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History of Accounting Essay

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History of Accounting


The history of accounting I feel is important in the learning, understanding, and developing of my foundation for my accounting career. In this report you will learn about the development of accounting. You will learn about the people who influenced accounting the most throughout the years. You will learn how accounting came about and how it was used in the ancient times. You will learn about the invention of the double-entry bookkeeping processes. You will learn how things were done before the birth of the double-entry bookkeeping process. You will learn about Luca Pacioli and the Summa. You will also learn about modern accounting and ACAUS.

In attempting to explain why double entry bookkeeping developed in fourteenth century Italy instead of ancient Greece or Rome, accounting scholar A.C. Littleton describes seven "key ingredients" which led to its creation. Those key ingredients consisting of private property, capital, commerce, credit, writing, money and arithmetic. Most of these did not exist in ancient times. This alone would not lead someone to create a complete and involved accounting system. Writing, for example, is as old as civilization itself, but arithmetic - the systematic manipulation of number symbols - was really not a tool possessed by the ancients. Fairly, the persistent use of roman numerals for financial transactions long after the introduction of Arabic numeration appears to have delayed the earlier creation of double-entry systems. However, the problems encountered by the ancients with record keeping, control and verification of financial transactions was not entirely different than our own today. Governments had strong incentives to keep careful records of receipts and disbursements -for the most part as concerns taxes. In any society where individuals accumulated wealth, there was a desire by the rich to perform audits on the honesty and skill of slaves and employees entrusted with asset management. But the lack of the above-listed antecedent to double entry bookkeeping made the job of an ancient accountant extraordinarily difficult. In societies where nearly all were illiterate, writing materials costly, numeration difficult and money systems inconsistent, a transaction had to be extremely important to justify keeping an accounting record.

Accounting in ancient Mesopotamia, Circa 350...


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...also shifted the focus to revenues and expenses . At the turn of the century, there were at least four types of funds statements in use - those that summarized changes in cash, in current assets, in working capital and overall financial activities. Accountant H.A. Finney led the movement for use of a funds statement, which focused on liquidity by tracking the sources of changes in working capital. He used a worksheet approach to highlight meaningful balance sheet changes by aggregating most of the fluctuations, which affect working capital and offered a standardized method for calculating them. In the 1940s, the accounting profession increasingly used the funds statement to measure the actual flow of monies, rather than simply the sum of working capital changes between balance sheet dates. The funds statement increasingly became a staple for the financial statement, and in 1971 the AICPA began requiring its inclusion in stockholders' annual reports.

So in conclusion I hope by reading this you know have a better understanding accounting. Also I want you to have and understanding of how it was originated and the major contributors of the systems we use today in accounting.


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