Accounting, Double-Entry, History, Ancient


Accounting | History


Rita Grant


In modern business school, a great deal of attention is given to the fundamentals of accounting. Regardless of whether the student is interested in pursuing a career in that field, many students are required to at least take the most basic accounting classes. However, little thought is given to the origins and history surrounding the field. Originally, this essay was meant to focus primarily on the introduction of double-entry accounting in the middle ages, but after extensive research it was concluded that the fundamentals of accounting systems actually originated in the Mesopotamian period. From there, business practices began to expand, and accounting processes evolved and became more intricate. This paper examines this evolution of accounting from ancient Mesopotamian, Greek, and Roman time periods, to the middle ages, and concludes with contemporary practices. Throughout history, it is reasonable to conclude that the rise of partnerships, agency, and credit ultimately led to the establishment of an organized form of recordkeeping that would remain nearly unchanged today.