in Ether. 

[00:11:15] Umar: I understand. And therefore the corresponding entry would be? 

[00:11:18] Andrei: Debit embedded derivative assets, credit embedded derivative gain for $500.

[00:11:24] Umar: Okay. Got it. And so therefore now when the invoice is settled, let's say on March 1st. Let's say the price is still at $1,500, then it would be a simple reversal of the entry and debiting my cash. 

[00:11:39] Andrei: Not exactly. You will need to record the assets that you receive at the current market price by, by recording corresponding credits to accounts receivable for $1,000 and to embedded derivative assets for $500.

[00:11:53] Andrei: So in this case, it will be debit crypto assets for $1,500 and credit receivables for $1,000 , credit derivative assets for $500. 

[00:12:07] Umar: Yeah, of course. My bad I said cash. We are, we are talking about Ethereum here. Okay. I'm very clear. 

[00:12:13] Umar: So let's, let's move on to the other topic, which is staking. And so I've prepared these questions for our conversation today, I guess a week ago. And I saw that you just released an article on accounting for staking income. So for the listeners, I want to start with the basics. So with staking, token holders can lock their tokens to participate in the networks consensus mechanism, right? And in return, receive rewards, usually in the form of additional tokens.

[00:12:46] Umar: For accounting the key question is whether the staking entity, a validator or a delegator, should continue to recognize staked tokens as its own assets on its balance sheet. So since staked tokens remain in the staking entity's wallet, both in, in the case of the validator or the delegator, the counterparty does not have the right to use those assets, and therefore the staking entity should continue to account for them in the same manner. Therefore under intangibles. 

[00:13:18] Umar: For this conversation, I want to focus on how delegators should account for their staking rewards. Could you walk us through how to interpret the standard on revenue recognition for the delegator? 

[00:13:31] Andrei: Of course. So I wanted to emphasize that when we're talking about delegator, the income that you receive, it's not income from your customer, it's income from someone else.

[00:13:42] Andrei: You do not sell anything to the protocol. You do not have a contract typically with protocol to be some other party. So in this case, accounting guidance for under ASC606 does not directly apply, but it applies by analogy. Because there is no other guidance that you could use basically. The only difference is that you can't represent the income from staking as revenue.

[00:14:06] Andrei: It's presented as other income and expenses. So as a result, you just record whatever you receive in the staking rewards as income. However, what we need to be cautious about is the timing of recognition, because oftentimes you don't receive staking income until you claim it.

[00:14:26] Andrei: And if not claimed, we still need to accrue the staking income under accrual basis of accounting Because we recognize income and expenses when they occur, not when they actually received in cash or in tokens in this case. And this is something where I see a lot of complications because you, you usually can't really query a smart contract or a validator account to know the balances of a specific date in the past.

[00:14:56] Andrei: You can only do it in the current date, in the current state. So in order to account this properly, you need to query the contract specifically at the month end, specifically when you need to recognize this balance, to know exactly what you should record in your books as a staking income. Does it make sense?

[00:15:14] Umar: Okay. So could you give us an example of, I mean, I know a lot of accountants are not very technical, so I don't see them right going to query like a smart contract, or maybe there are some tools that they'd use. So do subledgers help with these?

[00:15:30] Andrei: Unfortunately, the subledgers do not help with it. At least the ones that I know of, they don't have functionality to track your accurate staking income.

[00:15:37] Andrei: What I saw in the practice is that people who are responsible for accounting for staking income typically go to the website of the protocol, for example, Cosmos, and make a screenshot of what their account balance for accurate staking rewards as a specific date, for example, on December 31st and March 31st on every month, every month and date, then they calculate the difference between what we have for the current month end and screenshot is what we had in the past screenshot and adjusted for the receipt during the period of tokens to arrive to the income that you should recognize in the books is complicated and labor intensive effort, unfortunately, no current alternative to this as far as I know.

[00:16:19] Umar: Okay, so there's no other tools that you know of that could help with that. So if I want to know at a historic point in time, 31st December, 2023, what were my staking rewards, like from, let's say, delegating my ATOM tokens, let's say, to a validator, you saying like, yeah, it's kind of hard to track those at that specific date.

[00:16:43] Umar: Yes. And I didn't hear correctly, but the one that you mentioned was Cosmos station, right? Yes. Okay. 

[00:16:51] Umar: Before we continue, we'll take a quick commercial break from our sponsor. Working in web3 can transform your career, be financially rewarding and surround you with a vibrant community. But as you're very much aware, this space requires rethinking a lot of the old models of how we work.

[00:17:08] Umar: For example, as the leader in a web3 organization, it's up to you to figure out the most cost-effective way to offramp the company's crypto. Or what's the most efficient setup to mass pay your contractors in crypto. Getting your organization to run on crypto is daunting if you're alone.

[00:17:27] Umar: That's why Request Finance, the industry leader in crypto invoicing, payroll, and expenses has curated a community of web3 CFOs to share best practices around web3 financial operations. With CFOs from leading projects like Aave, Sandbox, Binance, Consensys, and many more joining this community will allow you to network and fast-track getting your organization compliant in crypto.

[00:17:53] Umar: And you know what? I'm also responsible for accepting new members and growing the Web3CFO club. So if you're a web3 business founder, CEO, CFO, or in charge of financial operations, you can join this exclusive community today by filling up an application form at theaccountantquits.com/web3cfo.

[00:18:15] Umar: Subject to a screening check, you will then start interacting with high profile web3 CFOs, get access to members-only benefits like webinars, resources, and invitations to physical meetups. Join the club today and let's win web3 financial operations together. 

[00:18:34] Umar: So now moving on to how to disclose your digital assets, either between current and non-current assets.

[00:18:41] Umar: Again, you wrote an article about this. I thought it was interesting to cover this. In this article, you analyze how six publicly traded companies having digital assets on their balance sheet, do the classification. And you concluded that a majority of these companies present digital assets as current assets.

[00:18:58] Umar: Coinbase Global, for example, presents crypto assets held as non current assets and BTCS, on the other hand, presents crypto assets held as current assets. Now, you've worked at Figment, like I mentioned in the introduction, as their financial reporting accountant. Figment's financials are not publicly available.

[00:19:19] Umar: I can't ask you to share their specific accounting disclosures, but generally speaking, looking at a validator and delegator relationship, we'd be able to understand a few disclosure examples between what's current and non-current assets. I want to ask you, what is your opinion on classifying customer funds, staking rewards, receivable, and crypto assets between current and noncurrent assets?

[00:19:44] Andrei: Of course, so first thing that we need to understand is that current and non current asset classification is not mandatory. So basically, some companies elect to present all assets in the order of liquidity. And they would not classify any assets of current or non current. It's allowed. There is no requirement in US GAAP at least to separate, but most of companies do it because investors really appreciate it and consider the non current or current classification in their analysis.

[00:20:14] Andrei: When we talking about digital assets presentation, it's also very important to understand that depending on this purpose called in the assets and how do we use them, you may account for the same assets in different ways. 

[00:20:30] Andrei: For example, when we are talking about non-native, non virtually native company, just hold Bitcoin, for example, at MicroStrategy for investment gain purposes, capture the appreciation of the assets in the future.

[00:20:44] Andrei: They would not expect to sell these assets anytime in the next 12 months. They do not expect to use it to pay for their current obligations. So that means it is. probably appropriate to present as non-current assets. However, if you are talking about web3 native company that typically uses crypto assets to pay for some obligations denominated in crypto assets, and if you're talking about any company that operates and actively use assets in operations.

[00:21:14] Andrei: In the current period, like, it's expected all or particularly all of the digital assets will turn around within the next 12 months, then it's appropriate to account for this as a current asset. So again, for web3 native companies, it's mostly digital assets shown as current assets. For non-native companies, it will be non current assets because they hold it for a different purpose.

[00:21:36] Andrei: And here's also come the differentiation that if you are a web3 native company that holds digital assets as an investment, you will show them separately from digital assets hold for operating purposes. 

[00:21:47] Umar: Okay, very clear. Now, moving on to stablecoins, most crypto assets are usually accounted under intangibles, but an exception to that is stablecoins.

[00:21:57] Umar: Stablecoins differ because they peg their value to a traditional asset, such as fiat currency like USDC, for example. So they do meet the definition of financial assets because the holder. of USDC, let's say, they do have a contractual right to receive cash. So if you go and read, for example, Circle's, terms and conditions, they do say that Circle the company who mints USDC commits itself to redeem one USDC for one USD.

[00:22:27] Umar: Now I read the AICPA practice aid guide, which is an excellent guide. They state that it is impossible to provide a general rule of thumb for accounting for stablecoins. And this practice aid, they don't tell you specifically on how to recognize different stablecoins, which are present today, but they lay out different circumstances to consider when determining the accounting for stablecoins.

[00:22:52] Umar: In your experience so far, have you seen stable coins other than USDC and DAI being accounted not as financial assets because of the nature of their underlying assets? 

[00:23:02] Andrei: Yes, actually, there was one very interesting case in Matrix Global 10k recently, they restated information about stablecoins and USDT, Tether tokens.

[00:23:15] Andrei: They originally classified it also as a financial asset, but now they changed their view. to present it as a digital assets under restrictive guidance. The reason for this is that under Tether terms of conditions, unlike USDC, the right to redeem a token is subordinate to the right of the Tether to, to repay, to make a payment, either in cash or in non-cash assets.

[00:23:40] Andrei: And it's a quite a complicated and judgmental topic, I would say. Basically, the fact that the company needs to pay at redemption date in cash is not always definitive of whether it's financial assets or not. Because the conditional right to receive payment in cash is is also sufficient to record some of the assets as financial assets.

[00:24:03] Andrei: Example in traditional accounting would be accounting for prepaid expenses, for prepaid assets. If you buy fixed assets, a specific unique foreign currency, for example, and you have prepared on the balance sheet as of reporting date, you would usually measure it at current exchange rate, if it's refundable deposits and you don't remeasure it, if it's not refundable deposits.

[00:24:27] Andrei: So the measurement is feature that typical for financial assets. It's just something that's right now, by the way, being discussed in ASB and overall accounting for how to differentiate financial assets from nonfinancial assets. So topic gets more and more complicated and as AICPA guide noted, sort of circumstances that considered, it's actually true.

[00:24:51] Andrei: But in my opinion that USDT is probably one of the concepts I would still account for financial assets because even though the right to receive cash sometimes may be not realized, you still have the right to receive monetary compensation in the amount of the token. If it's paid in other non cash consideration, it should be still value based on the monetary value of financial assets.

[00:25:19] Andrei: So it's my opinion, personal. 

[00:25:22] Umar: Okay. Now for the remaining part of our conversation today, Andrei, I want to touch on how you transitioned actually from TradFi to web3. I think you have a very interesting career path. So similarly to me, you started as an auditor, so you worked for many years at KPMG.

[00:25:44] Umar: And then after that, you went into the industry, you worked for a company called Brown Forman, which is a beverages company, if I'm not mistaken. And then you actually contributed at Aragon before joining Figment. So for the listeners, I want you to share what actually got you interested from when at the time working at Brown Forman, and then you wanted to work in web3 and you started at Aragon.

[00:26:10] Umar: How did you even get that job? And, uh, yeah, what were you curious about with blockchain? 

[00:26:15] Andrei: Yes, I think that what made me most curious about blockchains was that I tried to answer one question about how to account digital assets, and I started to research this question, trying to understand how to do this.

[00:26:29] Andrei: And I realized that I don't understand it. It's so complex. It's so many different considerations to be taken. It's much more unusual and more interesting than any other question they dealt with in traditional accounting. So this complexity and the ability to learn something new every day, it's something that I think is fascinating about web3 for me.

[00:26:50] Andrei: And this is what made me interested in it. On Aragon, actually it was pretty easy to get in at this point in time. I know right now it's changing, but basically if you want to work in DAO, you just need to go to the forum, start communicating with people, and you will have to get involved, that's all you need.

[00:27:14] Umar: Yeah, it's very swift to get into working at a DAO. You just have to be on their Discord basically, or their forum. Yes, just need to be part of community.

[00:27:25] Umar: Yeah, so then I believe you, you were still working for Aragon part time or not full time? And then you transitioned to, you got that full time job at Figment?

[00:27:38] Andrei: Yes, exactly. 

[00:27:40] Umar: Okay. So now you're no longer working at Figment and you've launched your own crypto accounting firm. You provide accounting, financial reporting services. Can you share a little bit of the different problems your clients were facing that you help them with? 

[00:27:58] Andrei: Yes, of course. So, primarily what I'm doing is technical accounting.

[00:28:02] Andrei: So, for example, one of my clients recently I helped take a look at their revenue recognition practices and document them in the accounting memorandum. I reviewed their contracts with customers, identified errors related to application of certain accounting principles, and discussed them with management.

[00:28:24] Andrei: And explain how to prevent these errors in the future. So, look into your practices, documenting them in technical accounting memorandums, and making sure that it's best practice is correct going forward and compliant with USGAAP requirements is something that I can help companies with and help my clients.

[00:28:42] Umar: Andrei can I interrupt you ?

[00:28:44] Andrei: Yes, of course. 

[00:28:45] Umar: Could you give me an example of, let's say a complex accounting treatment, of course, without revealing like the names of any of your clients that let's say you have to deal with, 

[00:28:58] Andrei: Yes, basically any engineering contact that you have. multiple milestone and payment and tokens, especially tokens that are not yet traded requires a lot of documentation and assessment.

[00:29:12] Andrei: Specifically, when is the point of contract inception? When you need to determine token price? Is it after or before the date of token was listed? And whether you should use like third party valuation, you should use like a market price. All of these are very judgmental and often small change in terms in the contract is often a significant and major change in the amount that you recognize as income.

[00:29:36] Umar: Yeah. Okay. So that is. That is something you would, I mean, a lot of times these projects, the yeah, there's no accountants there. So they would require some expert coming in and advising them. Now on your blog, which we mentioned earlier, you've written quite a number of articles around web3 accounting. I was curious, how did you start writing and in general, how does writing help you?

[00:30:02] Andrei: Basically, it's what we discussed already. I just got curious in the industry and started to try to figure out how to account for specific transactions and started to write about it to share. People seem to like it. 

[00:30:14] Umar: I understand. So writing actually, you come up with something you want to seek more clarification on, you do the research and by actually writing about it, you learn about it.

[00:30:25] Umar: And that's an excellent way of learning. And you actually, you're not only like personally learning, but you're educating like everyone. The act of writing, it's a generous act. And that's why I wanted to ask, because I also, I write a couple of times. I definitely need to write more, but writing is not easy, especially when you have to write about such topics.

[00:30:47] Umar: So I wanted to understand, given that you have written so many articles, what keeps you going and like to writing like all these articles, but yeah. Any writer, like I have a tremendous respect for them I think 

[00:30:58] Andrei: it's most important just to be, keep disciplined and remember what you plan to do and actually do this. So if you have a discipline and you make yourself right and make yourself do it, redo it again and again until it looks nice, when you will be able to produce a lot of without issues. 

[00:31:19] Umar: Yeah, I agree. I agree with you. Now, I want to also touch on an area that I'm passionate about is how to bring more accountants into web3 or learn blockchain. So as you know, I launched this Crypto Accounting Academy to help accountants learn how to account for digital assets. So they may be hired at web3 companies because there is a lack of accountants.

[00:31:42] Umar: A lot of the listeners and a lot of the guests I speak to, we believe that in a not so distant future, cryptocurrencies like stablecoins will become mainstream for payments and accountants. We need to understand how to collect data from block explorers, understand how to operate subledgers, in addition to the ones they already know in web2, like the Xero and QuickBooks.

[00:32:05] Umar: You've been in the web3 space for a long time now, and you're an active content creator, like we just mentioned. So there's something I've been trying to figure out lately, is why do you think accountants have to learn blockchain? And how do we convince more accountants to learn this technology? Because I'm saying, I'm telling accountants, you have to upskill yourself with blockchain because this is an emerging technology.

[00:32:30] Umar: You can get hired at these companies using digital assets, but is there another message that you have to be actually telling these accountants? 

[00:32:38] Andrei: It's a great question. I think what I would ask it in the context of, would be in the context of artificial intelligence, maybe because as we have more and more tools that automate manual and very non task related, you don't need to think about what you're doing.

[00:32:54] Andrei: You actually need to spend more time on more complex and difficult areas of accounting. And blockchain is one of the areas that not only get a more and more complicated, but it also gets more and more widespread, as you mentioned. So if you will not follow this trend, you probably will just not be able to do any work in the next couple of years, I think, in the upcoming future.

[00:33:17] Umar: Have you used AI in your work today? Anything related to crypto accounting? 

[00:33:22] Andrei: I'm trying to, yes. I'm trying to work on this and I have developed some solutions based on AI, but they are more I'd say generic. I have not yet seen or tried any solutions that are specific to crypto accounting.

[00:33:35] Umar: Okay. I understand. Would you be able to share some of those solutions you've developed? 

[00:33:42] Andrei: Yes. I'm working with a team on coherent-accounting.com is a OCR recognition software that allows you to recognize invoices, entry bank statements, and enter them directly into QuickBooks without any manual work. So this is one of the examples where it simplifies and automates the process. To make sure that you do something that's interesting in accounting. 

[00:34:07] Umar: Okay. Very nice. Maybe one of the follow up questions I want to ask you on this is, do you think accountants today have to learn to code or to what extent should they maybe have a basic knowledge of coding? 

[00:34:22] Andrei: I think everyone needs to learn to code right now.

[00:34:25] Andrei: And I share this quote for some of them. I think it was some of the founders of Google or someone similar that in the near future, if you don't know how to code, you just can't do anything. But AI again, helps us make it easier. It makes it less complicated to learn. And if you don't know something, it can help you.

[00:34:44] Umar: Okay. Very nice. I'm actually, it's something that's been on my to do list for a very long time. I have a little bit more time now, given that I'm not working with the Web3CFO club anymore. And I'm trying to course on Python and we'll see where that leads me to. 

[00:34:58] Umar: Andrei, we've come to the end of our conversation today.

[00:35:01] Umar: Is there anything else that we, maybe we didn't focus on today, but you would want to share anything else to the listeners today? 

[00:35:10] Umar: I just want to say that please stay curious, learn more about 

[00:35:11] Andrei: crypto accounting, it's a very interesting topic and I love it. And if you share this love also, please read my blog and listen to this podcast.

[00:35:24] Umar: Perfect. I'm definitely going to be sharing your blog. Your blog is excellent and you should subscribe. It's on Substack. It's actually, it's techaccountingpro.substack.com. And please give it a read, and Andrei actually releases his articles very frequently, much more frequently than I do. Now, there's a last question that I like to ask to my guests before they leave, is, do you have a favorite quote or maxim that you live by?

[00:35:51] Andrei: It is, a maxim, maximally and it's easier to remember, just do the right thing. 

[00:35:56] Umar: Yeah, it's a good one. It's simple, easy to remember. If people want to reach out to you to basically get more advice on their technical accounting, how should they do so? And maybe if you could just mention whether it's both USGAAP and IFRS or just USGAAP?. 

[00:36:15] Andrei: Yes, I have both USGAAP and IFRS as well as more strategic questions related to technical accounting that you can have on the board. So, like, pretty much everything related to accounting financial reporting is my area of expertise. If you want to reach out to me, you can always do it via my website techaccountingpro.com or techaccountingpro.substack.com via my blog. 

[00:36:41] Umar: Perfect. Well, Andrei, thanks a lot. It's a conversation that I've been wanting to have with you for a very long time and thanks a lot for all the work that you are doing and keep up the good work and we'll speak very soon. 

[00:36:54] Andrei: Thank you. 

[00:36:54] Umar: I would like to thank everyone for listening to this episode you, you'll find all the links of the episode show notes and transcript on the website of The Accountant Quits at theaccountantquits.com.

[00:37:06] Umar: Please note that this content is for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. If you do know anyone who could benefit from the episode and you care about them, please do share the episode with them. All the episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

[00:37:26] Umar: And by leaving us a review and rating, you will support the channel and all your fellow accountants. In order to be notified each time we release a new episode, do follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn. We hope to have you with us next time. Bye for now.

Share This Episode:
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.