History of accounting

The history of accounting or accountancy can be traced to ancient civilizations.[1][2][3]

Portrait of Luca Pacioli, attributed to Jacopo de' Barbari, 1495, (Museo di Capodimonte).

The early development of accounting dates to ancient Mesopotamia, and is closely related to developments in writing, counting and money[1][4][5] and early auditing systems by the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians.[2] By the time of the Roman Empire, the government had access to detailed financial information.[6]

In India, Chanakya wrote a manuscript similar to a financial management book, during the period of the Mauryan Empire. His book Arthashastra contains few detailed aspects of maintaining books of accounts for a sovereign state.

The Italian Luca Pacioli, recognized as The Father of accounting and bookkeeping was the first person to publish a work on double-entry bookkeeping, and introduced the field in Italy.[7][8]

The modern profession of the chartered accountant originated in Scotland in the nineteenth century. Accountants often belonged to the same associations as solicitors, who often offered accounting services to their clients. Early modern accounting had similarities to today's forensic accounting. Accounting began to transition into an organized profession in the nineteenth century,[9] with local professional bodies in England merging to form the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1880.[10]

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