The History of Accounting

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The History of Accounting
Kathy Maurer
Everest College

From the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary the definition of accounting is “the system of recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results” (Merriam webster, 2011). The online Etymology Dictionary give the definition "reckoning of numbers," late 14c., verbal noun from account, (Harper, 2012). There is a lot of information out there about accounting and how is started. Some say it started 23 centuries ago in India (WizIQ n.d.). Some say the theory of accounting has been around since the first civilizations began to develop, which happened over 5000 years ago in small villages and communities of people (Oirgin of accounting, 2009).  . I will let you know what the consensus is of when accounting began and when the first people used double entry accounting. I am sure there was some kind accounting going on from the beginning of how many sheep or cows a person had, but for sure there was accounting going on from the time of money to keep track of who had and/or owed what. In my research I found all of the history of accounting very absorbing and I hope you do too. I found it very interesting that the written language is said to have started because of writing down accounting to keep track of it (Bellis, 2012). It does make sense if you think about it though. As civilizations grew and taxes were levied, there was a need to write down who owed and paid which taxes. As time went on after that the written word evolved into what we have today. I find this very fascinating! In 1494, Pacioli published his famous book "Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita" (The Collected Knowledge of Arithmetic, Geometry, Proportion and Proportionality(6) ). One part of this book was the description of double-entry accounting. The Summa made Pacioli insured him a place in history, as "The Father of Accounting" and there would be...
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