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The Crypto Crisis in Accounting 

Explore the pressing issues facing the accounting profession, especially when dealing with crypto clients. Gain insights from Sharon Yip, CPA, co-founder and CEO of Chainwise Academy, as she discusses challenges and solutions for accountants in the crypto space.

Bridging the Knowledge Gap in Crypto Accounting: A Conversation with Sharon Yip

In a recent conversation with Sharon Yip, a seasoned CPA and CEO of Chainwise Academy, we delved into the crisis impacting accountants servicing crypto clients. Sharon brings over 25 years of experience in public accounting and corporate tax direction, making her insights invaluable for anyone navigating this complex landscape.

Watch the full conversation to gain deeper insights into these challenges and learn practical solutions from industry experts.

Below are key highlights from their conversation

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    TL;DR of Addressing the Crisis in Crypto Accounting

    • Accountants must adapt to the crypto landscape to maintain credibility and serve clients effectively.
    • Accountants need more crypto knowledge via personal experience or thorough study.
    • Choosing the right crypto accounting software, including error detection and transaction classification, is crucial.
    • The rapid evolution of crypto regulations and technologies demands continuous learning.
    • The upcoming IRS 1099DA requirements are a critical change, necessitating preparation for compliance.
    • There are only a handful of courses and certifications aiming to provide practical crypto training for accountants, ChainWise Academy is led by Sharon’s team.
    • The dual shortage of accountants and crypto knowledge is a significant issue.
    • Strategies to attract non-traditional, crypto-passionate talent are difficult.

    The Growing Demand for Crypto Expertise

    Sharon started by highlighting the looming crisis: a vast majority of accountants lack the necessary knowledge to handle crypto transactions. Many see crypto as a niche, esoteric space not worth diving into. However, as Sharon pointed out, crypto is going mainstream, and the demand for skilled accountants in this sector is skyrocketing. Those who fail to adapt are at risk of losing clients and revenue. 

    Crypto is going mainstream. The demand for crypto tax and accounting services is getting higher and higher. Accountants who are unable or unwilling to serve crypto clients are actually losing clients, losing their business, they are also losing a great revenue source.

    Sharon YIP, CPA, CA

    Key Challenges for Accountants

    Lack of Knowledge and Familiarity

    One major issue is the lack of knowledge about different crypto activities. Sharon emphasized the importance of personal experience as a key learning tool. She believes that being an active crypto investor can provide invaluable insights into crypto transactions and their tax implications. For those unwilling to invest personally, extensive reading and research are crucial.

    Knowledge about crypto activities is critical. Before you can serve crypto clients to help them with tax and accounting needs, you need to first have very good knowledge about how different crypto transactions work.

    Sharon YIP, CPA, CA

    Software Complexity

    Another significant challenge is the complexity of crypto software. Sharon noted that traditional tax software is generally straightforward and consistent across different brands. In contrast, crypto tax software can be incredibly complex, often requiring a steep learning curve. Accountants must invest time in learning these new tools, understanding their pros and cons, and choosing the most suitable one for their practice.

    Crypto software is a lot more difficult to learn. You do have to take the time to learn different software and then analyze which software, I mean, the pros and cons, what features each software offers in order to see which one is the most suitable for you.

    Sharon YIP, CPA, CA

    EXTRA: READ SHARON’S ANALYSIS OF THE CRYPTO PAYROLL

    The Role of Continued Education and Professional Development

    Sharon stressed the importance of staying updated with the latest developments in crypto regulations and tax laws. The crypto space evolves rapidly, with new tokens, blockchains, and protocols emerging almost daily. Accountants need to continually educate themselves to keep up with these changes.

    Software Selection Criteria

    Selecting the right software is crucial for effectively managing crypto transactions. Sharon offered several criteria to consider:

    • Ease of Use: Especially important for those new to crypto accounting.
    • Accuracy and Completeness: The software must import all transactions correctly and classify them appropriately.
    • Error Detection: Robust error detection features can save accountants significant time and effort.

    Practical Training: A Gap in the Market

    While many professional associations offer theoretical knowledge on crypto accounting, Sharon noted a gap in practical training. Chainwise Academy aims to fill this void by offering hands-on workshops and real-life case studies to help accountants become proficient in crypto transactions. The academy, in partnership with communities like Crypto CFOs, plans to launch comprehensive training programs by early November.

    Most of the associations or any education channel, focus more on the knowledge level, like a theoretical, like a textbook kind of level education. We have not seen any place that provides true, step-by-step practical training to teach you. That’s actually what we are trying to achieve with Chainwise Academy.

    Sharon YIP, CPA, CA

    Addressing the Talent Shortage

    Sharon also touched on a broader issue: the increasing talent shortage in the accounting profession as a whole. She suggested that hiring non-accountants passionate about crypto could be a viable solution. These individuals can be trained to handle specific tasks, such as account reconciliation, thereby complementing the work of traditional accountants.

    Practical Advice for Accountants

    Sharon wrapped up the discussion by urging accountants to prepare for the inevitable wave of crypto clients. With the IRS preparing to release new 1099DA forms, the demand for skilled crypto accountants will only grow. Those who equip themselves with the right knowledge and tools will be well-positioned to thrive in this evolving landscape.

    If you’re an accountant looking to delve into the world of crypto, connect with Sharon on LinkedIn. Her active presence on the platform offers a wealth of knowledge and updates in the field.

    In summary, the traditional accounting industry must evolve to keep pace with the growing relevance of crypto. Through dedicated education and practical training, accountants can not only serve their clients better but also position themselves as trusted advisors in this burgeoning field.

    Watch the full conversation to gain deeper insights into these challenges and learn practical solutions from industry experts.

    Talk now to a Crypto Accounting Expert

      Cryptoworth provides partners with growth opportunities for accounting firms, CPAs, and technology consultants. Let’s get in touch.

      About the Speakers

      Sharon Yip is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), co-founder, and CEO of Chainwise Academy. With over 25 years of experience in public accounting and corporate tax direction, she has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since 2017. Sharon is passionate about serving crypto clients and educating both consumers and tax professionals on crypto taxation. Through her work at Chainwise Academy, she aims to bridge the knowledge gap in crypto accounting, offering practical training to help accountants navigate this evolving financial landscape. Sharon is also actively involved in the crypto tax professional community, sharing insights and guidance on adapting to new regulations and technologies.

      Author

      • Sharon Yip

        Sharon is a CPA with over 20 years of tax experience. She became a crypto investor in 2017. Sharon is one of the top crypto CPAs in the U.S. She has published articles on Bloomberg Tax and CoinTelegraph and was interviewed by BitIRA, CoinDesk etc. She is also a CPE instructor specializing in teaching crypto tax courses.

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      Sharon Yip

      Sharon is a CPA with over 20 years of tax experience. She became a crypto investor in 2017. Sharon is one of the top crypto CPAs in the U.S. She has published articles on Bloomberg Tax and CoinTelegraph and was interviewed by BitIRA, CoinDesk etc. She is also a CPE instructor specializing in teaching crypto tax courses.

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