Crypto-curiosity: Which country's accountants are showing the most interest in up-skilling?

ACCOUNTANTCRYPTO
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Dan Howitt
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Cryptocurrency has revolutionised the financial landscape across the world, gaining popularity among investors globally.

Over the past few years, crypto has cemented itself as part of the mainstream financial conversation, and it’s now more accessible than ever for investors to access or trade with crypto.

Yet in the world of taxes, crypto can be relatively niche for many accountants, when compared to other traditional investment methods.

For some investors, whether advanced or amateur, they may not even realise that they need to pay tax on crypto, making it even more important for accountants to be well-versed in the currency.

Helping clients with crypto complexities

For people seeking the help of accountants to offer valuable assistance on their crypto investments, it’s crucial that accountants are able to familiarise themselves with the regulations and relevant financial planning tools to meet the growing demands of the market.

Crypto tax software can help accountants to navigate the complexities of crypto accounting, facilitating the up-skilling process, and helping them to enhance their understanding of crypto taxation regulations.

A Reddit study: Do accountants want to increase their knowledge of crypto?

To firstly understand the level of interest that accountants currently have in learning crypto, Recap issued a poll on Reddit to the R/Accounting thread.

The poll of global accountants asked “Are you actively trying to increase your skills in accounting for crypto?”

A chart "Are you actively trying to increase your skills in accounting for crypto?" Showing results of 9% Yes and 91% No

It found that, of the respondents, just 9% of accountants are interested in upskilling, with the remaining 91% voting no. Responses included “I don’t anticipate that crypto (or the blockchain or whatever underlying technology) will solve any problem that will cause it to become relevant for the business community” and “What else would I need to learn about it to do the books?”

Only, all accountants should be well-versed in crypto. More and more investors are dipping their toes into crypto, and they’ll need accountants that can best advise them on their portfolio, and navigate the ever-changing world of crypto.

A global perspective: Which accountants are looking to up-skill?

An illustration showing a search engine search for crypto accounting course, with blockchain accounting course and crypto tax accounting in the suggested search dropdown.

To assess the global interest of accountants in relation to understanding crypto, Recap conducted analysis of online search data for 15 terms including “crypto accounting course”, “Blockchain accounting course” and “crypto tax accounting” across 18 of the largest countries in the world to identify those that are at the forefront of up-skilling initiatives.

Which areas are experiencing the biggest growth in crypto-curiosity? And where in the world do accountants need to consider advancing their skills to remain on top?

Our research found that interest to upskill from accountants is highest in the United States - where there’s been a 27% increase in related searches in the last three months. This indicates a strong desire among American accountants to boost their understanding of the evolving landscape and move the needle of nationwide adoption of crypto.

It’s worth noting that the increase could be higher in the US as the tax deadline is in April - as opposed to some other countries like the UK, when it’s in January.

The UK has witnessed a 7% decrease in overall searches, despite a 26% uplift in people looking to “invest in crypto”. This suggests a potential gap between the demand for crypto services and the preparedness of UK accountants to fulfil this demand.

Other countries which saw a notable growth from accountants looking to educate themselves in crypto include India (14%), Australia (13%) and Italy (8%).

Japan, Turkey and Argentina had some of the biggest drops in searches at negative growth rates of -27%, -26% and -20% respectively, facing the risk of falling behind in providing comprehensive crypto accounting services to their clients.

Country3 month growth of accountancy and crypto related search terms
USA27%
India14%
Australia13%
Italy8%
South Africa5%
Canada5%
Indonesia2%
Spain1%
Brazil0%
Saudi Arabia0%
Mexico0%
France-5%
Germany-6%
UK-7%
Ghana-9%
Netherlands-16%
South Korea-17%
Argentina-20%
Turkey-26%
Japan-26%

Annually, the picture differs

In the last year, almost all countries analysed have seen a dip in demand for accounting and crypto-related searches - except the Netherlands, which saw searches rise just by just 1%.

Accountants may not realise the potential advantages that come with being an expert in crypto tax compliance, despite the high probability of both existing clients seeking assistance with cryptocurrencies and an influx of new crypto investors.

CountryYoY growth of accountancy and crypto-related search terms
Netherlands1%
Germany-2%
South Africa-3%
India-4%
Italy-4%
Indonesia-4%
Spain-9%
France-11%
UK-12%
Australia-13%
Canada-16%
USA-17%
South Korea-18%
Brazil-19%
Argentina-20%
Saudi Arabia-21%
Japan-23%
Turkey-25%
Ghana-28%
Mexico-34%

Rishi Sunak standing firm on his ambition for the UK to become a [global hub] for crypto emphasises the need for accountants to embrace the opportunity that stands before them. As the likelihood of encountering clients holding or trading digital assets increases, accountants need to be able to provide accurate and comprehensive financial advice, including on taxation and reporting requirements to their crypto holdings.

Governments and regulatory bodies around the world are gradually establishing new frameworks and guidelines for cryptocurrency taxation and reporting - like the OECD’s Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF). In June, the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting took place in Paris, confirming the decision to adopt CARF as an international standard, supporting revisions to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

It’s crucial that accountants can ensure compliance and help their clients to understand the intricacies of crypto taxation, and support them with digital tools that can help them to share the relevant tax information, without disclosing private transaction data.

What’s more, it just makes business sense for accountants to up-skill. They can not expand their service offerings and attract a wider range of clients without providing specialised advice on crypto, tax planning and strategic financial management.

With crypto presenting unique risks and challenges, accountants with the relevant skills and tools will find themselves on top, providing added value and security to their clients.

Recap’s crypto tax software for accountants enables you to easily generate crypto tax reports for your clients with automated capital gains tax calculations and a comprehensive compilation of all trades and transactions. You can then download a HMRC compliant tax report in just two clicks. Recap is fast, simple and private.

Methodology

Recap looked at 15 common crypto and accountancy search terms using Google Keyword Planner, in 18 countries. Recap looked at the difference in searches in the last 3 months, and overall in the last year, to understand which countries’ accountants are most interested in up-skilling.

Data correct as of May 2023.

The Reddit study was taken from a poll of 155 global accountants in June 2023.

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