Was Modern Accounting Developed by The Muslims Essay

Was Modern Accounting Developed by The Muslims Essay

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I am going to demonstrate that there are at least three major flaws in Omar Abdullah Zaid’s article. First, the financial records that he claims were developed around 622 AD by the Muslims were in fact in existence thousands of years prior to that date. Secondly, much of his article is based on his and others opinions of what accounting records were developed, but he proves no evidence that these originated from the Muslim culture. Thirdly, the journals or lists that he discusses as the basis for accounting records are not the same as the double entry accounting system that Luca Pacioli became famous for in the 15th century.
Although the author contends that modern accounting was first developed by the Muslim world in 622 AD, the history of accounting is as old as civilization itself. It was key to critical stage of history and was among the most important professions involving economics and business. It is hard to imagine that the Roman Empire, Greeks before them, and multiple other civilizations could have flourished without a system for tracking their financial resources. According to Gary Giroux, “It took archaeologists to dig up the early history and scholars from many fields to demonstrate the importance of accounting to so many aspects of economics and culture. The role of accountants in the ancient world is coming into clearer focus with new archaeological discoveries and innovative interpretations of the artifacts” (Giroux 1). This is further supported by John Alexander’s, History of Accounting, in which he states five thousand years before the appearance of the double entry accounting system in Italy in the late 1300’s, the Assyrian, Chaldaean-Babylonian, and Sumerian civilizations were thriving in the Mesopota...

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Zaid’s claim that Luca Pacioli’s book in 1494 was simply adapted from Muslim practices is not even historically accurate. Although, Pacioli wrote the first widely distributed book, Summa de Arithmetica, on the double entry accounting system, he never claimed to have invented this system. He based his work on procedures that have used this system in a handful of other Italian cities since about 1350, including: Genoa, Florence, Milan, and Venice (“A History of Accountancy” 1). The original developer and author of the double entry accounting system was an Italian by the name of Benedetto Cotrugli (Alexander 9). Pacioli simply expanded upon Cotrugli’s original manuscript and ideas for his book. This is just another example that Zaid did not even understand the history of the double entry system that he believes the early Muslims nations started.

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