Sunday, April 5, 2009

Plato and Double Entry Bookkeeping System

For many years accountants have been taught that the origins of "Double Entry Bookkeeping System" can be traced to 1494, the year that Luca Pacioli published his Suma de Aritmetica.

Reading Plato's dialogue Phaedrus, I found the following passge, which is laden with the language of accounting:

Again, lovers weigh up profit and loss accruing to their account by reason of their passion, and with the extra item of labor expended decide that they have long since made full payment for favors received, whereas the nonlovers cannot allege any consequential neglect of their personal affairs, nor record any past exertions on the debit side… (Plato, 236).

Is it possible that the Greeks had already invented such system?

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