Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting, Business, Economic, and Related History

Bob Jensen at Trinity University

If one were writing a history of the American capital market, it is 
a fair bet that the single most important innovation shaping that 
market was the idea of generally accepted accounting principles.

Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University and former Secretary of Treasury

The purpose of this document is to maintain some threads on items of accounting and finance history.  Virtually all of these threads were taken from my New Bookmarks Archives at 

Hi Bob,
My name is Leslie Hanson. I recently posted a blog article
highlighting 100 amazing research professors. I listed professors from all parts
of the academic world from the sciences and the humanities. You can see
my article at

20th Century

History of the founder of Arthur Andersen 

Prior to the 20th Century

Directories and References


Threads on Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments

The Saga of Auditor Professionalism and Auditor Independence

Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting Fraud, Forensic Accounting, Securities Fraud, and White Collar Crime 

What's Right and What's Wrong With Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) 

Bob Jensen's Threads on Accounting Theory

Bob Jensen's Threads on Return on Business Valuation, Business Combinations, 
Investment (ROI), and Pro Forma Financial Reporting

20th Century

Hello Yogamalar,

The best two sources are quite old and will not be on the Web.

I suggest that you begin with one of the most famous deductive monographs in accounting history (it may no longer be in print, but nearly all colleges will have copies in the library). It is An Introduction to Corporate Accounting Standards by W.A. Paton and A.C. Littleton (American Accounting Association, Monograph No. 3, 1940)

The other works are AICPA ARS Studies 1 and 3 by  by Moonitz and Sprouse and Moonitz --- 

You might also take a look at Baxter's lecture at 

I discuss these topics at 

Bob Jensen


I'm a student of a university and I used go through your web pages which help me giving information about my studies. I'm so happy to have a web page which students can access it and clear their doubts..

I just want a help from you sir I studying accounting and finance final year.  I'm looking for deductive approach theory in accounting practice and how it's contributed to the development of existing accounting practice in UK. It should focus on strength, weakness and limitations of the theory in current frame work practice.

I hope you will be giving me a explanation and some references...

thanky ou.. 
from sbesh

History and Current Status of the IASC (International Accounting Standards Committee) (A Slide Show)
"Financial Reporting in the New Millennium," by Paul Pacter, 
In 2001, the name was changed to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

For news and trends on international accounting standards, go to 

SPE = Special Purpose Entity that allows companies bearing as much as 97% of the SPE's debt risk to keep that debt off the consolidated balance sheet under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  Enron's double dealing former CFO Andy Fastow and former CEO Jeff Skilling changed the definition of SPE to S _ _ t Piled Everywhere!  Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandal are at and at 

QSPE = Qualified Special Purpose Entity under the FAS 140 Standard.  QSPEs enjoy special privileges under FAS 140, but must meet a number of qualification criteria. One of these is that QSPEs may not exercise an impermissible degree of discretion in managing the assets which they hold, which are the principal source of cash flows supporting payments on the related securities.  

I asked a former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board to provide me with his off-the-wall remembrances of the history of SPEs in the United States.  His reply is shown below.

Reflections of SPE History by Dennis Beresford

I'm not really an expert in this area but I'll share some of my limited knowledge. The 3% rule came about as a result of EITF deliberations a few years ago regarding special purpose leasing entities. These involved things like major power plants and the like. The sponsor enters into an operating lease with the SPE that falls just short of meeting the capitalization rules. Most of the financing for the SPE is non-recourse (to the sponsor) debt but the EITF insisted that some unrelated party put some of its own capital at risk - hence the 3%. That may not sound like much but it can be a large dollar investment because many of these projects are huge.

Of course, you and others might ask why the sponsor shouldn't capitalize the lease because it is in substance a purchase. That debate may occur again in the future but for now we live with FASB Statement 13 that requires that such leasing arrangements be well disclosed but not recorded as assets and liabilities if all of the tests in 13 are met. Some of the rating agencies and other users of financial statements do their own capitalization procedures to figure out an effective debt-equity ratio assuming that the leases were capitalized.

Another large segment of the SPE universe involves what are known as take or pay contracts. Again, the SPE is a separate legal entity with substantial non-recourse financing and at least 3% independent equity. In these cases, the sponsor agrees to purchase a certain level of the output of the plant at agreed upon prices. These would represent fixed purchase orders that again should be disclosed in the financial statements (I forget the specific accounting standard that requires this).

The Enron SPE's, based on my very limited understanding, were quite different than the two types mentioned above. First, at least some of them involved Enron selling assets to the SPE and recording significant profits. That's apparently why income statements had to be restated when the SPE's were consolidated by Enron. Normally, SPE's are a form of off-balance sheet financing but they don't cause differences in reported income. A second difference in Enron's case involves the guarantees that Enron made to issue its own stock if things didn't go well for the SPE's. I don't really understand these particulars yet, but they certainly seem to be quite different than the more typical types of SPE's mentioned earlier.

Of course, a third major difference between Enron and most others involves the related parties who were principals of the SPE's, particularly the former CFO.

I'm not aware of any good articles about the benefits of using SPE's. I suspect that the Big 5 firms and the investment bankers have such materials but many of them involve proprietary products perhaps similar to what got Enron in trouble.

I hope this helps a little. This is a fascinating subject and we will all be learning more as matters unfold.


Reflections of Consolidations History by Dennis Beresford

Some of the postings on AECM and some of the articles in the press suggest that the Enron mess could have been avoided if only the FASB had come up with better consolidation rules some time ago. Those comments caused me to want to describe, at least briefly, some of the problems faced in this area and the history of the consolidation project. Feel free to share this in your Bookmarks or otherwise if you want.

First, it is interesting to note that the 20th anniversary of the FASB's consolidations project occurs this month. I don't remember the specific day, but it was sometime in January 1982 when the Board voted to add a project to its agenda to improve consolidation accounting. Much of the impetuous for that project came from a series of AICPA Issues Papers that pointed out certain practice problems associated with consolidation, such as whether income should be recognized when a subsidiary sells a portion of its equity to independent investors and how to best account for intercompany transactions. I was a member of the AICPA committee that developed those position papers and I was in favor of the Board looking into consolidation. I should add, however, that these were mainly consolidation procedures matters and not the basic consolidation policy matter - on what basis should consolidation take place.

One of the most controversial issues at that time was the non-consolidation of finance and leasing subsidiaries on the basis that their operations were so different from the manufacturing or other operations of the parent that consolidation would not be meaningful. Examples were GMAC and GE Capital. During my first year at the FASB (1987), we finalized Statement 94, which required consolidation of all majority-owned subsidiaries such as those just mentioned. In that Statement the Board said that it felt that consolidation based on control was the most appropriate approach but it hadn't yet been able to agree on what that meant so Statement 94 was intended to be an interim step while the Board worked to refine the notion of control.

I should back up a step at this point to observe that before I joined the Board there had been a lot of research done on the conceptual basis for consolidation. That resulted in a never published research report that concluded there were two basic approaches: the parent company approach and the reporting entity approach. Depending on which of these approaches you prefer, you will get different answers on what entities should be included in consolidated financial statements. You'll also get dramatically different reported results for such things as intercompany gains and losses and minority interest. Most Board members (not me) preferred the reporting entity approach while most constituents have continued to believe that the parent company approach is the only logical one.

In any event, after Statement 94 was issued, the Board continued to debate consolidation and did so for the rest of my ten years as Chairman. An exposure draft was eventually issued that would have required consolidation based on control and would have adopted the reporting entity concept so that consolidation procedures would have been dramatically revised. I dissented to that ED. Nearly all constituents strongly opposed the ED and the Board was not able to reach agreement on either a final statement or a revised ED before I left. Keep in mind that the project was always dealing with all aspects of consolidation and even back then a number of constituents were telling the Board that it should leave well enough alone with respect to general consolidation but it should do something about the developing matter of special purpose entities.

After I left the Board members continued to debate these matters. A decision was made to limit the scope of the project to consolidation policy (what to consolidate) and leave the consolidation procedures (minority interest, etc.) for later consideration. That ED was also generally rejected by constituents. To give you and other interested parties an idea of the continuing problems, I've attached a copy of the comment letter I wrote to the Board on the most recent exposure draft. Yes, former Board members are entitled to express their views, and, yes, the Board is free to ignore them!

I should digress for a moment here and point out that almost no academics ever comment on FASB proposals. Similar to exchanges on AECM and newspaper articles, it is relatively easy to bat out a short criticism about a topic. However, it's much more challenging to study the matter in question in depth and to develop a thoughtful and persuasive commentary.

The FASB has continued to debate the consolidation issues from its latest ED and several months ago it announced that it didn't have enough support (at least 5 members in favor) to be able to issue a final statement. Then there was a turnover of three (of 7) Board members in July and September and the Board said it will begin talking about these matters again given the presence of three individuals with no previous position on the matter. The Board also said it would look first at special purpose entities and similar practice problems to see if interim guidance on those problems could be issued before getting back into the more general matters.

All of the above is not intended to apologize for the FASB's activities on this project or to criticize them. Neither do I feel a need to excuse my own positions. However, I think the above does point out that this is an extremely difficult topic and reasonable people can disagree. In fact, one of my principal reservations about the control approach to consolidation is that two parties can read the same "guidance" and reach the opposite conclusion as to whether consolidation is required. While I believe strongly that judgment should play an important role in applying accounting standards, I think a standard that can't be applied with any sort of reasonable consistency is much worse than a relatively bright line (e.g., 50% ownership) that is applied rigidly even if it leaves out some entities that arguably could have been consolidated.

I apologize for getting a little carried away with this message but I hope it may be helpful to you or others. I guess that one of the things I like about being an academic is that I'm pretty much free to spend my time on things like this - as long as I do it at 6:30 in the morning!


Reply from Robert Walker in New Zealand
Thank you for sharing Mr Beresford's letter. As a person operating in a jurisdiction long used to an 'in-substance' approach to consolidation, I have little sympahty with the narrow notion of a reporting group based on the parent entity - though I know it is favoured in North America.

The notion of control is built not only into our accounting rules (which have the force of law) but also directly into corporate law itself. That is a group is defined not only by ownership arrangement but also by a control relationship. Unfortunately there is no consideration, to my knowledge, in the courts as to what this might mean.

Our derivative of the conceptual framework (which in my view forms part of legally binding GAAP) goes much further even that the notion of control. It defines the reporting entity as follows:

'A reporting entity exists where it is reasonable to expect the existence of users dependent on general purpose financial reports for information which will be useful to them in terms of the objectives [of financial reporting].'

For a commercial perspective, the problems of operationalising this definition are formidable and, frankly, the consolidation standards don't really deal with it properly. Nevertheless the definition does make some sense in the public sector context. In saying this what needs to be borne in mind is that the genealogy of the NZ definition can be traced directly to the work of Dr Ian Ball - a public sector accounting specialist and a man who is extremely influential in our standard setting establishment as he is (or was) in IFAC's public sector standard setting. He wrote an interesting monograph for the AARB (from memory) entitled The Reporting Entity.

Dr Ball ultimately was attempting to equip our government with what is known as sectoral accounting. His theory is basically that a government should be informed about each sector within its broad jurisdiction - that is health, education or whatever. This is has never been properly developed though it does exist in part. The NZ Public Finance Act 1989 does require a sectoral report to be prepared for all NZ schools. This necessitates that all 3,000 odd schools, even though they are semi-autonomous, have to prepare a financial report to a uniform standard (they are subject to legally imposed and defined GAAP). This is then consoldiated by the central Ministry.

In essence what I shall call the user theory goes on step further than the entity theory. In the latter there is a single axis around which the reporting entity coalesces - generally this will be the central controlling authority like a company board. In the former the reporting entity is multi-axis. There is no central controlling authority.

I myself tested the limits of Dr Ball's user theory in one of the few places I would be allowed to be let loose with some of my more arcane theoretical perspectives. I tried it in my own local school whose baord I was on. NZ schools have a dual fund raising capacity - there is the mainstream funding from government and then there is local fund raising, generally under the control of a semi-autonomous group of parents. Because of the extreme difficulties of auditing uncontrolled local fund raising, the schools financial reports are invariably prepared only on the basis of the government funding.

I decided that the definition included in our GAAP required application of the user theory. I prepared the report to display all resources available to the school not just those from government. The government's auditor refused to accept it and forced me to prepare a report of the narrower entity. I then has a four column report for a tiny school. The effort was unsustainable as the government's auditor well knew. In short, the government auditor let expediency over-ride what is legally binding for a simpler life. Who can blame them.

It does, of course, prove that the practical world of accounting does not like to subject to the logical extensions of theory even if it is written directly into the canon.

One final thought - it has always occurred to me that our banks, being subject to the wider control criterion for consolidation, should consolidate all those advances where they are in effective control rather than account for them as pure advances. Of course this doesn't happen. Funny that.

Robert B Walker [walkerrb@ACTRIX.CO.NZ

Related accounting theory history references can be found in Bob Jensen's introduction to accounting theory at 

"The History and Rhetoric of Auditor Independence Concepts," by Sara Ann Reiter and Paul F. Williams --- 

This paper presents an historical and rhetorical analysis of auditor independence concepts. This analysis is relevant as the newly formed Independence Standards Board in the U.S. is beginning work on a conceptual framework of audit independence to use as a basis for regulation. Debate about independence concepts has a long history and some elements of the accounting profession are suggesting that a radical turn away from historical and philosophical conceptions of independence is currently needed. Independence concepts are both defined and limited by the metaphors used to convey them. These metaphors in turn reflect culturally significant narratives of legitimation. Both the metaphors and legitimating narratives surrounding auditor independence are historically rooted in the moral philosophy framework of the ethics of rights. Current independence proposals represent a shift from the profession=s traditional moral philosophy grounding to a basis in economic concepts and theory. The character of the independent auditor is changing from "judicial man” to "economic man.” A number of consequences to the standing of the profession in the public's eyes, as well as to its internal character, may arise from the changing narrative of auditor independencendence.


A message from Gary Kleinman on January 12, 2002

Dear Dr. Jensen,

You might be interested in a book on auditor independence that Dr. Dan Palmon of the Rutgers University Graduate School of Management (Newark, NJ) and I (Dr. Gary Kleinman) recently published. The book develops a comprehensive theoretical model of auditor-client relationships. To do so, it draws very heavily on theories originating in psychology, social psychology, sociology, organizational behavior, organization theory and related literature on inter-organizational relationships and regulation. It includes theory-based discussions of influences on the independence of the auditor that range from individual personality, role set membership influences, group membership issues, control systems within the organization, a model of audit firm and client firm relationships, and so on.

The specific title and publishing information is: G. Kleinman and D. Palmon (2001). Understanding Auditor-Client Relationships: A Multi-Faceted Analysis. Markus Weiner Publications, Inc. Princeton, NJ.

The imprint is the Rutgers Series in Accounting Research.

For your information, I have taken the liberty of attaching a Word file containing the preface (here labelled abstract) and the foreword to the book. The latter was written by Dr. Jesse Dillard. I hope you find it interesting.


Dr. Gary Kleinman 
Fairleigh Dickinson University Teaneck, NJ

Follow-up Note From Bob Jensen

Readers might be interested in a paper that I discovered by searching the Internet using the search word Kleinman 

A link to the Kleinman and Palmon book discussed above --- 

The Saga of Auditor Professionalism and Independence --- 

A message from Jim Borden in October 1998


I started to put together a list of non-academic web sites that explain in relatively simple terms the basics of financial statements. Perhaps you could add these to your bookmarks, or maybe you already have such a category with these links, but I checked and couldn't find one. You may want to check them yourself to determine their suitability for your site.
Also, I have proposed offering a "History of Technology" course to be team taught with someone from our History department (hopefully!).  Do you know of any such courses being offered anywhere, any good books on such a topic, and last but not least, any good web sites devoted to such a topic?
Thanks for your help! Hope all is well.
Jim Borden


This module contains two messages from Steve Zeff (Rice University) and one from me. I will begin with my message. Dr. Zeff, former President of the American Accounting Association, is one of our most dedicated accounting historians. In November 2001, Stephen A. Zeff received the Hourglass Award from the Academy of Accounting Historians. His homepage is at 

Steve's first message below deals with the "state of professional decline" in public accountancy.

His second message (at the bottom) was prompted by my appeal to him to bring more of his vast knowledge of history to bear upon our exchanges on the AECM.

I think both of his messages tell us a lot about the state of affairs that led up to the Enron scandal (which sadly centers in his own home town.)

The only thing that I take exception with is his statement that I am one of the few who really cares about the state of professional decline. There are, in fact, many who have been far more courageous than me to document the decline in professionalism in accounting practice and research, headed by such critical scholars as Steve Zeff, Abraham Briloff, Eli Mason, Tony Tinker, Paul Williams, and others willing to speak out over the past three decades. See 

Joel Demski's pessimistic remarks are resounding louder after the fall of Enron ---  
I tried to consistently take a more optimistic stance, but the melt down of Enron has taken its toll on my view of my profession.

I hope you will carefully read the two messages from Dr. Zeff that follow my message below.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Jensen, Robert 
Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2001 2:13 PM 
To: 'Stephen A. Zeff'
Subject: RE: threads on accounting fraud

Hi Steve,

What a nice message to encounter in my message box. Thank you for the kind words.

I think your remarks should be shared with accounting educators. Would you mind if I place your remarks in my next (probably January 5) edition of New Bookmarks? The archives are at 

I hear from you so rarely that it is really a pleasure when I get a message from you. I have more respect for your dedication to our craft than you can ever imagine. I wish that you, like Denny Beresford, would share your vast storehouse of accounting knowledge and history with accounting educators on the AECM --- 

Our younger accounting educators communicating on the AECM are very bright and skilled in technology, but they are usually a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to accounting history.

I don't recall if I ever told you this, but your efforts to find Marie in the Rice alumni database led to the subsequent marriage between her and my friend Billy Bender. Both were well into their eighties on the wedding day. They were engaged while both attended Rice University in the 1940s, but the war called Billy away to be a Navy pilot. They had no subsequent contact for over 50 years until you helped Billy find Marie.





In case you missed it, you might be interested in the following modules that I just added to the Accounting Fraud threads --- 

The University of California (UC), the nation's largest university system, has announced plans to join a class action suit against 29 senior executives of the failed Enron Corp. and Big Five accounting firm Andersen. The University claims it lost $145 million in Enron's collapse and seeks to be the lead plaintiff in the class action suit that is forming. 

The Securities & Exchange Commission has launched a formal investigation into the recent collapse of energy giant Enron Corp. and has subpoenaed records from Big Five firm Andersen in relation to that investigation. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt plans to follow a hard line when it comes to auditors who are responsible for problems with published financial statements. 




-----Original Message----- 
From: Stephen A. Zeff []  
Sent: Sunday, December 30, 2001 1:36 PM 
Subject: threads on accounting fraud

Dear Bob:

Yesterday I happened across your Threads on Accounting Fraud, etc. (the Enron case) at  , and I found it to be fascinating reading. I had already seen quite a few of the items, but I knew I could count on you to pull everything--and I mean everything--together. You do wonders on the Internet.

I don't know if you recall seeing my short article, "Does the CPA Belong to a Profession?" (Accounting Horizons, June 1987). The previous year, I was invited by the chairman of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy to give a 15-minute address to newly admitted CPAs at the Erwin Center in Austin in November. Even though I am not a CPA, I accepted. I asked if they would mind if I were to say something controversial. They said no. Some 2,500 candidates, relatives and friends, and elders of the profession were in attendance, the largest audience to which I have ever spoken. Typically at such gatherings, the speaker enthuses about the greatness of the profession the candidates are about to enter. Instead, I opted to discuss whether the CPA actually belongs to a profession, and my view came down heavily on the skeptical side. Some of the questions I raised are being raised today about the supposedly independent posture of auditors and about the teaching of accounting. Fifteen years have passed, and things don't seem to have changed.


My address raised the question of whether the CPA certification constitutes a union card, a license to practice a trade, or admission to a profession. I reviewed a number of recent trends, including the growing commercialization of the practice of accounting, the increasing number of points of possible conflict between the widening scope of services and the attest function, the decline in the vitality of the professional literature, and the even greater emphasis on the rule-bound approach to teaching accounting in the universities. My conclusion was that accounting was in a state of professional decline that should concern all of its leaders.

Following the address, I expected to be taken to task for using such a solemn occasion, at which speakers are normally heard to celebrate the profession, to deliver a pessimistic message. I was, however, astonished that not one of the professional leaders in attendance uttered a word of criticism. When I pointedly asked several of the senior practitioners for their reaction to my remarks, the general response was a shrug of their shoulders. Yes, professionalism is not what it once was, but there seemed to be little that one could, or should, do to attempt to reverse the trend. This wholly unexpected reaction led me to conclude that I had underestimated the depth and pervasiveness of the malaise in the profession.

I wish you and Erika a Happy New Year.

Steve. --

Subsequent Message received from Steve Zeff


It's always a delight to hear from you. Yes, of course you have my permission to place my remarks in your Bookmarks.

In fact, a lot of what I know about accounting history was packed into my recent book, Henry Rand Hatfield: Humanist, Scholar, and Accounting Educator (JAI Press/Elsevier, 2000).

For some years in the early 1990s, I wrote to successive directors of the AAA's doctoral consortium to persuade them that a session should be provided on the history of accounting thought. When the directors replied (which was less than half the time), they said that their planned programs were already full with the standard people and the standard subjects. They typically do bring a standard setter in (usually Jim Leisenring), but the last time someone held a session on accounting history at the consortium was in 1987 (I was the presenter, and the students told me that the subject I treated was entirely new to them.).Virtually no top doctoral programs in the country treat accounting history or even accounting theory. They deal only with how to conduct analytical or empirical research, and the references given to the students are, with a few exceptions (Ball and Brown, and Watts and Zimmerman), from the last six or eight years. Small wonder that tyro assistant professors struggle to learn what accounting is all about once they start teaching the subject. Our emerging doctoral students, for years, have had no knowledge of the evolution of the accounting literature, even the theory that is now finding its way in the work of Stephen Penman and Jim Ohlson.

I think that one of the aims of the consortium should be to "round out" the intellectual preparation of the doctoral students. Instead, the consortium goes deeper in the areas already studied.

Keep up the good work. You are one of the very few people in our field who really cares. And you have done a great deal--more than anyone else I know--to broaden the vision and knowledge base of our colleagues.

Steve. --

Stephen A. Zeff 
Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management 
Rice University 6100 Main Street Houston, TX 77005 tel: (713) 348 6066 fax: (713) 348 5251

Impact of Academic Accounting Research on Practice

-----Original Message-----

From: glan@UWINDSOR.CA [mailto:glan@UWINDSOR.CA]
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2001 6:36 PM
Subject: Re: UK academics ' research assessed

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the information. Although this is not related, I was wondering whether you or any AECMer may be aware of any publications that discuss the impact of academic research on the development of accounting standards and regulations. For example, do academics have a lot of impact on accounting in Britain and is that more so than in other countries such as U.S., Australia or Canada? Looking at many introductory financial accounting books in Northern America, the main "accounting hero" who is mentioned is Luca Pacioli, the 15th century Italian monk to whom we ascribed double entry accounting. On the other hand, if one looks at a science introductory book, many names like Darwin, Newton, Galileo, Mendel etc. are prominent. 

Do introductory accounting books in the U.K. mention more academics who have contributed to the development of accounting? That could inspire more students to follow the accounting career.

George Lan,
University of Windsor

Hi George,

There are too many confounding variables to assign any kind of numerical weighting to the impact of academic research on accounting and auditing standards.

It is obvious that standard setters cite academic literature and most definitely "listen too" academic researchers either directly or indirectly through the academic researchers that they hire to assist in the standard setting process, including such academics as Paul Pacter, Todd Johnson etc. The FASB and the IASB also have at least one former professor who is likely to be more familiar with the academic literature. The trend is to appoint increasingly sophisticated researchers to these boards, including Katherine Schipper (FASB) and Mary Barth (IASB).

Anecdotally, I think that academic research played a heavy role on the elimination of FAS 33 on current cost and price-level reporting in the U.S. The most influential research in that case was the empirical work of Beaver and his co-authors that pointed to negligible impact of FAS 33 supplemental reports on investment decisions (some of Beaver's conclusions were subsequently challenged by other academic researchers, but these followed the elimination of FAS 33).

What is disappointing are seminal discoveries in academic accounting research (or noteworthy lack thereof). Most seminal discoveries are rooted in accounting practice rather than academic research. In the area of standard setting, this is to be expected. Most standards arise from discovery of new types of contracting such when Salamon Brothers and Bankers Trust "invented" the first interest rate swap for IBM somewhere around 1984. Practicing accountants were struggling with how to account for these swaps long before academics ever heard about such things. Now of course, everybody knows about interest rate swaps since they are used in trillions of dollars of contracting worldwide.

Academic accountants are generally better at analytics, experimentation, and capital markets empiricism than invention. This differs greatly from our friends in science, including computer science, where seminal discoveries commonly give rise to what other academics pounce on for analysis and experimentation. The invention of the laser by a Columbia University professor sitting on a park bench comes to mind. Most of the research that the AAA has designated as seminal really can be traced to earlier "inventions" in accounting practice, economics, finance, and psychology.

You mention Pacioli, a monk who wrote the famous Summa book on algebra around 1494 A.D. Actually, Pacioli's work is more like that of an academic researcher than an inventor. Pacioli did not invent double entry bookkeeping.  Summa was a book on algebra, and Pacioli merely modeled the double entry system into algebra as an illustration of modeling. The "invention" of the famous double entry system took place centuries earlier, and the inventor was most likely some practicing accountant, farmer, or entrepreneur.

More recently, activities based costing (ABC) might be considered a "new" invention in the 20th Century. Volumes of academic accounting research studies have been devoted to ABC costing and ABM. But the ABC invention is actually attributed (I think) to cost accountants at John Deere (now Deere Inc.) rather than professors.

The root problem in academic accounting research, especially analytical modeling, is that the assumptions needed for the analytics are too general and/or too unrealistic to extrapolate to a highly complex real world. The second problem is that academic accountants tend not to be where the action is in terms of newer types of contracting. They are more apt to wait until practitioners write about newer forms of contracting or their colleagues in finance and economics write about such contracts in their own working papers.

The same problem arises in behavioral accounting experiments where the lab settings are too simplistic and/or the decision making students or other subjects are not truly making real-world decisions that affect their fortunes and futures.

I suspect standard setters ignore much of the academic research that they consider too artificial --- notably analytical models, behavioral experiments, and simulations. Years ago one FASB board member said as much to me. This particular FASB member was more interested in academic research found in Accounting Horizons rather than The Accounting Review. However, he also listened to his academic staff members who distilled a wider set of academic research.

Bob Jensen

Reply from George Lan

Hi Bob, 

Thanks for your edifying response to my query about the relationship between accounting research and practice and differences between research in accounting and in the sciences. It has shed much light on many questions that I had. I believe that it also supports the view that one must develop links with the practice side of accounting in order to be more aware of research problems and opportunities. Furthermore, the fact that Pacioli was more of a mathematician than an accountant also suggests to me that broader based accounting and/or multidisciplinary research, does have value. 


Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi George

When I was the Program Director for the AAA meetings in NYC years ago (1993?), Joel Demski and Bob Kaplan agreed to share one of the plenary sessions.

I always remember one of Joel Demski's remarks in front of thousands of accounting professors. He asserted that the only academic research invention to be directly placed into accounting practice "probably was dollar-value LIFO."

I am sorry to say that I don't even know who actually invented dollar-value LIFO. It is actually important since that may be the only invention of note by academic accounting researchers.

Knowing Joel, however, this may have been a very sober-faced tongue in cheek assertion.

Bob Jensen

Hi Dale,

Thank you for the correction. I made this statement as a quotation from a speech given by someone else and then asserted that I had no idea who invented dollar value LIFO. Now we know!



-----Original Message----- 
From: Dale Flesher University of Mississippi [mailto:actonya@HOTMAIL.COM]  
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 1:35 PM 
Subject: Re: The Only Invention of Academic Accountants

Contrary to a recent statement in this forum, Dollar-Value Lifo (DVL) was not developed by a professor. The father of DVL was Herbert T. McAnly, who retired in 1964 as a partner at Ernst & Ernst after 44 years with the firm. Throughout his career, McAnly was known as "Mr. LIFO."

Although he did not develop LIFO, which had been around for decades in the form of the base-stock method, he did develop DVL after the Internal Revenue began accepting LIFO from all types of companies. The Treasury would probably never have agreed to allow all companies to use LIFO (in 1939) had they been able to prognosticate McAnly's idea. He first described the concept in an address delivered at the Accounting Clinic and the Central States Accounting Conference in Chicago in May 1941. His concept was finally accepted by the IRS following the Hutzler Brothers Co. case in 1947 (8 TC 14 (1947)). He later worked with the Treasury Department trying to get more practical regulations relating to LIFO.

Dale L. Flesher 
Professor of Accountancy University of Mississippi

Green Accounting History (Environmental Accounting) --- 

Hi John (in response to a question as to why the accountancy activists remained relatively silent during the Enron scandal),

There are some activists with a much longer and stronger record of lamenting the decline in professionalism in auditing and accounting. For some reason, they are not being quoted in the media at the moment, and that is a darn shame!

The most notable activist is Abraham Briloff (emeritus from SUNY-Baruch) who for years wrote a column for Barrons that constantly analyzed breaches of ethics and audit professionalism among CPA firms. His most famous book is called Unaccountable Accounting.

You might enjoy "The AICPA's Prosecution of Dr. Abraham Briloff: Some Observations," by Dwight M. Owsen --- 
I think Dr, Briloff was trying to save the profession from what it is now going through in the wake of the Enron scandal.

I suspect that the fear of activists (other than Briloff) is that complaining too loudly will lead to a government takeover of auditing. This in, my viewpoint, would be a disaster, because it does not take industry long to buy the regulators and turn the regulating agency into an industry cheerleader. The best way to keep the accounting firms honest is to forget the SEC and the AICPA and the rest of the establishment and directly make their mistakes, deceptions, frauds, breakdowns in quality controls expensive to the entire firms, and that is easier to do if the firms are in the private sector! We are seeing that now in the case of Andersen --- in the end its the tort lawyers who clean up or clean out the town.

The problem with most activists against the private sector is that they've not got much to rely upon except appeals for government intervention. That's like asking pimps, whores, and Wendy Gramm to clean up town.  You can read more about how Wendy Gramm sold her soul to Enron at 

Bob Jensen

PBS: Electric Money (better termed the history of money before and after computers) --- 
(Includes teaching guides and resources for instructors)

Making the Macintosh (History, Computers, Apple) --- 

Vintage Calculators (history, technology) --- 

The Classic Typewriter Page at  is the creation of Richard Polt, an assistant professor of philosophy at Xavier University and collector of antique typewriters. A rich and well-designed Web site on the history of typewriters.

10. Charles Babbage Institute at  is a comprehensive source of scholarly information on the history of computing. The site is maintained by the Charles Babbage Institute Center for the History of Information Processing, a research and archival center at the University of Minnesota.

The Computer History Museum Center 

"The Birth of the PC:  IBM's personal computer machine changed the world (Computers, History), --- 

Some Computing History From Carnegie-Mellon's famous Herb Simon

"The Steam Engine and the Computer What Makes Technology Revolutionary," by Herbert A. Simon.  In the midst of the "second industrial revolution" ushered in by the computer, perhaps we can learn some lessons from the first industrial revolution, the one triggered by the steam engine--lessons on what we can and should do with computers and on what computers might do to and for us.  (text-only) --- This one is easier to print

Why people don't listen to higher education researchers.
An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research 
By Ellen Condliffe Lagemann University of Chicago Press, 2000

A review is available at 

History of distance education and authoring software --- 
For more references, see 

Evolution of Business and Business History in the e-Commerce Era --- a new online free magazine called Darwin Magazine --- 

For a sample, you may want to look at e-Business Basics at 

Have all companies jumped on the e-business bandwagon? Not yet. PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Conference Board found that 70 percent of the global companies they surveyed derive less than 5 percent of their revenues from e-business. Several factors have kept some companies surveyed from rolling out e-business initiatives, including the following: potentially high and uncertain implementation costs; lack of demonstrated ROI within their industry; concern about tax, legal, and privacy issues related to e-business; and scant use of the internet among their customers.

The 100 Other Dumbest Moments in e-Business History ---,,11274,00.html 

The Museum of E-Failure 

Bob Jensen's threads on e-Business are at 

The History of the Ideas of a University --- 

The History of Education Site 

One of the largest campuses on the Internet --- The University of Wisconsin 
Over 100,000 registered online students.

They Blazed the Trail for Distance Education (History) by James Gooch --- 

Dear Prof. Jensen

First a thank you for your efforts to share as much of your work and thinking as you can by way of what is served up on your website. As I worked to familiarize myself with changes in the accounting standards area as they relate to financial instruments and to think a bit about how and what to present to my fourth year undergrads in the last five sessions in a special topics in accounting course your site was invaluable.

My approach will lean heavily on the approach that Alex Milburn took when he updated the financial instruments section of Ross Skinners' "Accounting Standards in Evolution" for the revised Skinner and Milburn version - Why the interest, History of standard setting developments in this area including why Canadian standards are currently so far off the mark, Developments in the US including SFAS 133 and the Exposure Draft 204B. Finally I'd like to take up the JWG's Draft Standard.

Have you some thoughts on that standard and how it might be fine-tuned for application within the US? What a fine opportunity for students to experience standard setting in action.

Now I must return to sorting out how I'll present the key conceptual developments so that my students have the basic concepts, issues and theory in place. I'd like for them to be able to wade into whatever application of the "global" standard that eventually confronts them with a some solid footings.

(Added in a second message)
Here are a couple of URLs for two files that will update you the Canadian side of FI issues and on where we were (are) with respect to standards for Financial Instruments. 

Ian Hutchinson [
Associate Professor 
Fred C. Manning School of Business 
Room 209, Rhodes Hall Acadia University Wolfville, NS B0P1X0

The book by Milborn and Skinner is as follows:
Accounting Standards in Evolution, 2nd ed., 672pp. 
ISBN: 0130880159 Publisher: Prentice Hall Pub. Date: June 2000

For a summary of the JWG debates, go to the white papers noted below:

If an item is viewed as a financial instrument rather than inventory, the accounting becomes more complicated under SFAS 115.  Traders in financial instruments adjust such instruments to fair value with all changes in value passing through current earnings.  Business firms who are not deemed to be traders must designate the instrument as either available-for-sale (AFS) or hold-to-maturity (HTM).  A HTM instrument is maintained at original cost.  An AFS financial instrument must be marked-to-market, but the changes in value pass through OCI rather than current earnings until the instrument is actually sold or otherwise expires.   Under international standards, the IASC requires fair value adjustments for most financial instruments.  This has led to strong reaction from businesses around the world, especially banks.  There are now two major working group debates.  In 1999 the Joint Working Group of the Banking Associations sharply rebuffed the IAS 39 fair value accounting in two white papers that can be downloaded from

FASB's Exposure Draft for Fair Value Adjustments to all Financial Instruments On December 14, 1999 the FASB issued Exposure Draft 204-B entitled Reporting Financial Instruments and Certain Related Assets and Liabilities at Fair Value. This document can be downloaded from 

The Tax History Project 

Tax History Museum - Tax History Museum 

The End of History is Not in Sight

There is a very interesting editorial in the October 5, 2001 edition of The Wall Street Journal.  Several years ago,  I used his "End of History" book in a First Year Seminar that I taught at Trinity University.

"History Is Still Going Our Way," an Editorial by Francis Fukuyama.
Professor Fukuyama, a professor of international political economy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is author of "The End of History and the Last Man."

What makes this article interesting is how Professor Fukuyama now reasons that he was wrong about liberal democracy's taking over the world, and he gives credit to Samuel Huntington and others for being more accurate about forecasting the political economy of the future.

A stream of commentators has been asserting that the tragedy of Sept. 11 proves that I was utterly wrong to have said more than a decade ago that we had reached the end of history. The chorus began almost immediately, with George Will asserting that history had returned from vacation, and Fareed Zakaria declaring the end of the end of history.

It is on the face of it nonsensical and insulting to the memory of those who died on Sept. 11 to declare that this unprecedented attack did not rise to the level of a historical event. But the way in which I used the word history, or rather, History, was different: It referred to the progress of mankind over the centuries toward modernity, characterized by institutions like liberal democracy and capitalism.

March of History

My observation, made back in 1989 on the eve of the collapse of communism, was that this evolutionary process did seem to be bringing ever larger parts of the world toward modernity. And if we looked beyond liberal democracy and markets, there was nothing else towards which we could expect to evolve; hence the end of history. While there were retrograde areas that resisted that process, it was hard to find a viable alternative type of civilization that people actually wanted to live in after the discrediting of socialism, monarchy, fascism, and other types of authoritarian rule.

This view has been challenged by many people, and perhaps most articulately by Samuel Huntington. He argued that rather than progressing toward a single global system, the world remained mired in a "clash of civilizations" where six or seven major cultural groups would coexist without converging and constitute the new fracture lines of global conflict. Since the successful attack on the center of global capitalism was evidently perpetrated by Islamic extremists unhappy with the very existence of Western civilization, observers have been handicapping the Huntington "clash" view over my own "end of history" hypothesis rather heavily.

I believe that in the end I remain right: Modernity is a very powerful freight train that will not be derailed by recent events, however painful and unprecedented. Democracy and free markets will continue to expand over time as the dominant organizing principles for much of the world. But it is worthwhile thinking about what the true scope of the present challenge is.

It has always been my belief that modernity has a cultural basis. Liberal democracy and free markets do not work at all times and everywhere. They work best in societies with certain values whose origins may not be entirely rational. It is not an accident that modern liberal democracy emerged first in the Christian West, since the universalism of democratic rights can be seen in many ways as a secular form of Christian universalism.

The central question raised by Samuel Huntington is whether institutions of modernity such as liberal democracy and free markets will work only in the West, or whether there is something broader in their appeal that will allow them to make headway in non-Western societies. I believe there is. The proof lies in the progress that democracy and free markets have made in regions like East Asia, Latin America, Orthodox Europe, South Asia, and even Africa. Proof lies also in the millions of Third World immigrants who vote with their feet every year to live in Western societies and eventually assimilate to Western values. The flow of people moving in the opposite direction, and the number who want to blow up what they can of the West, is by contrast negligible.

But there does seem to be something about Islam, or at least the fundamentalist versions of Islam that have been dominant in recent years, that makes Muslim societies particularly resistant to modernity. Of all contemporary cultural systems, the Islamic world has the fewest democracies (Turkey alone qualifies), and contains no countries that have made the transition from Third to First World status in the manner of South Korea or Singapore.

There are plenty of non-Western people who prefer the economic and technological part of modernity and hope to have it without having to accept democratic politics or Western cultural values as well (e.g., China or Singapore). There are others who like both the economic and political versions of modernity, but just can't figure out how to make it happen (Russia is an example). For them, transition to Western-style modernity may be long and painful. But there are no insuperable cultural barriers likely to prevent then from eventually getting there, and they constitute about fourth-fifth's of the world's people.

Islam, by contrast, is the only cultural system that seems to regularly produce people, like Osama bin Laden or the Taliban, who reject modernity lock, stock and barrel. This raises the question of how representative such people are of the larger Muslim community, and whether this rejection is somehow inherent in Islam. For if the rejectionists are more than a lunatic fringe, then Mr. Huntington is right that we are in for a protracted conflict made dangerous by virtue of their technological empowerment.

The answer that politicians East and West have been putting out since Sept. 11 is that those sympathetic with the terrorists are a "tiny minority" of Muslims, and that the vast majority are appalled by what happened. It is important for them to say this to prevent Muslims as a group from becoming targets of hatred. The problem is that dislike and hatred of America and what it stands for are clearly much more widespread than that.

Certainly the group of people willing to go on suicide missions and actively conspire against the U.S. is tiny. But sympathy may be manifest in nothing more than initial feelings of Schadenfreude at the sight of the collapsing towers, an immediate sense of satisfaction that the U.S. was getting what it deserved, to be followed only later by pro forma expressions of disapproval. By this standard, sympathy for the terrorists is characteristic of much more than a "tiny minority" of Muslims, extending from the middle classes in countries like Egypt to immigrants in the West.

This broader dislike and hatred would seem to represent something much deeper than mere opposition to American policies like support for Israel or the Iraq embargo, encompassing a hatred of the underlying society. After all, many people around the world, including many Americans, disagree with U.S. policies, but this does not send them into paroxysms of anger and violence. Nor is it necessarily a matter of ignorance about the quality of life in the West. The suicide hijacker Mohamed Atta was a well-educated man from a well-to-do Egyptian family who lived and studied in Germany and the U.S. for several years. Perhaps, as many commentators have speculated, the hatred is born out of a resentment of Western success and Muslim failure.

But rather than psychologize the Muslim world, it makes more sense to ask whether radical Islam constitutes a serious alternative to Western liberal democracy for Muslims themselves. (It goes without saying that, unlike communism, radical Islam has virtually no appeal in the contemporary world apart from those who are culturally Islamic to begin with.)

For Muslims themselves, political Islam has proven much more appealing in the abstract than in reality. After 23 years of rule by fundamentalist clerics, most Iranians, and in particular nearly everyone under 30, would like to live in a far more liberal society. Afghans who have experienced Taliban rule have much the same feelings. All of the anti-American hatred that has been drummed up does not translate into a viable political program for Muslim societies to follow in the years ahead.

The West Dominates

We remain at the end of history because there is only one system that will continue to dominate world politics, that of the liberal-democratic West. This does not imply a world free from conflict, nor the disappearance of culture as a distinguishing characteristic of societies. (In my original article, I noted that the posthistorical world would continue to see terrorism and wars of national liberation.)


The rest of the editorial (for a while at least) is at

From the Harvard Business School
American Women in the Emerging Industrial and Business Age 

Traditional views about the role of women in society have colored the way that historians have typically approached topics concerning the role of women in the economy. Scholars have recently begun, however, to look more closely at the phenomenon of women in the marketplace. It is clear that women have long been an important factor in the economy, whether driven by necessity to take economic responsibility for themselves and their families, or motivated by the desire to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities.

The manuscript collections at Baker Library contain a broad range of materials documenting the history of female small-business owners, investors, professionals, executives, consumers, executors of estates, household managers, and wage laborers. These resources, however, were often overlooked because they were not identified as such either in the printed guides to the collection or in the online records. In May 1999 the Historical Collections Department began a comprehensive survey of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American manuscript holdings in the Business Manuscripts Collection for material related to the history of women.

Based on a review of each of the finding aids in the Business Manuscripts Collection, more than 300 manuscript collections were identified as possibly containing records related to women's history. These collections were then closely examined to verify whether they contained relevant materials and, if so, to identify the names, occupations, and histories of each woman mentioned. Of the 300 collections examined, 219 proved to contain materials relevant to women's business and financial history in the United States. Detailed notes about the manuscripts and the women were made as the collections were examined.

The final steps of the project, which are currently underway, will ensure that the resources discovered during this project will be readily accessible to scholars. The data gathered from the manuscript collections forms the foundation of a database that will allow researchers to search the information about women found in the collections by a variety of criteria, including name, date, occupation, marital status, and location. In addition, the online catalog records for the manuscript collections that contain resources on the history of women will be edited to provide enhanced subject access, as well as access to records on individual women in the collections.

The online guide that follows is the first of these research tools to be available to scholars, providing both information on the materials that were identified within the manuscript collections, as well as a bibliography of secondary resources.

From the Scout Report
US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau --- 

Created by Congress on June 5, 1920, to "promote the welfare of wage earning women," the US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau (DOLWB) seeks to inform the public of women’s work rights and employment issues. Bureau publications include _Fact Sheets on Women in the Workplace_, the legally informative _Know Your Rights Series_, survey results, and special reports on the history of the Equal Pay Act, child care, and financial success stories, among others (.pdf format). A Statistics and Data Library will be of particular use to educators, offering current and historical employment totals and earnings estimates in graphical, presentation formats. Male to Female wage and employment comparisons are also included on site, and some DOLWB studies delineate employment totals by occupation. Links to relevant DOL agencies and reports, as well as other women’s labor organizations are also useful in researching the long history of women’s labor struggles in the US.

From Cornell University:  From Domesticity to Modernity: What Was Home Economics? ---- 

At the turn of the 20th century, home economics was a critical pathway into higher education for American women, largely associated with co-educational land grant institutions such as Cornell. From its inception, collegiate home economics was multidisciplinary and integrative with an emphasis on science applied to the real world of the home, families and communities.

In the early decades of the 20th century, home economists had links to the revitalization of agriculture and rural communities, but also to Progressive Era programs in cities. By the 1920s, home economists at Cornell were best known for research in human nutrition and child development, but their work in fields such as fiber science, design and consumer economics made them central to the growth of the consumer economy as well. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, collegiate programs prepared thousands of women for public school teaching but many also had careers in the extension service, state and federal governments, industry, hospitals, restaurants and hotels. But by the late 1950s and the early 1960s, broad changes in American women's economics and social roles made collegiate education in home economics seem "old fashioned," an image that did not do justice to its rich history.

In celebration of the New York State College of Human Ecology's Centennial, this exhibition will emphasize how home economics at Cornell University, served as a critical bridge from domesticity in the 19th century to modernity in the 20th century and will attempt to answer the question: What was home economics?

History and Scandal:  FBI Files of Famous Persons --- 

"Chasing the Sun" is based on the book Turbulent Skies: The History of Commercial Aviation by T. A. Heppenheimer --- 

History of grocery stores and supermarkets. (American History) The name of the site is Did You Bring Bottles? --- 

Forwarded by Don Ramsey on January 30, 2002 following the Enron scandal

Here is a fascinating short biography of the founder of Arthur Andersen. Some major points:

--In 1908, the youngest CPA in Illinois --Chairmanship of Northwestern's accounting department

--First college professor to enter public accounting

--Attended classes by night for four years to qualify for a bachelor's degree in business from Northwestern. Ten years later he was a trustee of the university and three years after that its chairman of the board

--straightened out the finances of a pioneering energy empire and won his reputation for honesty by keeping it from bankruptcy

--"If the auditor looked behind the figures into the actual operating methods and problems of the business," says the company's 1974 history, "he could render a constructive report"

--Asked in 1938 to become the first salaried president of the New York Stock Exchange (he declined)

--Considered himself the watchdog of the nation's accounting practices 

--"Bankers and accountants can render great service to the investing public by bringing out the business facts behind the figures of financial statements."


Arthur Andersen, The Accountant Who Built His Name on Energy
By Ken Ringle Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, January 29, 2002; Page C01

If only he'd been born in Lake Wobegon, Minn., instead of Plano, Ill., Arthur Edward Andersen might have been dreamed up by Garrison Keillor. But, as Keillor would surely agree, "Plano" is an even more evocative birth site for an accountant.

The founder-namesake of the Enron-racked accounting megafirm was born in 1885, the stalwart son of new Norwegian immigrants, and to his dying day in 1947 at age 61, he maintained a passion for preserving Norwegian history. He even held an honorary degree from St. Olaf College.

And would you believe he straightened out the finances of a pioneering energy empire and won his reputation for honesty by keeping it from bankruptcy? Is that a cosmic joke, or what? Not if you bought Enron stock at $80 a share, it's not.

Orphaned at 16, Andersen finished conventional schooling at eighth grade. But he was good at math and worked days as a mail boy and went to class at night to finish high school. He worked as an accountant while attending classes at the University of Illinois where he received a certificate to become, in 1908, the youngest CPA in Illinois. He was 23.

He cut his accounting teeth on Allis-Chalmers farm equipment and at the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., among other firms, before risking the security of a corporate job to open his own public accounting firm in 1913. It was a propitious time for accountants: Congress had just authorized the income tax.

The Titanic had sunk the year before. World War I would begin the following year. Most accountants in America were somber little men in green eyeshades, trained by apprenticeship, tidying up endless columns of figures in near-Dickensian anonymity for merchants, manufacturers and banks. Few had college degrees.

Andersen, however, was no ordinary accountant. He had begun teaching at Northwestern University the year after receiving his CPA, had continued while working as comptroller at Schlitz, and soon scrambled to the prestigious chairmanship of Northwestern's accounting department by writing and publishing his own curriculum. When he set up shop on his own at 28, according to the firm's history, he was the first college professor to enter public accounting.

And he didn't stop there. While teaching, churning out audits and managing a rapidly expanding firm by day, he attended classes by night for four years to qualify for a bachelor's degree in business from Northwestern. Ten years later he was a trustee of the university and three years after that its chairman of the board.

By teaching while he was also expanding a business, Andersen became convinced that the accountant's traditional role was too narrow for the business needs of the 20th century. It should really begin, not end, with an audit. "If the auditor looked behind the figures into the actual operating methods and problems of the business," says the company's 1974 history, "he could render a constructive report . . . of real help to management in solving its day-to-day problems. On this type of service he proposed to build his firm."

By the early 1930s, Arthur Andersen & Co. had six offices across the nation, but its biggest challenge would emerge from its home office in Chicago. It involved a sort of proto-Enron energy empire built by a Chicago tycoon named Samuel Insull.

Insull, who had emigrated from England in 1892, had been hired as a secretary by Thomas Edison and gone on to capitalize on that experience to become an electricity entrepreneur. In the early days of electric power, Edison's incandescent lights, patented in 1879, were provided only to Edison-licensed utility companies, many of which were little more than neighborhood affairs. As many in and around Chicago approached bankruptcy in the financial uncertainties of the new century's early years, Edison looked for someone to consolidate these companies and keep them going to ensure a steady supply of electricity for the city and the surrounding Midwest.

Insull volunteered, and within a few years had amassed a conglomerate of companies that included Commonwealth Edison, People's Gas, the Northern Indiana Public Service Co., and a network of electric railroads and interurban streetcar systems that would become the Chicago Rapid Transit Co. With interlocking directorates he soon controlled more than 300 steam-generating plants, nearly 200 hydroelectric plants and numerous other power-generating plants throughout the United States.

The Great Depression of the 1930s, however, caught him vastly overextended financially. The Chicago banks were unable to bail him out, and East Coast banks refused to. But rather than force Insull into bankruptcy, New York bankers chose Arthur Andersen as their representative to manage the reorganization and refinancing of Insull's business holdings.

Though he couldn't save everything from receivership, Andersen managed the financial turnaround of Insull's major energy utilities, saving Chicago's power network and winning both the immense gratitude of the business community and a nationwide reputation for responsibility and rectitude.

So great was his reputation that Andersen was asked in 1938 to become the first salaried president of the New York Stock Exchange, then trying to win back public confidence after the crash of 1929.

Andersen refused. He wanted to keep on accounting.

He -- like many others -- considered himself the watchdog of the nation's accounting practices. Until the day he died he remained deeply immersed in the details of the company, recruiting key employees and approving each client himself. According to the International Directory of Company Histories, he also continued his longtime practice of paying himself 50 percent of the company's profits and splitting the remainder among his partners. He considered such profit-taking honorable compensation for socially constructive work. After all, he'd even made 20 percent profit for Arthur Andersen & Co. while bailing out Insull.

As he told a convention of bankers in Atlanta in 1926: "Bankers and accountants can render great service to the investing public by bringing out the business facts behind the figures of financial statements."

But, as he reminded the graduates of St. Olaf at their 1941 commencement, facts and figures alone are never enough: "Man must be moved by high moral and ethical concepts in all of his relationships. . . . Without this anchorage, he is . . . lost."

Could someone in Andersen's Houston office have shredded those speeches?

Prior to the 20th Century

Thr SUMMA Project --- 

Virtual Museum of Accounting History ---, University of Birmingham

Book in Progress by Gary Giroux: A Short History of Accounting & Business --- 

History Question: 
What was the first graduate school of business administration in the world and when was it founded?

History Answer: 
Dartmouth College commenced in 1769 and later founded the world's first graduate school of business administration in 1900. Interestingly, a Wall Street Journal Special Edition ranked Dartmouth as the top business administration graduate school in the Year 2001, although other rankings such as US News do not place Dartmouth at the top.

See the following two links with respect to Dartmouth:

Historic Corporate Reports --- 

Message 1 from WHITCHURCH,Ian [


As far as accounting history goes, you might want to have a look at Geoffrey Parker's work on Lixalde, the paymaster of the Spanish army of the Netherlands in the late 16th century.

To cut a long story short, Lixalde was bent, and was skimming funds meant for the troops.

Where this is interesting for accountants is that he was audited for this after his death in office - in Phillip II's Spain, you didnt get to leave a governorship or other important job until the Royal Audit Office had signed off the books (the Prudent King knew about the temptations of corruption that Republican and Imperial Rome fell prey to).

The auditors eventually signed off a verdict of 'not proven', in exchange for a cash payment, once they had decided that ten years or so was enough to spend on one audit (important documents - later found by Parker - got "lost" in the Sack of Antwerp by Spanish troops following a mutiny). This was very unusual for the royal auditors btw.

I could go back to the uni library and find the article, so you can cite it for your students and on your web page - the auditors here in DEWRSB enjoyed it.

Ian Whitchurch

Message 2 from WHITCHURCH,Ian [


You might also want to add this to your history thread ... it's a work I did in 2000 for Stefan's Florigelium, a SCA e-publication. It's copyright me, but you have my permission to re-use it.

I am also being bugged by a memory of a company-wide internal audit by the Fugger family conglomerate in the 16th century. My memory is telling me it is somewhere in Braudel's 'Meditteranean in the time of Phillip II' (the Fugger family was among the heaviest hitters in European finance around that time, although the soup created after Phillip II went bankrupt in 1575 was too rich for them, and the Genoese regained their position).

I'll be in touch with more stuff ... I've had a look around the web at accounting and auditing history, and I think we can do a lot better than what is out there :)

Ian Whitchurch.

Maritime insurance originated from 'bottomry' loans, which differed from normal commercial lending in that the interest rate was higher, and if the ship did not return due to misfortune, then the loan was not repaid.

To quote Stefani (p44 of "Insurance in Venice from the origins to the end of the Serenissima : Documents published for the 125th anniversary of the company" ; SPA Polografica, Bologna, 1958)

"This loan on bottomry was practiced as follows : the loaner, who also often owned the ship i.e the capitalist (dominus negotii, procertans, commendator) who usually remained on land, loaned capital to a person undertaking a voyage as a shipowner on his own account or on someone else's ship. When the ship reyurned safely to the port of departure (sans navi redeunte) the capital was reimbursed by the borrower (tractator, procerator, accomendatarius) together with a profitable interest. If the ship was lost owing to misfortune, such as storm or piracy (periculum maris et gentis), the capital was not reimbursed".

Stefani cites, but unfortunately does not quote, a number of 12th century bottomry loans.

He dates actual insurance to "23rd October 1347 whereby Giorgio Leccavello insures Bartolomeo Basso for the sum of 107 Genoese lire on a cocca named S. Clara for a voyage from Genoa to Majorca within the term of six months" (Stefani, Insurance in Venice from the orgigins to the end of the Serenessima, SpA Polographica, Bologna 1958 ; p60, citing Bensa "Il contratto d'assicurazione").

He also quotes in full (p60) an insurance contract from 1384 which I quote here in full ;

"The aforesaid insurers run any risk from said place to said place and for the said goods bearing said name and sign and for said estimated value and loaded on the said ship [and run every risk] of God and of sea and any kind of peril and accidents and heavy weather and disasters that may in any way happen, and should the casualty occur as it is required and according to the conditions [of the contract, all insurers carry and run the [risks] in favour of the said Francesvo and partners [for] florins one and one third percent. And if any kind of disaster should happen to the items - may God forbid - the said insurers promise and engage themselves to give and to pay actually and with no objections or to place and have placed [at disposal] in any way or means [in favour] of the said Francesco and partners, or their agents and trustees within the first two months following the day when the casualty shall have been notified to the said insurers, each [insurer shall pay] the at quantity of moneys that they insure at Pisa, at Florence, at Siena, at Genoa or in any other place, land or locality the said Francesco and partners may wish to have them sent to, save that if the payment should be effected outside of Pisa no advantage of money exchange can be requested from the insurers ; and should it happen that as a concequence of the casualty that may happen [at their charge] the insurers repurchase or redeem the said items, they may present them sound and safe at Savona to the said Francessco and partners or anyone entrusted by them and mentioned in the writ, within three months following the day on which the casualty may have happened" (citing Cianelli "Sulle orme di un primato - Il testo della piu antica polizza toscana di assicurazione" ; Bollettino delle Assicurzaioni Generali, Feb-Mar 1955).

Not merely marine insurance but marine re-insurance was practiced in fourteenth century Italy - a Genoese document dated 12 July 1370 has Giovanni Sacco insured by Giuliano Grillo for a voyage from Genoa to Flanders, and Grillo reinsuring the dangerous part of the voyage from Cadiz to Biscay with Goffredo di Bonavia and Martino Maruffo to a sum equal to that he had promised Sacco (p61 of Stefani, citing p200 of Bensa "Il contratto d'assicurazione").

Stefani cites typical premiums for fourteenth century Italy as being 5-19% (p61) for maritime insurance, and about half that for cargos going by land (p63).

The first recorded insurance com;any was a 1424 partership in Genoa of Galeotto and Tobia de' Scipioni with Giulano Dondi, which split the damages and profits three ways (p62, citing Bensa op cit p221).

Life insurance policies are recorded as being issued in Venice in 1589, with Stefani (p119) citing Ventian State Archives records for a policy being issued on 13 November 1589 with seven insurers insuring the life of a debtor, Augustin Bofino, to his creditor, Gieronimo Quarto, to the sum of six hundred ducats. As it was, Bonifo died on the 13th of January 1590, and the sum was paid to Quarto. One can only hope that foul play was not involved (cf the sad case of another Geronimo, Geronimo de Curiel, Phillip II's Factor at the Antwerp Fairs, who was stabbed to death in October 1570 just before he was due to give evidence about official corruption involving Francisco di Lixalde, the Paymaster of the Army of Flanders, and Juan de Albornoz, the Secretary of that army's commander, the Duke of Alva. The charges against di Lixalde and de Albornoz were then dropped. Despite thirty five (!) years work by a team of auditors on his books after Lixalde's sudden death in 1577, the corruption investigation was stopped in 1612 exchange for 13 000 ducats in cash. Parker strongly indicates that di Lixalde was skimming the entire deduction made from soldiers pay for the upkeep of military hospitals. See ch 8 of Geoffrey Parker "Spain and the Netherlands 1559-1659" ; Collins, 1979).


Henry Rand Hatfield: Humanist, Scholar, and Accounting Educator, by Stephen A. Zeff (JAI Press/Elsevier, 2000) --- 

Choose one of these selections to learn more about Hatfield or the Zeff book. A book overview is presented below.

Every once in a while I dig up a gem while mining the web.  This gem from a philosophy professor weighs about two karats.
Online Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy Version 0.9 Robert Cavalier, Carnegie Mellon University ---   
This is a sample of a hypertext course in philosophy.

"FROM THE COUNTING HOUSE TO THE MODERN OFFICE: EXPLAINING ANGLO-AMERICAN PRODUCTIVITY DIFFERENCES IN SERVICES SINCE 1870," by Stephen Broadberry and Sayantan Ghosal,  University of Warwick, October 12, 2001 --- 

The United States overtook Britain in comparative productivity levels for the whole economy primarily as a result of trends in services rather than trends in industry. U.S. overtaking of Britain in market services occurred during the transformation from the “counting house” to the “modern office”, as low-volume, high-margin business gave way to high-volume, low-margin business with multiple operating units managed by a hierarchy of salaried executives. This transformation was dependent on technologies that improved communications and information processing, and occurred first in transport and communications, before spreading to distribution and finance. The pattern of diffusion across sectors in the United States was influenced by the nature of demand and the degree of shelter from competition. The overall diffusion of modern office technology was also dependent on the existence of appropriate “social capabilities”: a labor force that was both well-educated and willing to accept an intensification of the labor process, with high levels of standardization and monitoring. The technologies were slower to diffuse in Britain as a result of lower levels of education and stronger labor force resistance to intensification.

"The Economics Of The Rat Race:  Throughout American history, opportunity and insecurity have come in the same package," by Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek, July 30, 2001, Page 37 --- 

Culture and business of Florence and Tuscany (History) 
Virtual Uffizi: the Complete Catalog --- 

There are many web references to Pacioli.  For example, a particularly good historical reference is at

Luca Pacioli: The Father of Accounting --- 

One of my favorite references to Pacioli is in the book by Poitras cited below.

Monumental Scholarship The Early History of Financial Economics 1478-1776 by Geoffrey Poitras (Simon Fraser University) --- (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2000) ---

1 Introduction 1 2 History of Commerce and Finance 22 3 The Scholastic Analysis of Usury and Other Subjects 74 4 The Evolution of Commercial Arithmetic 113 5 Simple Interest and Compound Interest 143 6 The Valuation of Life Annuities 187 7 Foreign Exchange and the Bill Market 228 8 The Analysis of Joint Stocks 267 9 Development of Derivative Securities 335 10 Manias, Manipulations and Institutional Failures 382 11 English Debates over Interest Rates and Public Credit 418 12 Maritime Insurance, Life Insurance and Other Subjects 449 13 Some Speculative Conclusions 481 Bibliographic Notes 495 References 501 Index 517


Some of the excellent review comments by Professor Bierman are quoted below from pp. 234-235 in ACCOUNTING AND BUSINESS RESEARCH Volume 31 Number 3 Summer 2001 A research quarterly published by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

While Poitras states the study is of the period 1478-1776, pp.22-29 reviews earlier periods. To begin his study of financial economics in 1478, Poitras implicitly equates financial economics with any commercial transaction. Thus the book could have just as well been titled Commercial Transactions 1478-1776. His definition of financial economics is excessively broad. I would have preferred to have had financial economics equated with a subset of commercial transactions that were based on accepted financial theories (e.g. time value of money arithmetic). The definition of financial economics being used allows Poitras to include (Chapter 2) 'History of Commerce and Finance', which describes money markets (bourses and exchanges) as well as types of securities and contacts used from the 12th to the 18th centuries. Money-lending (Lombards and Jews being active participants) is discussed in an interesting manner, but little or no financial economics is introduced.

Life annuities are also discussed in Chapter 2 (p.54): 'In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, analytical solutions were proposed to the problem of valuing life annuities.' But Poitras does not share those solutions with us in Chapter 2. He then states that (p.55) 'oddly enough, until the 19th century, market practice usually involved selling life annuities without taking accurate consideration the age of the nominee.' Obviously, the analytical solutions were flawed.

Chapter 3 discusses 'The Scholastic Analyses of Usury and Other Subjects'. Since financial economics is based on competitive markets, a discussion of the evolution of usury issues is not that enlightening relative to financial economics.

Chapter 4 traces the evolution of commercial arithmetic and beginnings of accounting. The chapter's Appendix shows a Table of future value calculations for 0.10 for years 1 through 30, published in 1613 by Richard Witt, and the present value of an annuity for different interest rates published in 1772. Chapter 5 makes clear that compound interest calculations were well known by mathematicians by the early 17th century, and Chapter 6 describes their uses in valuing life annuities.

There is a switch in focus in Chapter 7 to foreign exchange and the bill market and in Chapter 8 to the analysis of joint stock companies (the predecessor of today's corporations). Chapter 8 includes interesting insights on John Law (the Mississippi scheme), the South Sea Bubble, and the Bubble Act of 1720. Poitras tries to relate the investment activities in 18th century joint stock companies to the portfolio theories of Harry Markowitz and William Sharp.

Chapter 9 deals with derivative securities. Poitras shows that elements of the put-call parity was implemented by de la Vega (1688) and de Pinto (1771).

Chapter 10 is the most interesting chapter for me. Were the Mississippi Scheme, the South Sea Bubble and the Dutch tulipmania of 1634-1637 examples of irrationality, or rather bubbles based on rationality and manipulation or institutional failure? Poitras is even-handed in his evaluation. Most experts on historical bubbles can increase their knowledge by reading this chapter.

Chapter 12 deals with maritime insurance, life insurance and other subjects (e.g. old age pension plans.)

Chapter 13 seeks to establish the origins of financial economics. By the middle of the 18th century, 'sophisticated techniques for pursuing contingent claims such as life annuities had been developed and applied to the establishment of life insurance and pension funds' (p. 483). This conflicts with the earlier observations of Chapters 2 and 4 (see above).

Poitras primarily uses secondary sources and he uses them well. Anyone who intends to work on financial issues originating in the period 1478-1776 or wants to know the origin of the financial concepts being widely used today, would do well to start with this book and the sources used and cited by Poitras.

Harold Bierman, Jr. Cornell University

A Wall Street Journal Business and Economic History Special --- 

Take a quick trip back through the past 10 centuries -- see when the first shareholding company was formed, when paper money was born and what developments in finance and companies followed.

Look behind many of the most dramatic events of the millennium, and the catalyst is often the same: Taxes.

A 15th-century bank struggles to catch up to the 20th century. Can it recapture its past glory?

A Japanese temple builder is still going strong after more than 14 centuries.

And more

Turn off da bubble machine! 
Lawrence Welk

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Shakespeare in MacBeth (Act 4 scene 1 line 10-11),

A History Lesson --- 
(I can't imagine that no current writers made this "tulip" analogy, although I did not discover any current articles that did so with tulips.)
If you make the following time warp substitutions, see what you get:

"" for "Tulip"  and " tulip bulb"
"2000" for "1600"
"World" for "Holland"
Other similar substitutions for time and context

Tulip Bubble (or should we say Bubble?)

In Holland during the early 1600’s it was not stocks, but tulip bulbs that made investors rich beyond their wildest dreams, ruined thousands when the Tulip Bubble burst, and threw the national economy into major depression.

Yes we are talking about a flower here--the tulip. Not just a any plain old tulip, but those with the mosaic virus which produced pedals with contrasting colored strips. These bulbs were called "bizarres." These infected bulbs became all the rage in Holland and the more bizarre a bulb was the more it was worth. Speculators began buying bulbs just for the purpose of reselling them at a profit and became rich doing so more speculators wanted in on the action and easy money which just produced more demand for the bulbs further pushing up their prices. Soon any one could make lots of easy money buying and selling tulip bulbs--full blown tulip mania.

Tulip prices rose steadily then wildly as nobles, farmers, maid-servants, and chimney sweeps profited from the madness. The normal industry of the nation stopped as everyone engaged in profligate speculation in tulip bulbs.

The Tulip Bubble was in high gear as valuables such as land, jewels, and even once an entire house was traded for a single tulip bulb.

An option market in tulip bulbs even developed allowing the Dutch to leverage their ability to speculate on bulbs.

One sailor thinking the red bulb on a tavern owner’s counter was an onion (it was a valuable tulip bulb) carved it up as topping on his herring and was thrown in prison charged with a felony.

And then one day bulbs quit rising in price when there was nobody left to pay a higher price for them. All the buyers who might buy them had been driven out of the market. With no supply of buyers left to bid on bulbs they begin to fall in price and economic panic set in. Government officials assured the public that all would be all right, but dealers went bankrupt as did speculators and the general public. A severe depression set in for years with the crash of the Tulip Bubble.

From: Burton G. Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street

From a historical perspective, it is important to note that the bursting of the Tulip Bubble did not prevent the continued importance of tulips for hundreds of succeeding years in Holland's economy.  What happened is that tulips were placed in their proper perspective on real ground rather than speculation's hot air.  Similarly, the bursting of the Bubble does not blow up the future prospects of the online networked economy in the 21st Century..  What is now happening is that the industry is being placed in its proper perspective.  Fewer bright and talented young men and women will be able to become multi-millionaires on the basis of bad management and speculation fever instead of a lifetime of dedicated labor.

The Tulip Bubble in the 1600s was followed by the South Sea Bubble in England in the 1700s, the railroad scandals of the 1800s, and the real estate frauds of the 1900s.  All have led to better accounting and punishments for managers and accountants who "let the money out of the door if it doesn't advance the business of the company."  See "The Tragedy of Webvan," Fortune, (I think a typo states August 13 rather than July 13, 2001) --- 

What I didn't calculate was the stupidity of some management decisions. Here's one: Last December, right after I made my last purchase of its shares, at a time when Webvan had just two quarters' worth of cash in the bank, the company started repainting all of its brightly colored vans. After less than two years of operations, Webvan decided to launch a rebranding campaign.

Re-branding? The company's brand was barely established in the minds of its few customers! The company was running out of money, and raising more money was getting harder every day, yet management decided to get the vans repainted.

I'm sure the amount was small, perhaps less than $100,000. But that was cash out the door, cash that could never be used for any other purpose. Which illustrates one reason Webvan failed--there were no real entrepreneurs running this company. Real entrepreneurs never let money out the door for any reason that doesn't strictly advance the business of the company.

Some history references of possible interest to accountants are listed below:

It is also interesting to read about  The South Sea Bubble and The Great Florida Real Estate Bubble at 
Note that The South Sea Company was treating its common share sale like they were net income.  This seems to be what the companies of modern times were doing (i.e., failing to distinguish stock sale cash flows from revenue cash flows).

Reply from WHITCHURCH,Ian [] 

I'd like to disagree with the comparison between the dot com bubble and the Tulip Boom.

A better example is the South Sea Bubble, because at the end of the day, the promotors of the South Sea Bubble, like the promotors of the dot com bubble, were fundamentally right.

The South Sea Bubble was founded on the idea that foriegn trade would revolutionise the business of Britain, and great fortunes would be made.

The Dot Com Bubble was founded on the idea that the Internet would revolutionise the business of everywhere, and great fortunes would be made.

The South Sea Bubble was enabled by financial shenanigans involving bribes paid to prominent politicos, and by rumour and gossip that pumped the stock.

The Dot Com Bubble was enabled by financial shenanigans involving bribes ^k^k^k^k^k commissions paid to investment banks, and by rumour and gossip that pumped the stocks.

Although I guess the "campaign contributions" paid by Enron to George W Bush etc were made with the idea that the politicians involved would help enable the Enron's vision of e-markets for everything (eg Bush's lobbying of Ridge in Pa), just like the stocks and cash paid by the South Sea Company were made with the idea that the politicians involved would help enable the South Sea Company's vision of trade between Britain and Spanish America, and later their role in securitising the National Debt.

But they were both still bubbles, and just because fortunes are made in a revolutionary technology (foriegn trade, railways, telegraph, aircraft, computers, the Internet) doesnt mean the fortunes will be made by the investors in the companies that are direct participants in the revolution.

Ian Whitchurch

Family Life and Work Experience before 1918: An oral history research

Ian Whitchurch pointed out that the 8TH WORLD CONGRESS OF ACCOUNTING HISTORIANShe papers presented at the Congress are now available for download (in pdf format) --- 

Session ID no PAPER
A1 1 "Harvey Stuart Chase (1861-1946). A Progressive in an Accountant’s Clothes and Much More than the Father of Stuart chase".Vangermeersch, Richard
A1 4 "Translating the Translator: Ympyn Christoffels’ Three Books on Accounting (1543-1547). Lanero, Juan. J.
A1 7 "On the 'Genesis of Managerialism' and the Related Debate. Accounting and Accountability in the Society of Jesus in Sicily (16th-17th Centuries)". Quattrone, Paolo
A1 114 Evolving Technologies and the Work of the Accounting Historian. Goodman, Leonard and Palmon, Dan
A2 3 "The Historical Change of Valuation Methods for Goods Remaining Unsold". Watanabe, Izumi
A2 13 "The Beginnings of Official Accounting Education in Spain: Cadiz 1799-1804". Donoso, Anes, José A. and Arquero Montaño, José Luis
A2 22 "A Chronology of Calculation: Accounting, History and Accounting History". Jeacle, Ingrid; O‘Hogartaigh, Ciaran and O’Horgartaigh, Margaret
A2 30 "Management Reputation and Accounting Decisions in a Nineteenth Century Company: The Case of Agüera Stores (1822-1829)". Capelo, María Dolores and Alvarez-Dardet, Concha
A3 16 "A study of the interrelationship betweeen business, management organisation and accounting developments: budgets and budgetary control in Britain between the wars". Boyns, Trevor, Edwards, John Richard and Matthews, Mark
A3 24 "The Role of Accounting in the Twenty-First Century. An Essay to the Emerging Nations". Cosenza, José Paulo
A3 32 "Accounting History and Sectorial History. Tobacco rents in Spain in the XVIIIth Century". Gárate, Montserrat and De Luxán, Santiago
A3 71 "Ownership Structure, Firms’ Strategy and Accountability: The Case of the Privatisation of the Spanish Tobacco Monopoly (1887-1896)". 
Abstract, Text.
Macías, Marta
A4 17 "The Origins of Cost Accounting in Italy: The Case of "Manifattura Ginori" (1737-1896)". Abstract, Text.
Antonelli, Valerio; Cerbioni, Fabrizio and Parbonetti, Antonio
A4 18 "History of A History: Differing Stories Regarding the Emergence of the U.S. Accounting Profession 1880 to 1900"
Title, Text  and References.
McMillan, Keith P., S.J.
A4 55 "Accounting in the Empire of the Sun". Serra Negra, Carlos Alberto and Marinho Serra Negra, Elizabete
A4 74 "Salvador de Solórzano: A Critique of his Work". Luna Luque, Francisco Javier
A5 20 "Born the Wrong Time" – Interviews with New Zealand Women who Became Chartered Accountants Between the Late 1930s and the Early 1950s. Emery, Michelle ; Hooks, Jill and Stewart, Ross
A5 58 "The Influence Dumarchey’s Positive Theory of Accountancy in the Structuring of the Portuguese Accounting Point of View". Marques de Almeida, José Joaquim and da Costa Marques, Maria da Conceiçao
A5 60 "Comparative Análisis of Canada and Australia: Reaction of the Meat-Packing Industry to World War I Constraints to Normal Trade". McWatters, Cheryl S. and Foreman, Peter F. W.
A5 80 "Govern (mentality), Mapping Diversity and Accounting: The Influence of the Enlightened People in Two Spanish Cases (1761-1777)". Abstract, Text.
Alvarez-Dardet Espejo, Concha; Baños Sánchez-Matamoros, Juan; Carrasco Fenech, Francisco and Gutiérrez Hidalgo, Fernando
B1 5 "Two Samples of the Recording Methods Used in Accounting Systems of the Ottoman Empire in 16th Century". Güvemli, Oktay
B1 9 "The 1847-1848 Crisis and the Accounting Regulation of Limited Companies in the Middle of the 19th Century in Spain". Bernal Lloréns, Mercedes
B1 21 "The Mysticism of an Accounting Technique-from Saint Catherine to the "Modern Profets". Abstract, Text.
Catturi, Giuseppe
B1 62 "Some Aspects of Eighteenth-Century Portuguese Manufacturing Accounting: The Case of Companhia da Fábrica das Sedas- 2nd Administration (1745-1747)". Carvalho, José Manuel de Matos; Cochino, Joaquim António Calado; Benavente Rodríguez, Manuel José and Paixáo, Judite Cavaleiro
B2 2 "History of the Spreadsheet: From Matrix Accounting to Budget Simulation and Computerization". Mattessich, Richard and Galassi, Giuseppe
B2 57 "Extinction of ‘Erario Régio’ in 1832 (The Ancient Portuguese Exchequer)". Abstract, Text.
Benavente Rodrigues, Manuel José
B2 99 "The Accounts of the Livestock of the Monastery of Guadalupe, 1597-1784: Inventories, 'Profits' and Expenses, and Cost of Opportunity". Llopis Agelán, Enrique, Fidalgo Cerviño, Esther and Méndez Picazo, Mª Teresa
B2 100 "The Poverty of Desire: Towards a Genealogy of Accounting and Consumer Credit". Jeacle, Ingrid and Walsh, Eammon J.
B3 54 "Accounting Observations in Summa de Tratos y Contratos de Mercaderes by Friar Thomas de Mercado – 1571".
Abstract, Text.
Zapata, Miguel and Guerrero de la Vega, José María
B3 72 "A Contribution to the History of Accounting in Portugal". Rocha, Armandino and Gomes da Rocha, Delfina Rosa
B3 79 "Organizational Change and Accounting: The Gunpowder Monopoly in New Spain (1757-1787)".  Cover, Abstract and Text.
Nuñez Torrado, Miriam
B3 85 "Accounting in a Racist Society: The Hawaiian Sugar Plantations, 1835-1920".

Fleischman, Richard K. and Tyson, Thomas N.

B4 26 "The Canadian Audit Market in the First Half of the Twentieth Century". Richardson, Alan J.
B4 34 "The Nº 8 Ledger of Don Francesc de Agullana (1599-1605)". Passola, Josep M.
B4 65 "The Historical Development of Cost Accounting and the Technological Progress, Until 1914". Bernardo, Mauro Santo
B4 93 "Budgetary Rhetoric: The 20th Century Watershed". Parker, Lee D.
B5 27 "Foucault, Accounting History and Income: Determining the Economic Status of Indigenous Australians". Ratnam Alagiah, Michael Gaffikin and Janek Ratnatunga
B5 66 "The Influence of the Accountant on British Business Performance from the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present Day" . Matthews, Derek
B5 98 "A Scots Baroque Accounting Text. Being a Study of the Idea Rationaria (1683) and its Author, Robert Colinson". Forrester, David A.R.
B5 103 "Setting the Context for the Modern Accounting Profession: Audit, Accountability and The College of Rasonati in the Venetian Republic (XIII-XVI Century)".Zambon, Stefano
C1 6 "The Development of Financial Reporting in Ireland". Clarke, Peter
C1 19 "Accountant Doctrine of the XVIII Century and their Influence on the Projects of Accountant Reform at the Time".
Donoso Anes, Alberto
C1  64 "Changes in the Meaning and Implication of Unethical Behavior by Accountants". Kantor, Jeffrey and Warner, Brenda
C2 23 "Coals from Newcastle: Alternative Histories of Cost and Management Accounting in North-East Coal Mining During the British Industrial Revolution". Fleischman, Richard K. and Macve, Richard H.
C2 37 "The Contribution of Bishopric Incomes in Vacant Periods to Amortization of Royal Vouchers at the end of the 18º Century and the Early 19º Century". Mercedes Calvo Cruz
C2 73 "Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting: The Lessons of the Dutch VOC (Dutch East-Indian Company)". Volmer, F.G.
C3 10 "The Significance of Production and Cost Theory for Costing Systems in the 19th and 20th Centuries". Schweitzer, Marcell
C3 33 "Logismography and the Thought of Giovanni Rossi a Philosoper of Accountancy". Tanzi, Anna
C3 40 "The Recovery of Production Activities at the Company Harinera La Montserrat Following the End of the Spanish Civil War". Benito Mundet, Helena
C4 28 "The Measurement Debate in Australia – An Antiquity of the Accounting". Abstract, Text.
Kurtovic, Annamaria and Cooper, Kathie
C4 36 "The Management of San Germano – Cassino at Today – Between the 15º and the 16º Centuries". Serra, Luigi
C4 56 "Quality Management, Discipline and Making Decisions Process: The Study of a Case".  Abstract,, Text.
Gutiérrez Hidalgo, Fernando and Romero Fúnez, Dominga
C5 14 "The Genesis of Profesional Organisation in England". Walker,Stephen P.
C5 29 "Scientific Management Accounting in the Iron and Steel Industry – A Study of Accounting Discontinuity". Edwards, John Richard
C5 87 "The Contribution of Oliver Castañer to the Auditing Profession". Ruiz Blanco, Silvia
C6 69 "Reporting Practices of United States Rubber Company, 1893-1917: an Exploratory Analysis" .
Abstract, Text.
Slocum, Elliott L.
C6 76 "Bookkeeping in México (XIX Century) Based in Textbooks". Millan Torres, Rosendo
C6 84 "A White-Collar Profession: African-American Certified Public Accountants since 1921".
Abstract, Text.
Hammond, Theresa
D1 82 "Accounting and Slavery. The English Company of the South Sea Accounts (1713-1722)". Donoso Anes, Rafael
D1 102 "Accounting History in Australia: A Survey of Published Works, 1975-1999". Carnegie, Garry and Potter, Brad N .
D2 8 "The Development of British and Canadian Coal-Mining Enterprise: A Comparative Study of Costing Methods". Fleischman, Richard K. and Oldroyd, David
D2 39 "Financial Accounting Standard Board: International Harmonization Environment Now and After". Cuadrado Ebrero, Amparo and García Jara, Elisa
D3 11 "The Liquidation of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd: A Case of Government Involvement in a Limited Liability Company 1967-1971". Skackleton, Ken
D3 48 "Moneychanger and his Wife: From Scholastics to Accounting". Santos, Manuel
D4 12 "Testing the Relevance Lost Paradigm: Does Academic Management Accounting Lag Practice?" MacDonald, Laura D. and Richardson, Alan J.
D4 50 "Accounting and Management of Charity Organizations in XVI Century in Toledo". 
Abstract, Text.
Jiménez Montañés, Mª Angela and Villaluenga de Gracia, Susana
D5 31 "The Evolution of Accounting from the Perspective of Management Theories". Robles Junior, Antonio and Pereira Robles, Laura
D5 51 "Spain at the Accounting Crossroads of the XVI Century. A Journal on Double-Entry Bookkeeping in 1581". Martín Lamouroux, Fernando
D6 77 "Professionalisation Reconsidered: Race, Creed and Politics as Factors in the Development of the Accounting Profession in Ireland". O’Regan, Philip and Murphy, Brian
D6 116 "A Hundred Year of Life of Rivista Italiana di Ragioneria e di Economia Aziendale". Antinori, Carlo
E1 38 "Administration and Control of the Municipal Granaries in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century: The Case of the Granary in Estepa".
Abstract, Text.
Trigos Jurado, Mª José
E1 81 "Using Accounting to Manage: A Case of Railroad Managerial Accounting in the 1850s." 
Abstract, Text.
Flesher, Dale L., Previts, Gary John and Samson, William D.
E2 25 "Examining the Incentives vs. Bureaucratic Controls Orthodoxy: A Case Study of Fur Trade Strategic Moves and Reactions". Spraakman, Gary
E2 46 "Explaining Change in Spain During the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century Using Institutional Theory".
Abstract, Text.
Gutiérrez Hidalgo, Fernando and Nuñez Torrado, Miriam
E3 43 "The Chapel and the Counting House: Is There a Place for Religion in Accounting History?". Williams, Robert and Funnell, Warwick
E3 52 "Accounting, Auditing Accounts and Other Mechanisms for Controlling Expenditure in the Spanish Royal Household During the Early Modern Period". Jurado Sánchez, José
E4 47 "The Birth of Modern Public Sector Accounting in France and the Influence of Count Mollien on Public Sector Accounting in Italy and Britain" . Nikitin, Marc
E4 90 "Mining Activity in the La Carolina (Jaén-Spain) Bowl in the 19th and 20th Centuries through the Accounting Practices. The Case of the Mining Company El Guindo-Los Gundos. Research Objectives and Historical-Legislative Context". Álvarez López, José María Carlos, Garrido González, Luis and Lillo Criado, Juan Luis
E5 67 "Observations on Capital and Income in Early Company Accounting". Rowles, Tom
E5 94 "Monastic Accountancy in the XVIII Century: The Case of the Silos Monastery".Tua Pereda, Jorge, Maté Zadornil, Lorenzo and Prieto Moreno, Begoña
E6 78 "The Empire Strikes Back? An Exploration of Centre-Periphery Interaction between the ICAEW and Accounting Associations in the Self-governing Colonies of Australia, Canada and South Africa, 1880-1907".Fong Chua, Wai and Poullaus, Chris
E6 89 "Short Historic Retrospective of the Development of the Brazilian Accounting in the Axis Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo". Ricardino Filho, Alvaro Augusto
F1 15 "Costing Theory and Practice: The Case of the British Chemical Industry, c. 1880 – c. 1940". Boyns, Trevor, Edwards, John Richard and Matthews, Mark
F1 45 "The Beginning of the Double Entry Method in the City Council of Seville 1570". Rubin Córdoba, Fernando and Mallado Rodríguez, José Antonio
F1 49 "Ragioneria … e i ragionieri (The Accountancy…And the Accountants)". Russo Basilicò, Letterio
F1 68 "Early 20th Century Accounting Information and Stock Prices: an Investigation of Ripley’s Main Street and Wall Street". 
Abstract, Text.
Sivakumar, Kumar N.
F2 53 "Controlling Government Expenditure: The Pioneering 1921-22 Geddes’ Axe’ Committee". Abstract, Text.
Burrows, Geoffrey H.
F2 92 "The Development of the Economic Concept of Human Capital and its Implications for Human Resource Accounting". Carper, William Brent
F2 95 "Ochoa Pérez de Salinas: The Banker of the Catholics Kings (1498-1500)".Molero López, Juan José, Sevillano Martín, Francisco Javier and Suárez Bilbao, Fernando
F2 108 "Struggling for Accountability: An Accounting Microhistory". Abraham, Anne
F3 61 "Mediology: An Historical Challenge to Social and Material Structures of Accounting Transmission". McWatters, Cheryl S. and Bouchard, Bruno
F3 97 "A Wolfram in Sheep's Clothing: Economic Warfare in Spain and Portugal, 1940-1944". Caruana, Leonardo and Rockoff, Hugh 
F3 101 "Role of a Business School (ESCA) in the Development of Accounting in Mexico". Rodríguez Álvarez, Mª de los Ángeles
F3 107 "Dottor Sarava's 'Instituzione de' mercanti' and Antonio Maria Venusti's 'Compendio utilissimo' in the mercantile economy and arithmetic of XVI century". Amaduzzi, Antonio and Servalli, Stefania
F4 88 "La Riegola de libro".
Abstract, Text.
Van der Helm, Anne J. and Postma, Johanna
F4 105 "Accounting Aspects of the Work of Benedikt Kotruljevic (Benedetto Cotrugli)". Stipetic, Vladimir and Juric, Durdica
F4 106 " Accounting Teaching in 'Aula de Comércio' (1759-1844)". Caiado, Antonio C. Pires
F4 109 "The Accountancy of the Royal Society of Mathematics of Madrid". Puell de la Villa, Jesús
F5 35 "Tribalism and Accountancy. The Intertwining of Race in a Professionalisation Project". Annisette, Marcia
F5 70 "Neither True Nor Fair? – The Case of Hidden Reserves in Swedish and German Accounting".
Abstract, Text.
Dahlgren, Jörgen
F5 104 "Arthur Young and Agricultural Accounting".Juchau, Roger
F5 115 "The Balance Sheet of the German Stock Corporations. Some Inquires up to the Law of the Law of 30 January 1937". Martínez Tapia, Ramón y Martínez Cuevas, María Encarna
F6 86  "The Accountant Profession: A Creation of the Occident?". Fendri-Kharrat Souhir
F6 110 "Lorenzo de Minico's Work: Innovative Aspects in the Evolution of Accounting in Italy Dating from the First Half of the Twentieth Century". Cavazzoni, Gianfranco, Mari, Libero Mario and Bartocci, Luca 
F6 111  "Luca Pacioli: The Origins of Accountancy as a Science". Cavazzoni, Christian
F6 113 "Origin, Evolution, Up-to-Dateness of Accounting Principles Meanings". Cagno, Pierluca Di, Turco, Mario




Directories and References

A Listing of Major Accounting History Journals and References

The Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales) --- 

Journal of Accounting, Business & Financial History --- 

The Netherlands Economic History Archive (NEHA), established in 1914, has as its objective the collection, preservation, ordering and processing of source material of importance for economic history in the broadest sense.

Links : accounting history


Academy of Accounting Historians

The Accounting Hall of Fame

Accounting History Page


An Invitation to Accounting History

Accounting : A Virtual History

The Virtual Museum of Accounting History

Luca Pacioli

Luca Pacioli (1)

Luca Pacioli (2)

Luca Pacioli (3)

Luca Pacioli's Polyhedra

The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive

Commemoration of the History of Accounting

A listing of Accounting History Books and Articles

Hermanson, Roger H., James Don Edwards, and Michael M. Maher, 1996 Annual Reports Booklet. Burr Ridge, IL:Richard D. Irwin. 214 pp.

Hughes, Hugh P., “Goodwill.” In The History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia. ed. Chatfield, Michael, and Vangermeersch, Richard, 281-284. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996.

Hughes, Hugh P., “Pooling of Interests.” In The History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia. ed. Chatfield, Michael, and Vangermeersch, Richard, 468-471. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996.

Larkins, Ernest R. “Gross Income: Exclusions.” Chapter 5. Federal Taxation--Individual ed. Shirley Dennis-Escoffier and Karen A. Fortin. Houston: Dame Publications, 1996: 1-52. Also, authored corresponding section of student study guide, testbank, and instructor’s manual.

Larkins, Ernest R. “Taxation of International Transactions.” Chapter 11. Federal Taxation: Corporations, Partnerships, Gifts, Estates, and Trusts ed. Shirley Dennis-Escoffier and Karen A. Fortin. Houston: Dame Publications, 1996. Also, authored corresponding section of student study guide, testbank, and instructor’s manual.

Stabler, Henry Francis. “May, George Oliver (1875-1961). “ In The History of Accounting: An International Encyclopedia, ed. Chatfield, Michael and Vangermeersch, Richard. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1996, pp. 407-408.

Business History Review --- 
Harvard, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration Bimestrale; dal 1949 trimestrale ISSN: 0007-6805
Volume 34, 1960

Walter Lafeber, The American Business Community and Cleveland's Venezuelan Message, p. 393
Norman J. Wood, Industrial Relations Policies of American Management, 1900 - 1933, p. 403
Richard Graham, The Investment Boom in British-Texan Cattle Companies, 1880 - 1885, p. 421
James Don Edwards, Early Bookkeeping and Its Development into Accounting, p. 446
Roy J. Sampson, American Accounting Education, Textbooks and Public Practice Prior to 1900, p. 459
Mary E. Murphy, Sir George Touche, Bart., C.A., 1861 - 1935: A Memoir, p. 467
Dorothea D. Reeves, The Kress Library of Business and Economics, p.

English Accountancy, 1800-1954, by N. A. H. Stacey (Ayer Company, 1954) --- 

History of Accounting Thought, by M.A. Chatfield (Hinsdale, IL: Dryden Press, 1974)

"Historiography for the New Millenium: Adventures in Accounting and Mangement," by Lee Parker, Accounting History, Vol 4 No. 2 No. 2, Melbourne, Australia, pp11-42, 1999.

Accounting History Into the Twenty-First Century," by Garry D. Carnegie and Christopher J. Napier  --- 

An Accounting Theory Final Examination, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Semester Two, 2000, 

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at 

Murphy Smith's page --- 

This page shows how ancient accountants sharpened their pencils.

The Struggle for Status: a History of Accounting Education, by Glenn Van Wyhe (Garland Publishing)
This book received a very favorable review by James Don Edwards in The Accounting Review (volume 70, No 4, October 1995, pp. 670-1).

A History of Public Accounting in the United States, by James Don Edwards ( Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Michigan State University, 1960).

A History of Accountancy in the United States : The Cultural Significance of Accounting (Historical Perspectives on Business Enterprise) by Gary John Previts, Barbara Dubis Merino --- 

Unaccountable Accounting, by A.J. Briloff (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1972)

“No One Stands Still in Public Accounting:  The CPA firm in 1900, 1950 and 2000.," by Anita Dennis, Journal of Accountancy, June 2000 ---

History of the Accounting Profession (American Accounting Professionals) --- 

Introduction & History of Indian Accounting Association by James Don Edwards 

Accounting History in a Nutshell --- 

Yahoo's Business History Links --- 

Yahoo's Business Libraries --- 

This is a Very Important History Site

Baker Library at Harvard University --- 

Baker Library Historical Collections --- 

Historic Corporate Reports --- 

From the Scout Report

Business History -- Leiden University 

Leiden University's Business History Website consists of online resources for business history in the countries of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan and Korea, as well as general business history. The resources are indexed by country and include Websites, electronic libraries, electronic mailing lists, databases, and articles. Sites are briefly annotated and are ranked and sorted with a somewhat confusing system of icons, which denote ratings given by the Webmaster as well as content of the site.

Biz History Mish-Mash --- 

1,000 Years of Work and Money - 

300 Years of Business History - 

Alan Greenspan Fan Club - 

Tax History Museum - Tax History Museum 

Financial Scandals - 

History of Accounting --- 

Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada (Business and Economic History) 

The Directory has three components:

[A-B] [C-D] [E-F] [G-H]
[I-K] [L-M] [N-O] [P-R]
[S-T] [U-V] [W-Z]


A history website that is definitely worth taking a look at 
Especially note the timeline of major world history events beginning in 10,000 BC

Historycentral is dedicated to becoming History's Home on the web. The core of the site is our timeline of world history. Culled from one of MultiEductor's 21 history CD's this time line covers the major events in world history from the dawn of civilization to 1999. Links to other sites on the web as well as other resources on the site are presented in the right margin of the pages. The left margin of the pages includes an ever-expanding list of related items that can be purchased from our shopping site,

The second major section of our site is the part devoted to Americas War's. That section includes the history of every major war in America's history from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. These sections include photos and description of the each major event.

The site also features a major section on the elections. This part includes the history of each and every election. The history includes both popular and electoral votes in each election, turnout, as well as a map of the states carried by each competing candidate. The section also includes updates on Election 2000.

Another part of the site is called this section includes pages on the economy, population, history, and geography of all the nations of the world. In addition there are updated links and new feeds from the various nations.

The site includes over 400 primary source documents in American history. From a first hand account of the discovery of the New World by Columbus to the inaugural address of President Clinton, the site provides an excellent insight into American History as seen in original documents.

The biography section of the site includes biographies of the 500 most important people of the 20th century. We are taking nominations for additions to the list. The section also includes biographies of the Presidents and First Ladies of the United States.

The Federal Reserve has a site to aid in teaching economics and finance ---

The Federal Reserve Today -- What our Nation's Central Bank is All About...

History - important events before and after the Federal Reserve was formed. Banking Supervision - the Federal Reserve as a bank regulator.
Structure - the organization of the Federal Reserve including the FOMC, Board of Governors and Advisory Councils. Financial Services - Federal Reserve Banks provide products and services to your bank and the Treasury.
Monetary Policy - how the Federal Reserve affects interest rates. Quiz yourself on Federal Reserve facts

Thank you Jagdish Gangolly
History of accounting controversies in a timeline perspective --- 

Wow Online Accounting History Book
Thank you David A.R. Forrester for providing a great, full-length, and online book:
An Invitation to Accounting History --- 
Note especially Section B2 --- "Rational Administration, Finance And Control Accounting:  the Experience of Cameralism" ---  --- 

American Studies Recommendations (American History) --- 

Smithsonian recounts past administrations. (American History of the Presidents) 

Time Magazine and the Presidency (History)

A Photographic History of the Life and Death of One Factory

Teaching the Journal of American History --- 

Speaking of history --- Everything Postmodern --- 

Chicago in Earlier Years (History) --- 

History of Richmond  --- 

America from the Great Depression to World War II 

Fantastic History

HistoryWorld --- 

World History consists of some 400 separate Histories AND 4000 tagged events. Choose HISTORIES to read a chosen subject, and to move seamlessly from one History to another. Try TOURS to travel through time on your own selection of interconnecting trails. Use WHATWHENWHERE to discover what was going on at any moment.

TIMELINES are where you should go to find images, and to set them in their historical context.

SPECIALIST ARTICLES are contributed on their own subjects by HistoryWorld's partners.


Each paragraph in Histories and Specialist Articles has its own code, visible in the bottom left corner of the screen. If you take a note of the code, you can insert it (in a prompt box)  and go straight to the paragraph.

American History
A full-text version of Edward Bellamy’s, "Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887".

Also see  Ollie’s History Place

100 Events That Shaped a Century

The Basics of Business History

Also see the Museum of American Financial History

A Classification of American Wealth (History) 

A nice site on American History and Economy:  Grain Elevators -- Buffalo's Lost Industry --- 

My History is America's History (Great Timeline) --- 

Making of America ---

A great American History Site
States and Capitols --- 

American Memory and more (history) --- 

Girls Fight for a Living (history, journalism) 
This site has some very interesting documents that add another dimension to business history.

Digital movie archive of "America at Work, America at Leisure" (history, video) 

Conner Prairie (a living history of early settlers) --- 

Railway Women in Wartime (art, photography, history) /

Trends in population diversity in the U.S. (History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Statistics)
AmeriStat --- 

History of Black Farming and Farmers (A PBS Special) --- 

History of black migration to the United States 
North by South --- 

The Tax History Project 

Tax History Museum - Tax History Museum 

History of American Business --- 

American Experience: The Rockefellers (business history) 

Bibliography of the History of American Education 

History of the Federal Judiciary site at

Do History --- 

HBS Working Knowledge (History of all the buzz words) 

Evolution of Alphabets (history, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics) --- 

Beyond The Fall: The Former Soviet Bloc in Transition 1989-1999 (History) 

Mexico: From Empire to Revolution (History) --- 

Russian History on the Web

History of India ---

Evolution of communication (history) --- 

The History of Writing ---



Related accounting theory history references can be found in Bob Jensen's introduction to accounting theory at