1 week, 3 days ago

Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita

Quite a mouthful, but words that spelled out the basis for modern day accounting practices.  This was the title of a book by an Italian mathematician, Luca Pacioli, published over 500 years ago, on 10th November 1494.  I have posted previously about the ancient origins of accounting and about how the Romans were so obsessed with it that many of their Latin words for their accounting practices are now our English words.  I have also explained how the earliest days of the Christian era produced our very own Patron Saint for accountants.  Yet it is the medieval Luca Pacioli who has the epithet of "Father of accounting", and the date of his book being published is now the annually celebrated International Accountants Day.  His book set out the principles of double-entry book-keeping and describes keeping accounts for assets, liabilities, capital, income and expenses, much as is still done today with statements of financial position and statements of profit and loss.  He advocated the use of ledgers and is known for saying that a person should not go to sleep at night until their debits and credits are equal.  I expect that, once we start out on our accounting courses, we might be having a few late nights trying to balance our books!

(With thanks to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland for the information.)