Roman Accounting Summary

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Accounting emerged from an oral tradition of stewardship. In ancient societies, the steward assumed responsibility for estate supervision and was recognised as the proxy of the ruler. It was an important position in that most stewards were members of the lord’s central council. Record keeping was aimed at maintaining integrity and discovering misappropriation. For example, auditors gathered to physically check harvest against volumes harvested. Some of the most ancient records are on clay tablets dating from 2500BC relating to the Sumerian civilisation showing a series of transaction involving grain. The Code of Manu, which reflected Hindu thought, provided for a periodical audit of trade relating to Kayasthas castle in Bengal. A number of…show more content…
There was an Athens Popular Assembly that legislated all financial matters and controlled public receipt and expenditure. The most important Greek contribution to accounting history was the introduction of coined money. In Rome, the government and banking accounts were kept by the heads of families. The daily entry of household receipts and payments were kept in a daybook (adversaria), and monthly postings were kept in a cashbook (codex accepti et expensi). These household expenses were important because the people of Rome were required to submit regular statement of asset and liabilities for taxation basis and civil rights determination. Moreover, Rome maintained a system of checks and balances for governmental receipts and disbursements. From the 14th to the late 15th century, written forms of accounting became more common. Documentation became prevalent than ceremonial oath taking. However, problem occurred as Roman numerals in narrative form have neither zero nor place values and it cannot do addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. This inhibited double entry bookkeeping development. Therefore, Arabic numeral was used because they could be more easily changed by adding, removing or altering a single figure. But, some argued that the use would cause fraud easily because the figures can be altered. These two numeric systems were used together for…show more content…
The Industrial Revolution and the introduction of large scale businesses brought the demand of new accounting practices. Accountants were required to distinguish between capital and revenue, private and business transactions, measure fixed assets value, determine rates and methods of depreciation, set aside provisions, and write off bad debts. The problems of recognition, measurement and accountability first encountered by the United Kingdom due to the Industrial Revolution. The problems emerged due to management in large scale industries and the necessary separation of ownership. Industrial operations require large amount of capital which was raised by a scattered group of shareholders, the owners, who expected regular reports as to what was happening with their money. Hence, the accountability issue

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