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Origins of Accounting and Book-keeping
Accounting is an ancient human activity. From the time when men and women first engaged in trade, whether for barter or money, it must have been necessary to keep some kind of record of incomings and out-goings, to which the origins of the double entry bookkeeping system can be traced. Accounting is as old as money itself. The present form of accounting has passed through various stages of evolution. It has developed to meet the emerging needs and requirements of modern society. Like any other discipline, it has developed by adapting to the changing environment. With the changing forms of business organization starting from sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative to company form of organization, accounting has witnessed a change in its concepts, techniques, rules, procedures, methods of recording and presentation to suit social requirements. Accounting was practiced, in its crude form, in India about 23 centuries ago. Artliashastra, the book authored by Kautilya, one o f the ministers of King Chandragupta, is the clear evidence of it. However, the present system of accounting, based on Double Entry System was developed by a Franciscan monk Lucas Pacioli. He published his work on book-keeping in 1491 at Venice in Italy. It was translated and published in English by H.O. Castle in 1543. In 1553, James Pule published
his work on ‘how to keep a perfect account of debtors and
creditors. The most important publication, however, was that of Edward Jones (1797),
who innovated the concept of ‘
The present form of accounting is, thus, the result of successive innovations and its adaptations and modifications to the changing business environment. In fact, accounting has gone through many phases of changes due to changing socio-economic environment. Like any other discipline, it has been adjusting itself to changing requirements and will continue to do so in future as well to promote social welfare thus enabling its users to form rational and sound judgment and take appropriate decisions.