Accounting history has no defined start date, for it has been around as long as people have ascribed value to items and the concept of wealth has fueled trading and business. Accounting is a way for people to record and verify income, expenses and assets. With such a big role in business economics from a community level to a global scale, accounting as a profession enjoys a long and noble history.
It is believed that early writing was developed by accountants to track trade goods and inventory. From Egypt to Mesopotamia, records have been uncovered that reflect the value and number of agricultural goods. The Bible and the Koran also mention some accounting principles, including credit.
An Arab merchant wrote the first written work that clearly outlined accounting practices of professional bookkeepers in the twelfth century. The writer highlights the traditional Muslim accounting systems as highly detailed and accurate, and Roman and Persian influences honed the region's accounting practices.
Accounting history took a major leap forward with the publication of a textbook that was used in merchant schools in Italy in the late 1400s. Luca Pacioli, a Leonardo Da Vinci contemporary, wrote about mathematics and account keeping in a document that helped spread particular methods and styles throughout the Western world after being printed in English, German, Russian and Dutch. Basic accounting principles and ideals still used today include double entry, ledgers and even accounting ethics. Pacioli's accounting methods would remain relatively unchanged for the next 500 years.
Not until the invention of the computer did accounting get a real shakeup. With lightning-fast calculations, accounting software and electronic spreadsheets, modern accounting in the information age comes with power and personalization. The modern methods of accounting have rendered many traditional accounting jobs and techniques obsolete, while creating new jobs in the field and requiring a different set of skills to manage accounts for personal and business matters.
Cost accounting is a method of evaluating costs, profits and everything in between when it comes to running a business, and you can use that information to help leaders of your company make decisions.
Accounting ethics is a code of conduct that guides those in the profession to behave in a respectful, controlled and moral way. Clients need to have confidence in the business practices of professional accounting firms.