Purpose – This paper aims to design, build and evaluate a blockchain platform in the accounting domain, taking an ecosystem perspective. To achieve this aim, the research provides evidence for developing a decentralised architecture rooted on blockchain technology, designing a proof of concept and modelling an accounting blockchain-based system. Design/methodology/approach – Moving from the analysis of previous literature and leveraging on the design science approach, this paper provides a framework grounded on the main pillars of blockchain and accounting functions, identifying technical and non-technical issues that must be addressed embrace blockchain technology’s full potential. Findings – We propose and discuss a conceptual framework for a blockchain-based accounting context, moving from the identification of a typical accounting scenario. The framework is organised around three scalable levels: the first level is a technological infrastructure based on a distributed database with peer-to-peer storage; second, in the intermediate level, increasing control levels are assured through permissions and validation and third, in the higher level, the system provides the integration of business and security applications. The deployment of this system relies on a private network of nodes that validates transactions. Practical implications – The proposed conceptual framework about blockchain development in accounting allows closing the knowledge gap between blockchain developers and accounting experts by suggesting technological and strategic issues for practitioners. Originality/value – We provide practical guidelines to design and adopt blockchain in the accounting domain.
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