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Double Entry

In: Business and Management

Submitted By thegoods
Words 517
Pages 3
Double Entry “[Accounting] now has the potential to make or break the planet” (White p. 8). That is the tone the Jane Gleeson-White used to set the mood of the book. You had warned me that she would be “preachy” in the end of the book, but I didn’t know how preachy. I will cover that in the end of this paper. White explores the origins of double entry in a rather interesting way. She makes you feel that accounting is the most important subject that man has ever created and we owe everything we enjoy to all accountants. She does an excellent job explaining the history and pioneering work of Luca Pacioli. In total the book was very interesting and left me feeling like I had chosen a major that will change the world. White starts the book off with explaining the history of accounting and how we owe any human achievement to accounting. “It now appears that writing, one of the greatest human accomplishments, was invented by accountants” (White p. 11). The early Athenian civilization is known for the world’s first democracy. White states that accounting “and freedom of financial information were considered essential for running the world’s first democracy” (White p. 15). Within the first 20 pages she has basically made the argument that accounting is the reason we have the constitution and democracy. I do agree that there is some basis for her argument, but she does give an extensive history and progression of the accounting system. She shows how Italy became the birthplace for the double entry system. That as Venice and other Italian cities were granted independence from the church, the merchants of these cities were “kings” of a lucrative trade empire (White p. 18). This expansion of trade forced the merchants of the time to create a far more sophisticated system to record their trading and thus the double entry system was born. With this new system the man Luca Pacioli is the reason why we have the system today. Luca Pacioli is considered the “Father of Accounting” and white does a great job of giving a detail history of his life. The focus of Pacioli is his Treatise “Particularis de computis et scripturis” (‘Particulars of Reckonings and Writings’) and is the reason why he is famous. Pacioli had originally written the treatise in Italian what was strange because at the time scholars only wrote books in Latin. The reason for this was that the treatise was “written in the language of the people so it can be read by ‘each and every man’” (White p. 72). He also said that Latin was not suited to explicating mathematics. Of the 27-page document only the De computis was the significant part, but the section was translated in to some fourteen other languages. Pacioli’s work has become the foundation of our Acct 205 class. The debits and credits, the T accounts are accounting today. White states “Pacioli’s formulation of Venetian double-entry bookkeeping is one of the great advances in the history of business and commerce” (White p. 93).

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