Origin of Accounting

Essay by trevkatUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, July 2006

download word file, 15 pages 4.4

Accounting historians have attempted to relate their knowledge of the variety of accounting practices at various points of time, and in various places. It is to wider questions of the role of accounting in reflecting and shaping not only business and management practice, but also economic and social organization more generally. Finley's classic "The Ancient Economy", which analyzed the embedded-ness of ancient economic activity in the social structure, and in the status concerns of the free citizens, as constituting a brake on the development of profit-focused markets and correspondingly on technology and trade. It saw the state of ancient accounting as itself making impossible sophisticated profit-oriented calculation and rational decision-making. In his monumental "The Class Struggle" in the Ancient Greek World, Croix rejected Finley's analysis in terms of Weberian 'status' in favor of an explicitly Marxist analysis based on 'class'. But he took up essentially the same argument about the economic impact of ancient accounting technique.

Their argument in turn raises further questions about the general relationship between accounting practice and economic and social organization in the ancient world.

Why the need of Double Entry Book keeping arises before Luca Pacioli period as explained by A. C. Littleton?

Attempting to explain why double entry bookkeeping developed in 14th century Italy instead of ancient Greece or Rome, accounting scholar A. C. Littleton describes seven "key ingredients" which led to its creation.

Private Property: The power to change ownership, because bookkeeping is concerned with recording the facts about property and property rights.

Capital: Wealth productively employed, because otherwise commerce would be trivial and credit would not exist.

Commerce: The interchange of goods on a widespread level, because purely local trading in small volume would not create the sort of press of business needed to spur the creation of an organized system...