Taxing Ordeal Some of the earliest known writing discovered by archaeologists has, when translated, been found to be records of tax accounting. Such writings have been found on clay tablets from Egypt and Mesopotamia from as early as 2000 to 3300 B. C. The civilizations of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and China all had bookkeeper / accountants . Personal record keeping in Rome was important because citizens were required to submit regular statements of assets and liabilities; these were used as a basis for taxation and even for the determination of civil rights. The head of household would keep a daily entry of household receipts and payments, along with a monthly overview posted in a cashbook.
Greece introduced coined money around 600 B. C. Banking in ancient Greece apparently became more sophisticated than in previous societies. Brokers kept account books, changed and lent money and arranged cash transfers for people through affiliate banks in other cities. Counting the Italian Way The foundations of modern accounting and bookkeeping really developed in 14 th century Italy. Luca Pacioli wrote Summa de Arithmetic a, Geometric a, Proportion i et Proportionality (Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion), which outlined the method of double-entry bookkeeping.
Pacioli’s book was translated into five languages within its first century of publication. Numerous other authors, writing in German, English, Italian and Dutch, wrote books on the subject whose contents were largely lifted from Summa. Pacioli’s accounting method, which came to be known as the “Italian method,” became popular throughout Europe. Scotland became a world leader in modern accounting by the 1800 s. In the late 1800 s, the Edinburgh society, followed by other accounting societies in Scotland and England, adopted the title of Chartered Accountant (C. A.
... living. These methods were used for over 5000 years, before the first writings were found. Evidence of accounting records can be ... world's leader in modern Accounting. In the lat 1800's, Edinburgh society, followed by other accounting societies in Scotland and England, ... express his ideas plus his theories on Accounting. Pacioli showed the world that Accounting was one of the most important inventions ...
) to identify its members. Accountancy developed rapidly in the US during this time as well. In 1850, city directories showed 14 accountants in public practice in New York City, four in Philadelphia and one in Chicago. By 1886, New York City had 115, Philadelphia 87 and Chicago 31, according to the Association of Chartered Accountants. In 1887, the American Association of Public Accountants, the first national accounting society in the US, was formed. The A APA later became the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
In the early 1900 s, the US Interstate Commerce Commission established a uniform system of accounting as part of the overall effort to enforce antitrust laws. A drive to standardize company funds statements and make them available to investors was waged through the mid-1900 s by accountant H. A. Finney and others. In 1971, the AICPA began requiring that a funds statement be included in annual shareholder reports. The Big Five Consolidation in the 1980 s and 1990 s has brought the number of dominant accounting firms to five: these are commonly referred to as the Big Five (see the Basics section for the full list of these firms).
Such firms as KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers were formed in these mega-mergers of the last two decades, creating multibillion-dollar operations. The fortunes of accounting have always been tied to the general fortunes of the business climate, and the US has experienced remarkable growth in the accounting field over the last couple decades. The largest accounting firms today position themselves as global operations offering consulting and advisory services in addition to narrowly defined accounting functions.