Cryptocurrency laws alert for accountants
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) says accountants need to keep up-to-date on developments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, or risk falling foul of anti-money laundering and terrorism laws.
The global accountancy standards body warned the sector in Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions with "historical money laundering challenges" need to be particularly alert.
Anthony Harbinson, chairman of the financial crimes taskforce at the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB), said: "The historical prevalence for money laundering across the border makes Northern Ireland particularly at risk to crypto currencies by providing a clear route to enabling the proceeds of crime to go undetected.
"Hard fought controls over banking, accounting, auctioneering, solicitors and dealers in high value goods has made laundering the proceeds of crime very difficult and this has directly resulted in crime detection and prevention."
Maggie McGhee, director of Professional Insights at ACCA, said the nature of crypocurrencies makes them potentially problematic with issues including volatility. "As new technologies become adopted, it is vital that professional accountants develop their digital understanding alongside their ethical responsibilities to flag areas of concern."