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History of Accounting

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“The History of Accounting” Accounting is one of the oldest professions and the growth and spread of the profession can be paralleled with the growth and spread of Western Civilizations. Through archaeological discoveries the use of accounting can be dated back almost 7,000 years ago. Many of today’s accounting practices came from the Italian Renaissance. The sophistication of double entry accounting was accompanied by an overwhelming demand for professional accountants to follow the guidelines. The expanding profession of accounting really took off with the coming of the Industrial Revolution in America. The use of accounting practice has been around for ages and the growth of the use and practices can be seen to reflect the growth of trade, cities, and the concepts of wealth and numbers. Ancient Mesopotamian artifacts that date back over 7,000 years ago, give proof that primitive accounting techniques were used to record the growth of crops and herds on clay tablets. The Roman Empire kept records of cash, commodities, and transactions on papyrus rather than clay because it allowed more detail to be kept. “The Great Roll of the Exchequer” which is also called the “Pipe Roll” was kept during the Medieval Times and provided an annual description of rents, fines and taxes due to the King of England. Although these practices are not reflected in modern day accounting, it definitely contributed to the need for detailed records for various transactions. Widely acknowledged to be the fathers of modern accounting the Italian Renaissance was the birth of double entry accounting. Luca Paciola’s book The Suma covered the topics of Bookkeeping, Memorandum, Journal, and the Ledger. It also used chronological order to record business transactions as they occurred and his journal consisted of narrative debit, credit transactions and an explanation of the transactions. The Ledger...

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