History and Evolution of Accounting

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History and Evolution of Accounting

By | June 2012
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UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

(KISUMU CAMPUS)

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING

DAC 101: FOUNDATIONS OF ACCOUNTING

NAME : AWINO JOSEPH PETER

REG NO : D33/30463/2010

LECTURER : MR. LUTHER OTIENO

QUESTION: HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF ACCOUNTING

Introduction

Unlike most other modern professions, accounting has a history that is usually discussed in terms of one seminal event – the invention and dissemination of the double entry bookkeeping processes. But a view of accounting history that begins with Luca Pacioli’s contributions overlooks a long evolution of accounting systems in ancient and medieval times.

More fundamental is the question, why should we care about the history of accounting at all? Certainly a glimpse back into this period helps illuminate our past generally, and it is the sort of winding, twisted path that makes for an entertaining story. But perhaps the most compelling reason is to help explain the phenomenal growth that the profession of accountancy has enjoyed worldwide since the first royal charters were granted to the Society of Accountants in Edinburgh less than 150 years ago.

In 1904, 50 years after the emergence of the formal profession, about 6,000 practitioners carried the title of chartered accountant. In 1957, there were 38,690 chartered and incorporated accountants (Scottish, British and Irish). Today, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales alone has a membership of over 120,000 worldwide. This is to say nothing of the many professionals in the other allied institutes in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Scotland and South Africa, along with American certified public accountants -comprising a vast, worldwide network of professional accountancy dominated by several,...
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