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Accounting History from the Renaissance to the Present: A Remembrance of Luca Pacioli / edited by T.A. Lee, A. Bishop, and R.H. Parker. New York: Garland Pub., 1996.
LC Call Number: HF5605 .A23 1996
LC Catalog Record: 95051120

The History of Accounting

March 2015

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Image (left): Accountant's Office [between 1910 and 1920]
National Photo Company Collection
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

This is a history book which contains a well-organized section on Pacioli, and then moves on to accounting practice starting in the 1600s. It then explains the technology of accounting, like the accounting machine, as well as how accounting became a profession in the United States.

The American Institute of Accountants : Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration. 1937. New York : Garland Pub., 1982, c1938.
LC Call Number: HF5603.A444 1982
LC Catalog record: 82048350

This is a reprint of a title originally published in 1938 and is part of the Accountancy in Transition series edited by Richard P. Brief and much of the title covers the anniversary celebration in New York. There were some interesting topics including the history of accounting machinery and other topics that were pertinent to the time. The Appendix includes reproductions/transcriptions of several documents related to the history of the association.

Brown, Richard. A History of Accounting and Accountants. New York : Cosimo Classics, c2004.
LC Call Number: HF5605 .B8 2004
LC Catalog Record: 2006277901
Table of Contents

This book is a detailed summary of everything pertaining to where and how the keeping of accounts got started, going as far back as the Babylonians. It is divided into two parts, History of Accounting and History of Accountants. Among the topics covered in the first part are very early numeration systems such as the Greek and Roman, ancient systems of accounting, such as recording on tablets, early forms of accounts, history of auditing, and finally history of bookkeeping. It then goes on to the second part where it starts by discussing early Italian accountants, such as Luca Pacioli, followed by a brief history of accounting in various other countries including Scotland, England and Ireland, The British Colonies, The United States of America, the continent of Europe, and other countries. Finally, it talks about the development of the profession and the organizations formed, such as the Chartered Accountants. This particular copy is the 'New Impression' copy but The Library of Congress also has the first edition of this book from 1905 as well as editions from 1968.

Edwards, James Don. History of Public Accounting in the United States. East Lansing, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Graduate School of Business Administration, Michigan State University [1960]
Call Number: HF5616.U5 E3
LC Catalog Record: 60063369

According to the author the "unifying principle has been to select those national and international developments though which the prestige and professional standing of the C.P.A. have been augmented. The material is organized chronologically, from the European antecedents of American accounting practices though the evolution of the educational, legal and organizational aspects of the profession." There are editions printed in 1978 and 1988.

Hausdorfer, Walter, 1898-1970. Accounting Bibliography: Historical Approach. A. van Seventer, editor. Palo Alto, Calif. : Bay Books, 1986.
LC Call Number: Z7164.C81 H285 1986
LC Catalog Record: 85072685

This bibliography, created by Walter Hausdorfer, a scholar and librarian at Temple University, contains books and titles related to the method of accounting though the author indicates in his preface that some other important treatises were included. It seems that the author did not include European works after 1801 due to the sheer number unless they were reprinted or adapted in the Americas. Hausdorfer also indicates that the cut-off for works is 1910 because he felt that there was a new wave of accounting beginning about that time. There was an attempt to determine locations of individual items at the time of publication when possible. Part III covers printed works and manuscripts, Part IV focusses on accounting and bookkeeping periodicals, Part V is a chronological index to first printed works and manuscripts, Part VI lists bibliographies and biographies, Part VII is a bibliography of accounting history, and lastly Part VIII is a subject index.

The History of Accounting : An International Encyclopedia / edited by Michael Chatfield, Richard Vangermeersch. New York : Garland, 1996.
LC Call Number: HF5605 .H573 1996
LC Catalog record: 95020710

This is organized as an encyclopedia with entries in an A-Z listing. Entries cover topics, people, places, organizations, concepts, etc. with many entries having bibliographies for further information.

Holmes, William. Three Centuries of Accounting in Massachusetts. New York : Arno Press, 1978.
LC Call Number: HF5616.U5 H63
LC Catalog Record: 77087295

This title includes a series of articles by various authors tracing the history of accounting in Massachusetts beginning with the Pilgrims and continuing through the growth of the colonies, the Revolution and new nation, and into the boom after World War II. Although specific to Massachusetts, the title could also be relevant to researchers looking for accounting history over a long time span.

King, Thomas A. More than a Numbers Game : A Brief History of Accounting. Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, c2006.
LC Call Number: HF5616.U5 K53 2006
LC Catalog record: 2005037200
Table of Contents

This is a title about the history of corporate accounting attempting to provide context and discussion for divisive issues such as taxes, debt, options, and earnings volatility.

Littleton, A. C. (Ananias Charles). Accounting Evolution to 1900. New York, N.Y., American Institute Publishing Co., inc. [c1933]
Call Number: HF5605 .L5
LC Catalog Record: 33024511

This is a general history of accounting practice rather than of the profession. It includes a section on the history of double-entry bookkeeping and then moves from bookkeeping into accountancy. Other editions were printed in 1981 and 1988.

Littleton, A. C. ed. Studies in the History of Accounting. Homewood, Ill., R. D. Irwin, 1956
Call Number: HF5605 .L52
LC Catalog record: 57017591

These studies span a period of 2,500 years from about 600 B.C. to the end of the Victorian era in 1900. It is not meant to be comprehensive. There are a variety of essays on the development of accounting technique as well as those of a more general historical nature. The author recognizes that many different types of materials from surviving accounting records to textbooks and treatises are important to the study of accounting and have been included. Another edition was printed for 1956 and again in 1978.

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants : Foundation for a Profession / edited by Julia Grant. New York : Garland Pub., 1995.
Call Number: HF5616.U5 N49 1995
LC Catalog record: 95032129

This title is a compilation of articles written from 1949 to 1972 in the New York Certified Public Accountant. They cover institutional and educational topics as well as personal histories with a goal to provide insight into the profession in the United States. Articles include: "Early Development of Accountancy in New York State" which is an article that looks at both the history of the accounting profession in New York and the U.S. accounting profession. The work also includes a number of biographies of members.

Previts, Gary John and Barbara Dubis Merino. A History of Accountancy in the United States : The Cultural Significance of Accounting. Columbus, Ohio : Ohio State University Press, 1998.
Call Number: HF5616.U5 N49 1995
LC Catalog record: 97024109

Covers the colonial America time period (1492-1775) to the eve of the 21st century. It traces the evolution of accounting in social, political, and economic terms and discuss the major figures in each historical period. See also a History of Accounting in America also by the same authors.

The Routledge Companion to Accounting History / edited by John Richard Edwards and Stephen P. Walker. London ; New York : Routledge, 2009.
LC Call Number: HF5605 .R68 2009
LC Catalog record: 2008000251

This is a series of articles written by different authors on various topics covering the history and development of bookkeeping and accounting. It is broken down into seven parts: the discipline, technologies, theory and practice, institutions, economy, society and culture, and polity.

The U.S. Accounting Profession in the 1890s and Early 1900s / edited with an introduction by Stephen A. Zeff. New York : Garland Pub., 1988.
LC Call Number: HF5616.U5 U18 1988
LC Catalog record: 88024443

This title comprises of two sections: The Profession and Education & Examination. Each includes reprints and pieces from various authors including Littleton's Directory of Early American Public Accountants (1942) and several articles about early C.P.A.s by George Wilkinson.

Van Wyhe, Glenn. The Struggle for Status: A History of Accounting Education. New York, Garland, 1994.
LC Call Number: HF5630.V3 1994
LC Catalog Record: 93039293

This title is a brief overview on the history of how the study of accounting got started, continued, and changed; also, how and when accounting was established in schools; as well as what criticism it went through in order to gain a professional status. The time period covers the years 1883-1994.

Webster, Norman E. The American Association of Public Accountants : Its First Twenty Years, 1886-1906. New York : Arno Press, 1978, c1954.
LC Call Number: HF5601.A872 W4 1978
LC Catalog record: 77087292

This is a re-print of book originally written in 1954. Topics include: conditions before 1886, administration, publicity, literature, education, laws, very brief bios of member from 1886-1904 .

Wescott, Shari H. Women in the Accounting Profession. New York: M. Wiener Pub., 1986.
LC Call Number: HF5627 .W48 1986
LC Catalog record: 86040076

This is a review of women in the accounting profession, with a historical perspective on women entering and studying the field and includes references to past women accountants. It talks about the first woman who was considered to be a “bookkeeper” (the wife of a friend of Benjamin Franklin) and continues by exploring the difficulties women faced in the office environment. It contains statistics comparing women in the work force versus men. It also talks about their duties, personalities, and values. Finally, it explains how educating women, and men, about the obvious difficulties that a woman will come upon in a male-dominated profession is important even though many universities do not want to recognize it. There are also descriptions of women's organizations such as the American Women's Society of CPAs, as well as a chapter on Women Public Accountants in Other Countries.

Zeff, Stephen A. American Accounting Association : Its First 50 Years, 1916-1966. [Sarasota, Fla. : The Association], 1991.
LC Call Number: HF5601.Z395 1991
LC Catalog record: 94206343

This is a brief history of the American Accounting Association, beginning with its founding in 1916, that was originally published in 1966 for the 50th anniversary of the organization.

Zeff, Stephen A. Insights from Accounting History : Selected Writings of Stephen Zeff. 1st ed. New York, NY : Routledge, 2010.
LC Call Number: HF5611 .Z44 2010
LC Catalog record: 2009048976

This title includes a series of articles on specific events, issues, developments, etc. that give some insight into the development of accounting in the United States. The catalog record does include a table of contents, as well as a link to brief biographical information about the author.

Last updated: 03/11/2015

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