Mid-tier firm introduces cryptocurrency invoice payments
London and Cambridge-based firm BKL has claimed bragging rights as the first mid-sized firm to accept bitcoin to settle invoices.
Up until now, bitcoin has been discussed in the accountancy sphere with a lot of hypothetical beard-stroking, but the news that BKL is using the tech for invoices goes to show the potential in cryptocurrency as a day-to-day alternative.
The mid-sized firm is using the automated payment processing system BitPay to give its clients the option to receive invoices in bitcoin.
As the Top 50 firm manages clients within the technology sector that work with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, BKL’s financial services partner Jon Wedge explained that the service was driven by demand from its clients.
“As a forward-looking business, we are always exploring new ways to develop our offering,” he said.
“It’s a convenient way for many of them, particularly those in the fintech and technology sectors, to buy our services.”
Talk about bitcoin can often devolve into highfalutin jargon. But according to BKL the process is free from much mind-frazzlement.
The process goes: the firm invoices clients with a traditional fiat value, which the client then pays in bitcoin or bitcoin cash at the conversion rate provided by BitPay. This rate is fixed for 15 minutes which the firm explains is to shield the rate from price volatility, which is common with digital currencies.
BKL will then receive the payment through the system as fiat money.
“This is another superb example of forward-thinking professional service businesses engaging with the ever-expanding cryptocurrency industry,” BitPay’s chief commercial officer Sonny Singh said about BKL’s jump into the blockchain.
“As blockchain ventures continue to proliferate, there will be an increasing worldwide demand by vendors to pay invoices in bitcoin."
BitPay is also riding the wave of crypto-enthusiasm after having secured over $70m from investors including Founders Fund, Index Ventures and Aquiline Technology Growth.
BKL may have cornered the mid-tier bitcoin market, but for accountancy’s big firms, cryptocurrency is fast becoming as routine as any other payment. Take Deloitte; the Big Four firm is set to make this nascent tech as prevalent as a side of baked beans in the staff canteen. Under a new scheme being tested at Deloitte’s Luxembourg office, employees will have the option to use bitcoins to pay for their lunch.
However, it's Deloitte's Big Four rival PwC who is going all-in with all things cryptocurrency. Already this year PwC has unveiled plans to validate job candidates through blockchain and has added a cryptocurrency auditing feature for those clients that transact in bitcoin.
And cryptocurrency is not just a plaything for accountancy’s big players. Blockchain start-up Clarity has toured conference after conference as part of their mission to tokenise accountancy and open the eyes of smaller firms to the benefits of cryptocurrency in replacing lost compliance revenue.
Headed by multi-Accounting Excellence award winner Aynsley Damery, the Clarity app is an advisory platform that uses blockchain to handle various functions such as accounts data, analytics and file sharing.
Seeing the growing number of ways bitcoin is being used within the profession, will you be incorporating cryptocurrency into your practice?