History of Accounting Indicates That Accounting Process Has Evolved

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The American Accounting Association defined accounting as:”the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by the users of the information” (Aryasri, 2008).

The history of accounting indicates that accounting process has evolved throughout the history. Although, identification, measurement and communication still remain as core activities of accounting process, the methods of doing them have significantly changed. What was once considered to be acceptable in the past may not be suitable for today as its environment has changed. However, the demand for changes usually comes from the environment rather than accounting profession itself. History has shown that unless there is a severe demand for changing, the natural tendency of accounting profession is to follow the convention. This has been proven by the era of stagnation. During this period, despite the invention of double entry accounting process and its advantages, businesses were redundant to adopt. However, when the industrial revolution took place, there was a great increase in the number of corporation which demanded further developments in accounting process. Many companies which are unable to adopt the accounting changes have failed badly. Nevertheless, through these failures, the problems in accounting process have been recognized and addressed promptly. For example, the problem of not distinguishing between capital and revenue and the allocation of asset depreciation to expenses were identified by the collapses of many railway companies. Accountants were then required to distinguish between capital and revenue items, measure the value of fixed assets, and determine depreciation rates (Hooper, Davey, Liyanarachchi & Prescott, 2008)..

In the same sense, in today’s ever changing business environment, accounting process will face a great deal of challenges and demands, it is certain that accounting process will continue to...
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