The Advent of Accounting in Business Governance: From Ancient Scribes to Modern Practitioners
International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 12(1), 21-46. 2017
43 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2017
Date Written: 2017
General social theory provides a framework within which accounting and its role in advancing business and society can be examined, including historical development and functions. This study examines the advent of accounting in business governance, from ancient origins to present day, from the scribes of ancient Mesopotamia to the internal control concepts described by the Apostle Paul in the Bible, from Friar Luca Pacioli’s landmark book published in Renaissance Italy to the work of modern-day accountants employing the latest technology, to the expanding role of women in the profession. Throughout history, while standards and technologies have changed, a fundamental purpose of accounting in business governance remains constant: to provide a test of stewardship or accountability for those trusted with financial resources. Findings of this paper will be of interest to business stakeholders and academic researchers, who will be able more clearly to see the role that accounting played in the progress and development of business over millennia.
Keywords: business governance, accounting history, accounting standards, ancient Mesopotamia, Roman Empire
JEL Classification: B10, B12, B25, M14, M41
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