The theoretical basis of systematic bookkeeping was laid down in the late 15th century. On 10 November 1494, the first work on accounting was published in Venice by Franciscan friar and mathematician Luca Pacioli, titled Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni, et Proportionalita.

Pacioli’s tractate on double-entry accounting has been the foundation for nearly all writing on accounting ever since. Pacioli is often called the Father of Accounting, although he did not invent the system, but collected, organised and systematised varied ways of recording the transactions used by households and merchants.

Pacioli’s accounting system was a turning point in the history of accounting. Its main objective was to obtain information for the owner through reporting on tasks and as the basis for issuing loans. The owner and ownership were differentiated. Single-entry and double-entry accounting systems alike are used in accounting practice. The textbook on single-entry accounting was published three hundred years after the first textbook on double-entry accounting.

Single-entry accounting system

Single-entry accounting means that a business transaction is recorded once in an accounting journal. This kind of entry does not enable a balance sheet to be prepared and economic results to be presented without taking stock of assets.

Double-entry accounting system

Double-entry accounting makes it possible to check accounting data internally and to determine the final result of economic activity at once without the need to take stock of a company’s assets. Double-entry means that a business transaction that is performed is recorded in at least two accounts, i.e. on the debit side of one account and on the credit side of another.


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