History of Accounting: A Brief Overview

Have you ever gotten back from the store, looked at your bill, and thought about getting an accountant to take care of your finances? Have you ever wondered where accountants stem from and why they do what they do? Have you ever thought about becoming an accountant yourself? Accounting has a vast history that began thousands of years ago and has evolved and continued to benefit those who have involved themselves in accounting. This article will look at a brief overview of the history of accounting.

History of Accounting: A Brief Overview

Before you go out and look for an accounting firm in Chicago, we should look back on the rich and deep history of accounting. Accounting is able to be traced back to many ancient civilizations in the form of keeping count of sales and how much money each vendor or salesperson would make on a daily basis. One example is Mesopotamia with the development and implementation of a money and counting system that went hand in hand with the development of writing. As history progressed, so did accounting. As the Roman Empire came into power, the Roman government was able to create and use financial information to keep track of taxes and money coming into the government. The Roman records also listed the different areas of land that was given out to veterans of the Roman Army as well as the various religious offerings and accounts on what the gladiators were able to bring in as far as revenue. Records were also kept for the payroll of the Roman Army and transactions on the supplies necessary to sustain an army.

Accounting would soon have someone who would be known as the Father of Accounting and Bookkeeping, Luca Pacioli of Italy. Luca Pacioli was accredited with publishing the first bookkeeping of a double-entry. Luca Pacioli was also responsible for describing a system of credits and debits in book ledgers which would form the foundation of accounting in today’s world.

As humanity made its way into the past 200 years accounting became even more important to the people and governments around the world. As the industrial revolution came about there was a need for better accounting systems as well as groups that were able to have sustained interests in companies and their results which would take form of shareholders. Accounting would also have a unified front with the creation of the American Association of Public Accountants in 1887. This would lead to the first CPAs coming about in the 1890s. Soon the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) would be formed as a result of the Great Depression. Before long, the AICPA would create standards in accounting in the 1970s.

Accounting has also been involved in a numbers of scandals as well to include Enron back in 2001. This would lead to greater restrictions and laws on the accounting world. Accounting has been a part of the world’s history since ancient times and will continue to affect how the world operates. All of this stemming from keeping track of money and sales from person to person.