REA, Triple-Entry Accounting and Blockchain: Converging Paths to Shared Ledger Systems
73 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2020 Last revised: 18 Jan 2022
Date Written: May 15, 2020
The concept of shared ledger systems offering a single source of truth has repeatedly called traditional bookkeeping into question. Improving upon the long-standing double-entry system, solutions such as the Resource-Event-Agent (REA) accounting framework, triple-entry accounting (TEA) and blockchain have been advanced. However, to date, the historical development of these concepts remains murky. This paper conducts a genealogical analysis of shared ledger systems, in particular tracing the development of REA, TEA and blockchain. We show how the REA framework has had a distinct influence on independent streams of research in the field of TEA, and how this interaction may be traced to the present incarnation of shared ledger systems in blockchain. In doing so, we duly acknowledge the influence of key individuals contributing to this development, correct common misconceptions and map out how the paths of REA, TEA and blockchain overlap in the realm of shared ledger systems.
Keywords: Triple-Entry Accounting, REA Accounting Model, Single Source of Truth, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology
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