IT audit course pushes the envelope with blockchain certification

As part of Dr. Jose Linero’s graduate IT accounting audit course, students are now required to sit for an IBM Blockchain certification. This is the first semester Lineros has added this qualification to his curriculum, but he already sees the impact it will have for his students.

Attending conferences and conducting research of his own, Lineros observed the changing landscape of the accounting industry. Ten years ago, blockchain was barely a name, but today, it has become a critical part of the accounting workplace.

“The landscape is changing in the accounting industry. Firms are saying that you’ve got to learn some rudimentary code, because you have to be able to evaluate these smart contracts that have integrated blockchain technology,” said Lineros.

When a former student approached Lineros and told him about his work requiring an eight-week blockchain course, that was when Lineros knew he needed to bring his students to the forefront of accounting technology.

“We’re really pushing the edge of the envelope here—this is what accountants and auditors need to know to execute their job in the 21st century… My goal for UNT students is that they are the leaders in industry—that they’re the one that gets looked to for expertise in IT issues.”

Lineros also requires a hands-on blockchain exercise for his students, where they use advanced Excel functions to create their own blockchain. He has even petitioned the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to receive funding for formally integrating this project as a module. Lineros’ efforts to continue growing his students, and IT audit course, don’t stop there either.

“Going into 2020 and beyond, we would like to have students running the enterprise Fabric platform, where they can work with blockchain exercises on actual enterprise-level software,” explained Lineros.