by Nick Robinson | Dec 15, 2019 | Accounting
So how did accounting, as we know it today come to fruition? Well, the history of accountancy can be dated back thousands of years.
We have found traces of accounting being discovered within the civilisation of Mesopotamia. Whereas, it is said that accountancy was born alongside the curation of money, counting and writing.
However, historians have found that the early Egyptians and Babylonians developed an auditing system that has set the motion of fundamentals for contemporary auditing.
Although, not the official founder of accounting, the Italian, Luca Pacioli is thought to be the father of modern-day accounting.
Back in 1494, Pacioli was the first to conjure up the system of double-entry bookkeeping which was subsequently employed by Venetian merchants in his Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita.
As aforementioned, Pacioli wasn’t the inventor of accounting, he was the first person to discuss the structure of debits and credits in his journals and ledgers. Which, as a result, forms the nucleus of accounting that we accountants utilise on a day-to-day basis.
Furthermore to Pacioli, our modern-day industry pays homage to the Scots who have also contributed to our profession.
Scotland’s accountancy roots date back to the mid-1800s when the Institute of Accountants, based in Glasgow, appealed to Queen Victoria to be granted a Royal Charter.
The rationale behind this proposal stems from Scottish accountants could be differentiated from solicitors. As we were technically a part of the Association of Solicitors. Accountants would’ve been employed by legal firms and would provide accounting services alongside legal services.
However, in 1854, the institute was granted ‘Chartered Accountant’ status for its members which subsequently still carries legal weight across the world today.
Within the 1800s, Britain witnessed the industrial revolution and London swiftly became the financial centre of the world.
As a direct result, we saw a rapid growth in business start-ups and large-scale manufacturing and logistics. As demand surged, accountants were needed more than ever that had the ability to handle the complexities of globalisation and the subsequent global transactions.
With the demand for accountants rising, eight people decided to form the ‘London Association of Accountants’ which opened the services of accountants to a much wider audience. After many name changes, the London Association of Accountants eventually settled for the name ‘Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)’ in 1996.
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