Origin of accounting department
Origin and development of accounting in the ancient world. Characteristics of economic activity and demand for information. The system registers the financial registration in pristine Rome. Stagnation era in the bookkeeping in the early middle ages.
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Lecture 1. Origin of accounting. Accounting in Ancient Egypt
1.1 Origin of accounting. Economic activity and demand for information
The history of modern accounting, as well as history of many other sciences, is rooted in ancient times. It arose during a paleolith era when people started to realize themselves in society. Knowledge about world around was accumulated by means of the accounting: planets (stars), time, behavior of animals, natural phenomenon, etc. Having started to work, the person invented instruments of labor, and there was a need to keep account of the production (results of work), i.e. «stock reserves». The accounting helped to maintain an order, to do forecasts (when it is necessary to migrate, fill up stocks, etc.). So, the account had appeared which began with qualitative distinction of objects. Development of the accounting was promoted by formation of surpluses and the beginning of exchange. Eventually in the process of accounting, creative resources began to involve -- stones, sticks, etc. «Calculation» in a literal translation from Latin which means “counting with stones ” (calcul -- a stone). At the first stage of development of the human society the whole information could fit in the person's head, as memory of the person was capable of remembering important events. With complication of economic life there was a need of record of the accounted things. The first accounting documents found by archeologists, belong to the 30 century BC. These were notches on bones and tusks of a mammoth, rock paintings, etc. On the most of the ancient documents there were available the ordered alternation of lines, combinations of the same signs (a point, arches, straight lines and wavy lines), but there were no qualitative characteristics of the registration objects (the name, date or a period of storage, etc.).
Such documents received the name of counting tags. Probably, the arrangement of signs corresponded to an arrangement of registration objects in storages, and qualitative difference of objects from each other or a property of different persons -- owners of projects or tools was designated by means of an unequal configuration of signs-numbers. Unfortunately, the results weren't deduced in the most of the ancient documents -- symbols of results and the daily account appeared much later (Ancient Egypt).
Various carriers of accounting information are known. Small clay and stone subjects related to the VIII--V centuries BC were found on the territories of Entre Rios (Forward Asia). It is supposed that such "counters" were used for calculation: a cone -- an oil jug, cylindrical -- a sheep, etc. The similar system of the account took place in India: stones of various color displayed in circles (a card file prototype). Inca (North America) used multi-colored cords -- one formed the basis, others fastened on it. Each knot was a "record" about accounted object. Simple knots incorporated into the complex. The knot accounting was applied in Africa, Japan, China, and Bengal prior to the beginning of the XX century.
The letter system also had different variants -- drawings, hieroglyphs, a cuneiform writing. Stone plates (Sumer), the papyrus (Ancient Egypt), ceramic and wooden (cereous or bleached) plates (Ancient Greece, Sumer) were carriers of written information, etc.
Thus, the achievements of primitive people in the field of the accounting consisted in development of the calculation and record systems, allowing registering the accounted objects in natural measuring instruments. It led to emergence of the first documents -- material data carriers. But methodologies of collecting, processing and the analyzing of numerical information didn't exist.
1.2 Primary accounting and the reporting in Ancient Egypt
The accounting system of Ancient Egypt was a part of the centralized economy management system. The whole crop, cattle and other results of work were given in the centralized storages, and then were distributed on farms; each stage was supervised. Therefore along with a local account (household accounting ) the nation-wide accounting emerged.
In order to manage accounting, it was required to master writing and counting, to remember huge number of signs (hieroglyphs), and then to be able to apply them. This knowledge was possessed by scriveners-- the officials, patronized by Tot - god of writing, counting and wisdom and his wife goddess of truth Maat . Scriveners combined in their activity the functions of management, accounting, a hieratic priesthood and arranged a professional caste. Scriveners had to obtain a large set of knowledge -- engineering (to make calculations for construction, transportations of cargoes and other similar works, mathematical and economic. Functions of ancient accountants were more significant, than functions of accountants nowadays. Besides professional knowledge, moral dignity of accounting workers was also appreciated. The scriveners suspected of frauds, were transferred to the category of farmers or tax collectors. The professional hierarchy was complicated: from lowest to the highest scriveners.
There was a differentiation of accounting work: imperial scrivener; crop scriveners, earth, people, armies, taxes; supervisor of polar foxes; copyists (copyists) of documents and etc. There also was a special position of fisc agents (collectors of taxes) of lowest rank. Tax collectors received the instructions to bring certain amount of grain, cattle, etc. The position was materially responsible. The impossibility to provide norm of collected goods could lead to cruel punishment of the agent.
Documents were written on the papyrus, clay crocks, a tree, stored in the sealed-up container -- vessels, larets, boxes, bags and fixed authenticity of operation and responsibility of performers. Documents were sustained juridically, dated by years of Pharaohs' rule and supplied with the seals. As the account organization in Ancient Egypt wasn't regulated legally, documents weren't the sufficient proof of operation performance. Along with them oral indications of witnesses were applied.
For acceleration and accuracy of arithmetic calculations special device was used -- abacuses (a clay board with grooving where little stones were put), and also computing tables. The peculiarity of Ancient Egyptian economics was the use norms of products expense for the maintenance of workers (depending on their categories), taxes, the earth, quantity of raw materials for receiving a finished product, etc. Rationing covered all the main resources of society; the defaults of norms were specified in documents. In the beginning, the prevailing forms of accounting in separate farms were the list of various objects -- inventories. It is possible to consider them as the first sign of consistency. Then they began to group data: lists of officials by professional attributes, inventory of estate, etc. Drawing up inventory gradually began to have regular character. With the development of economy they were supplemented with new indicators, became complicated in their contents and became starting moment of evolution of the accounting forms. The first -- inventory -- affected the accounting of all types of resources. The next step from notches of Paleolith.
The object of the accounting was particularly land and its use. The technology of the accounting of the land can be tracked according to the papyrus Vilbur, in which classification of lands by such categories, as waterless, coastal, cultivated, meadow, new, irrigated, and the most important, by owners of different extent of land tenure (responsibility) is observed. Cadastral registers-- land registers before and after flood of Nile were made annually, in which the plot areas were specified on categories of land and at who's disposal it was. Grain was the main wealth of Egypt, which circulated as money along with weight money equivalents (metal of various value ). Coins or single equivalents didn't exist in Egypt. Therefore after drawing up of stock, collected grain was recalculated in the conventional outlet, corresponding to pick up from the land at the higher productivity that allowed to do data of different farms comparable and to consolidate all data on the whole country. Censuses (inventory) of people, property, cattle were periodically carried out. Development of the inventory accounting was undergoing in two directions: specification of means, their description and accounting of each type of means separately. Such account is inseparably linked with the organization of warehousing and responsibility of officials; classification of objects in the same inventory as in the accounting register on groups of means with results. This accounting meant generalization within physical units of registration objects, but the cost accounting didn't exist.
Besides, operations weren't reflected in the inventory accounting. Everyday inventories demanded considerable expenses of time and forces. The inventory accounting complicated an operational management of an economy; therefore there was a income-expenditure accounting in Ancient Egypt. As it is known from the papyrus Bulak 18', there were everyday requisites, which allowed considering the document as a current account, having income, an expense and the balance. The balance and results had special designations, but lack of a cost measuring instrument didn't allow current account balancing of income-expenditure accounts department that caused mistakes in calculations.
The accounting was completed by the reporting on a wide range of indicators in natural measuring instruments. Its basic purpose -- is to define the state resources and distribute them. There was a control auditing device for checking compliance of auditing and reporting data. The accounting was kept daily, and the reporting came under annual, intra-annual and for several years. Data were generalized on areas (nomes). There wasn't special methodology of indicators formation of the reporting, as the reporting repeated forms of the current account. It is visible according to Garris's papyrus of times of Ramses III. The mentioned papyrus represents the arch of temple property by types, quantity and temples. Reports were differentiated by assignment; there were also reports of a special-purpose character.
The reporting had public character. So, Herodotus wrote that on walls of pyramid of Cheops was notched out how many garlic, radish, onions and other products were consumed by people, engaged in its construction. Total cost of products (only products!) made 500 talents of silver (40 tones or 2 million dollars.)
The whole system of state control, which was carried out through financial management and special officials, was based on the reporting. In the head of department there was the Supreme treasurer above whom there was only a privy councilor (the master of palace secrets) and the Supreme priest (the master of heavenly secrets). Only the Supreme priest could kiss Pharaoh's knee, the Supreme treasurer -- his foot, the others -- only ashes at feet of the tsar-Pharaoh.
Such system of the state accounting was a consequence of the centralized state with command economy.
1.3 Sumerian-Babylon accounting
Sumer, and later the Babylon civilization settled down between the rivers Tiger and Euphrates at the coast of the Persian Gulf. The history of Babylon had its ups and downs. It was defeated by Assyria and Persia, but nevertheless, revived again. Accounting exactly can be called among many achievements of Sumerians (later Babylonians).
Records were kept in cuneiform writing on clay tablets. Tablets were of different sizes and made of damp clay. Babylonians used a stick to write on it (reed, wooden or metal) from the both sides. After that the tables was dried up on the sun or burned. Besides clay as a writing material there were also used tablets made of wood, stone, metal and ivory.
The main system of calculation was six-denary, not decimal. Difficult mathematical calculations were widely used in the accounting, such as proportions, fractions, equations, progressions. Calculating tables including ratios of the various measures necessary for simplification were applied.
The order of registration and contents of documents was formed gradually. Counters of a different configuration became the earliest conditional images of registration objects. With development of economy documents became more extensive in contents and had more completed form. Mesopotamic documents have similarity with modern ones by means of a graphing (allocation of lines and columns, a thread on even soft clay). External registration was sustained in accordance with the established procedure: the press, dates, names of responsible persons and accountants, and witnesses of transactions. In contracts it was specified that document is breached upon termination of transaction term. The documents sustained in the legal relation, were located in envelopes which also made of clay, and were sealed. Documents could have an opening in the middle for a threading on a lace or a stick. Documents were stored in baskets or vessels. a label with the indication of purpose of documents and time of their drawing up was attached to each container.
Unlike Ancient Egypt, the bigger number of people knew calligraphy on coast of the Persian Gulf. Obviously, it was caused by less "sacred" character of the accounting, and its reliability was supported by a civil, legislative rights. The temples were combined in cult, scientific and commercial institutions which were the centers of writing. Copyists trained at schools in temples. Except ability to write accounting workers should have understood the legislation and mathematics, to master singing and musical art, to know rituals and, of course, the accounting. Position of the accounting workers was prestigious and is freer than in Egypt. There also were ranks of accounting positions.
In farms of Ancient Babylon, as well as in an economy of Ancient Egypt, inventory and income-expenditure forms of the accounting were widespread. The leading role was allocated to the accounting of agricultural works. Inventories of fields with the indication of the sizes, productivity, suitability to the processing, as well as responsible persons were assigned. In inventories of working cattle its classification (young growth, adult, old, fallen) was observed, and also its work capacity and transfer on the contents to responsible persons was considered. Questions of the organization of the accounting of work were especially accurately solved. The account was carried out in three directions: the accounting of the personnel (on age, categories, Labour parties), working hours and the maintenance of labor. Employment was made out by the contract with the indication of term of use, nature of works and a size of payment. From documents it is known that the liability of officials for the received means which was rather high and rigid was established. In the accounting of warehouse operations development was received by receipts and delivery of means in income-expenditure accounts and inventories at check of the remains or arrival and expense registration separately.
Definition of expenses for production became an important component of the accounting. Production came to an end with delivery of the made product on the central warehouses, and calculations with the state were reduced to distribution of means in natural expression.
The special place was occupied by the accounting of calculations. As calculations were carried out within a subsistence economy, they didn't cover all economy. Calculations were conducted in weight units, as coins didn't exist. Nevertheless, business trading and usurious houses (for example, «Sons and grandsons of Egibi», «The business house to Murash») which it is possible to consider as prototypes of banks. These houses made mutual offset of debts by write-off from a card of one and record on a card of other investor, but such operations didn't develop into clearing settlements for some reasons. First, calculations were conducted in weight monetary units, and secondly, the writing material didn't allow to reflect operation in current accounts operatively.
Powerful attempt to order system of calculations was made by best-known of the Babylon tsars -- Hammurapi. The principle of an equal liability was put in a basis of the code of laws of Hammurapi -- an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth. Articles devoted to legal regulation of the property and settlement relations, contained more humane norms. Except legal norms, laws contained also economic norms: the sizes of compensation with differentiation by types of works, a guarantee of legal protection of property, the obligatory notice on transactions with real estate of city and judicial authorities, entries in accounts only on the basis of plates (primary documents), assured by the press, etc.
Thus, primary documents could be separated from documents of the current accounting, but it is almost impossible to distinguish the last from the reporting. In fact, the report was also income-expending accounting in a month. The aspiration to unification is shown in submission of some documents in a tabular form where arrival and an expense placed consistently. Centralization of economy caused also the monitoring system which was based on the reporting and checks. Control functions were assigned to special officials. Submission of reports from heads of works was obligatory.
Lecture 2. Accounting in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome
2.1 Origin of accounting department in Ancient Greece
The most ancient Greek culture (bronze age) is kritomikenic. The system of the accounting was similar to Babylonian as records on clay plates had a linear arrangement, but there was no division according to columns, as in the Babylonian documents. Subsequently Greeks borrowed many achievements of Cretans -- writing, system of numbers and measures and other cultural achievements. But it is not known whether the account system was borrowed. The change to kritomikenic culture came and the Greek cities policies, everyone with the closed financial and economic system began to develop. Unlike the countries of the Ancient East with the centralized management of economy, Greeks had no united economic mechanism. Policies that contradict one itself, concluded the unions, but trading, and then and monetary communications remained.
Sources of knowledge of the accounting organization in kritomikenic Greece include thousands of clay plates found at excavation, awnless wheat, money, warehouse storages, etc. Besides, there are references which contain the description of registration practice that reached up to now.
Documents in Ancient Greece were written on any smooth surface, they were skin of sheep, goats, then the boards covered with a lime or wax. Tablets could be fastened on edge by thongs or rings (the first form of the book). They were also written on the papyrus, but some of them didn't remain. It was necessary to keep the state documents for a long time, therefore they notched them out on marble or stone slabs. But clay crocks -- ostracks were the cheapest material.
Calculations were conducted on the calculating tool --abacus. The system of calculation was decimal. Accounting was trained at the usual schools, anyways, there was no specialty as "Accounting"; practical management was studied in the course of commercial activity. God Hermes was considered as the patron tradesmen.
Greeks didn't show interest to a practical side of management, and, as a result, prestige of a accounting profession fell to a low pitch. Therefore the theoretical part of an economic science came off from applied (accounting) and appeared to be far ahead. accounting information financial bookkeeping
Aristotle and Filodem wrote about economy (oikos -- the house, an economy; nomos -- the law). They paid attention to the preliminary estimate of expenses. According to classification of means the property was divided on visible (the earth, slaves, cattle, houses) and invisible (money cash and given to loans, receivables), and structures at Greeks were considered on construction elements -- doors, a roof, etc. They also wrote about qualities of the managing director, such as ability to get, keep, keep in order and to use property.
Since the end of the V century BC powerful influence on economy of policies renders monetary circulation. Coins became the outstanding invention of ancient Greeks. Different subjects were used before as equivalents of coins, such as -- skins, salt, metal in ingots were used, etc. But only coins became a universal equivalent and a cost measuring instrument in accounts department. Monetary measurement allowed generalizing the diverse facts of economic life, to group registration objects and operations, to receive system information. So there began the transition from the natural accounting to the cost one.
With the emergence of money, the economy, being earlier subsistence (natural), gradually gains features of the market economy. Further the trade between the cities-policies developed. As each city minted its own coins, there was a problem of an exchange of one coins to others. For this purpose it was necessary to know the content of metal in coins, degree of depreciation, an exchange rate, to predict the possibility of emergence of false coins, etc. The money changers appeared -- trapesits (trapeza-- a table, trapezit -- the person at the table) which having saved up some money, began to lend it at interest. So, due to their functions trapezes turned into banks, and trapesits - into bankers. Along with an exchange, check of coins and crediting, trapesits participated in transactions as intermediaries, witnesses, guarantors, custodians of documents and values.
The first bankers in the history were slaves, as aristocrats didn't consider this occupation prestigious. Having saved up money, slaves redeemed freedom and became freedmen -- metics. Nevertheless, they couldn't receive authentic citizenship. Later, in the III century BC, activity of trapesits becomes honorable occupation. By this time the accounting and economic part of bank settlements had been established, as well as the financial traditions had emerged. Nevertheless it was possible to view them only according to references (Demosfen's, Isokrat's speeches, etc.) as any book of account didn't remain.
The organization of accounting in banks was realized in two directions:
- Accounting of a reception and issue of deposits;
- Accounting of mutual calculations among clients.
At first the contract between the banker and client was concluded in the presence of a witness and, probably, the guarantor. The contract could be concluded orally with the subsequent check through evidence by torturing the slave as witness of the transaction. The contribution and transfer were completed by "payment order" -- a diagraph, or symbola (sometimes was replaced by a diagraph). It could be a ring -- a signet, proving identity of the investor, or the half - broken coin, or even the clay tablet. If necessary the witnesses were called. The document specified the following: name of the investor, contribution sum, names of the recipient, guarantor and witness.
The current accounting of calculations was kept in lists where the sums were written down, and then stricken off the list. Striking off meant the completion of calculations. There were no standardizations of auditing documents (Aristotle describes only that there were tablets and lists, but he doesn't mention the rules of their filling). Such system of the accounting of calculations keeps within the scheme of income-expense accounting.
Keeping of cash assets was a huge problem. Nevertheless, it wasn't mentioned in sources. Historians assume that the main part of money was in a turnover --given out as the credits, invested in real estate or slaves, the other part was given by bankers for keeping in temples. Temples were the most suitable places for storage of stocks (thick walls, settlements around, protection of gods). Due to the excavation of the Delossky's temple the system of money storage has become known today. Stocks were laid in pots by the rows; each row was designated by the letter (it is possible to consider these designations as accession numbers). At least three registers were kept there: the list of debtors and contributions, the stock list of monetary assets and the list of fonts of places of storage with investments.
Considering risk of storage and use of cash, it was simpler and safer to "throw" deposits by means of records from the account of one client into the account of another, and cash thus could remain in bank (temple) or used in a turnover. So there was a precondition of development of clearing settlements.
Registration books were kept by the banker; records became absolutely confidential. Neither clients, nor servants could see accounting records or demand them through court as the proof. The set of known judicial proceedings concerning deposits as well as correctness of calculations between entities, forced to think of a need of legal regulation of the accounting. It is directly told about written registration of deposits and calculations with clients in the documents concerning later activity of banks.
Features of a state system of Ancient Greece (democracy) were that the majority of positions were elective (on a lot). Many of officials (but not all) earned a salary from public cash desk of Athens. Responsible persons were elected for a certain term after which they had to give a report. The text part of reports was extensive and provided guidance on the content of operations and performers. Reports were exposed on a public inspection and discussed. Control was carried out by special officials -- polets (responsible for rent and a payoff), ieropoi (responsible for safety of treasury), apodects (checked a repayment of the state loans and contributions), logisticians (checked the reporting of officials). Responsibility of officials was very high; embezlements were compensated in the tenfold size. The doubtful reporting was considered in court and punished by confiscation of property and ostracism (expusion).
2.2 Hellenistic accounting and reporting
Due to A. Makedonsky's achievements the commodity-money relations extended to Egypt. Nevertheless these achievements were modified on the Egyptian land, while trade and private business weren't established. The economic relations in the Hellenistic Egypt were based on the forced labor of free land owners and slaves, monopolies (the whole system of monopolies) and taxes (great variety). Development of production and circulation was stimulated by noneconomic means (enforcement, fear of punishment). The priority was given to the tax reporting (to the inventory of the earth, the population, a crop, cattle, etc.).
The accounting system was regulated by the large quantity of detailed instructions (such are Tebtyunis's papyruses, Zenon's archive). Instructions were made in the office of the Minister of Finance -- basilicon. The Minister of Finance (dioyket) had the right to confiscate property of the official who broke financial discipline or didn't execute the official duties; he also could sentence him to a pillory and even the death penalty. Implementation of all instructions demanded the huge staff of performers which needed to be provided and supervised. Identical registration functions could be carried out by several officials. The system assumed mutual control of officials, multiple transfer of registration and economic information, its check and recheck. Such system in general is one of the characteristics of command economy.
Between the primary accounting and the reporting there was (as well as present day) the current account. In the Hellenistic Egypt there was a new type of the accounting register (the current account) -- ephemerid. Unlike the papyrus Bulak the 18th objects were considered not by the general result, but evenly during the day. Papyruses No. 701 from 235 g BC, for No. 116 from the II century BC are known, etc. The analysis of texts leads to the following conclusions:
- the accounting was kept by days;
- there were accounting symbols (result designations, a sign of subtraction, etc.);
- special registration terminology was applied, for example: the rest -- loypa, an expense -- anelomate, but designations of monetary or physical units were absent, therefore it was difficult to understand, where is quantity, the price and the sum;
- the natural and cost accounting is mixed with elements of income-expending, but there was chronological registration of operations;
- special ways of correction of mistakes is noted;
- the structure of the document depended, undoubtedly, on a form of a papyrian roll in which the records were kept, therefore ephemerides had no tabular arrangement of arrival and an expense according to columns.
In private enterprises of Ancient Greece, and later and Ancient Rome the system of the accounting of the obligations, applied by Zenon (the managing director of an estate of the Minister of Finance of Syria and Palestine Apollonia from 260 g BC) was used . Zenon's archive is valuable relative integrity. Primary documents are provided there, such as ephemerides, selective accounts and the business correspondence which at the same time had a role of initial primary documentation. While analyzing documents, researches drew a conclusion that the private account copied the state accounting: distribution of duties of registration workers, signs of work and operations rationing, continuous fixation of the facts of economic life in a cut of materially responsible persons, reproduction of the contents of primary documents in ephemerides (where information wasn't collected due to the lack of group of data of the primary accounting, and was registered in a chronological order), maintaining the income-expending accounting. Along with ephemerides money there was ephemerides in natural measurement that differentiated the cost and natural accounting. It was very not easy to verify turns in such conditions, so the bank accounting of the Hellenistic Egypt was reconstructed as follows. Accounting began with the written order of the investor. Operations of deposits contribution (payments) were brought in ephemerides in calendar sequence. Along with it the income expenses book (papyrus No. 890) was filled. Communication between them was established by means of check of dates and clients names (papyrus No. 63). There was already a formulation «from whom -- to whom» (precedes double record), the term "have" (a prototype term "credit") in the bank book, which influenced accounting evolution.
Zenon's Archive was found by inhabitants of the town Darb El Gerza on a place of an estate of Appolony in Philadelphia in 1915. Documents were sold at retail, even separate fragments therefore integral archive there is appeared separate. 1750 papyruses have been published.
2.3 Legal regulation of the accounting in Ancient Rome
Rome was the most powerful state in the I--II centuries BC. Its developed economy -- a consequence of successful wars -- was based on resources of the defeated countries. Management was centralized, during the existence Rome passed stages of the imperial power (the VII--VI centuries BC), the republics (VI century BC -- 1в. AD), empires (I century AD -- 476 g AD).
Roman Empire have an origin from Etruscan civilization (till VIII century BC); later Rome borrowed a lot of things from the Greek and eastern culture, and abstract sciences of Romans didn't involve: they were limited to almost useful things. Therefore Romans were engaged in the financial sphere and its legal regulation rather seriously. One of the greatest achievements of an antiquity -- the Roman right (the flexible, legalized and civilized norms of legal relationship -- private and public) among other things, due to the laws economic transactions got justification and protection, and account books as proofs were brought into court that is described, for example, by Cicero. The Roman right had huge influence on accounting. So, owners of banks should publish the accounts in a certain day. Legal norms regulated also equipment of the account. Interaction of the right and the account appeared so fruitful that still proceeds.
Romans treated management in details and with understanding , first of all a private estate (Katon Starshy, Sazern, Kolumell, Varron). It helped to generalize economic practice and deduce principles of management, rationing of expenses and an account regulation. The state and bank account also were regulated. Authors concerned only agriculture though trade and banking prospered.
2.4 System of accounting registers in Ancient Rome
As a basis for the letter many materials -- a canvas, a stone, wooden boards, wood leaves and inside of a bark of trees were tried. The official reporting was put on boards: the marble, bronze, copper, lead and whitewashed wooden. The current records were conducted on the wooden plates fastened together with one edge on two, three and more (codes -- lat. code -- a tree). After a gain of Egypt there was a papyrus. About 180 g parchment (it was produced from veal skin, was expensive, but strong) BC was invented. Development of the account influenced equipment of the letter and account system. For calculations it was used the abacuses, borrowed by Greeks from Egypt.
Ability to expect result of managing (Kolumell) became the most important function of the account. One of property classifications (according to Varron): possessing articulate speech -- the slaves publishing inarticulate sounds -- cattle, mute -- transport, buildings, etc.
The organization of the taxation was based on the qualification as on the inventory of the population and its property. The assessment included property by types: real estate, earth, stock, jewelry, clothes. It was determined by house registration books. As first results of the qualification were measured in physical units, but from 312 g BC became cost at the initiative of censor Appy Claudia. After census special lists of he deprived products for free distribution were made. The whole staff of officials, agents, weighers was engaged in it. Receiving stood out grain a tesser -- a wooden plate with designation of date and a place of delivery of bread. Complimentary tickets from them were given to officials of a warehouse. The collected stamps were verified with lists in the way of deletion.
As in Greece, in Rome wide development was received by banks which began to play the leading role in the history of the Roman accounting. An exchange of coins and furthermore reception of deposits demanded high qualification and experience. After the check of coins they put them in vessel and sealed up in the presence of witnesses. Witnesses also imposed the seals. The sealed-up cough could be transported and used as an instrument of payment.
The Latin registration and economic dictionary of bank calculations is extensive and organically merged with a legal lexicon. This terminology entered into Italian and through it in the West European accounts department. The Roman bank terms accept (acceptance) -- arrival in general are known, habet to (have) -- the credit of the banker to the client, creditum -- to trust, debitum -- a duty of the client to the banker, depositum -- a contribution, rationum -- the account.
The role of primary documents was carried out by receipts. Transactions could be oral (but at witnesses) and written. Written contracts of a steady form had no.
Income (acceptum) and expense (expensum) of money were considered in the income-expenses book (codex accepti et expensi). The banker bore legal responsibility for it, it was the register of the current account. Besides, operations were considered in an adversariya (adversariya) which long had the Greek name ephemerides. In an adversariya registered economic operations. To a certain extent the adversary replaced primary documents, but not completely. Adversary and the income-expenses book were interconnected as registers of the chronological and systematic account. Records in the book became under articles according to daily records in an adversary. Books had a set of corrections. From Cicero's accusatory speech in court it is known that corrections in registration books could consider as the proof of dishonesty of the banker in the relations with clients.
Besides, the banker had one more book -- the book of accounts (codex rationum). Here operations were considered on certain clients thereby separated from income-expending accounts. Accounts opened on each client. The account had categories dept (debitomm), the credit to the client (habet) and the rest (reliqua). Turns and the remains of personal accounts were verified. Verification was carried out by a punctuation, i.e. marks in the document (usually on the back).
The income-expenses book and the book of accounts also were connected that was shown in a receiving and delivery of deposits, the credits.
After collapse of the Roman Empire in verification of turns and remains. For this purpose it was required that the accounts were located in income-expenses book. The punctuation (verification) connected two rows of parallel accounts: one was designated for the banker, the second was led according to loans and debts of debtors, transactions of deposits. The analysis of available data allows to prove the thesis: «To write down on debit -- to make an expense, to write down on credit -- to make the receipt». From the point of view of bank accounting the given formula is absolutely true. Certainly, such description of procedure of the accounting differs from what L.Pacholi gave, but the continuity is traced.
In the III century AD there came the crisis of the Roman Empire, and in 395 the empire broke up on Eastern and Western. After deposition of the last Roman emperor in 476 the western empire stopped the existence, having transferred many traditions to countries of Western Europe. The further development of accounting is connected with Christian monasteries in Italy and Byzantium and passes to the medieval period.
Thus, ancient systems of the accounting possessed a number of common features. The main objective of the accounting was the control of the activity of materially responsible persons that was promoted by affiliated management. It was not given due consideration to questions of efficiency and profitability as the purposes of receiving profit became essential only in a capitalist economy. The accounting intended rather for registration of the facts, than for decision-making, not so much for management of property, but for ensuring its safety. Therefore it is represented that the accounting of the considered period met public requirements and expectations. Turns were registered in natural expression, despite emergence of money. Money up to the middle of the XIII century AD was the same goods, as products or instruments of labor; possibility of cost measurement of all objects of the account wasn't considered.
Lecture 3. Characteristic of a condition of the accounting in the early Middle Ages
3.1 Stagnation era in the accounting in the early Middle Ages
Great resettlement of the people began right after the collapse of Roman Empire. Barbarous German and non German tribes rushed to Gallia, tribes of vandals ruined the cities of east coast of the Pyrenean sea. On the territory of the former Western Roman Empire one behind another barbarous kingdoms were formed, but it didn't make a situation stable as all of them continuously were at war with each other. Besides, the German, Turkic, Iranian and Slavic tribes which haven't created own statehood yet continuously moved within the Europe. At the collision and interaction of the barbarous and Roman worlds the formation of feudalism began.
The economy was destroyed, civilization level sharply fell, the old centralized statehood was destroyed. In such conditions there was no time for the accounting. But some traditions of Ancient Rome were kept in monasteries. The unique feature of documents of that time -- was the large number of mistakes in accounts. Approximateness was in the basis of the accounting as general illiteracy prospered. Knowledge was transferred from father to son, special accounting training wasn't conducted.
In feudal society the individual appears as the member of group withduties corresponding to his hierarchical situation and responsibility. In the sphere of a property there were same relations, as among people: so, feudal estates were parts of larger manors, royal possession completed a scale. Estates were managed by house-keepers (managing directors) therefore manorial, or the estate accounting system (also known as income-expenses) represented system of the reporting of the house-keeper about management of an estate or economic object. The same way reports were given to the king.
In the Middle Ages there was a profession of wandering scribers, for payment they were making reports for owners of feudal farms,that didn't have house managers.
Since VI century in Western Europe monasteries began to arise. Economic power of churches increased, and emergence of papacy had rallied the church. Monastic farms rendered services to the population, as well as feudal estates: baptism, burial service, absolution (sale of indulgences) etc. It resulted in the need of keeping account of arrival and an expense of various values. Churches also had hierarchical structure of management, and subordinate monasteries reported to higher church managing directors.
Monasteries were the only centers of education. At monastic schools people were learned to read and write. The special attention was given to copying of manuscripts therefore the system of the accounting was generally copied from Greek and Roman. Besides, stocks were made and income and expenditure accounting (books) were kept. Check (reporting) was, as a rule, carried out by a hearing of materially responsible persons, from there the term "audit" came.
In fact, the feudal economic system assumed creation of an additional product. However, apparently, there was no need to measure efficiency from which the additional product was made, concepts of profit and (or) the income on the used capital. Income-expending accounting was a control device of honesty of officials, distinction of levels in regulated society. However this system had existed long enough -- up to the middle of the XIX century, despite the emergence of a method of double record.
At the time of blossoming of the Middle Ages there were special treatises. The author of the one of them, Dominican monk Walter Henli, demanded careful verification of the report; annual inventory for verification of registration data and the natural remains; the most strict inventory of receivables: witness confirmations of correctness of the prices specified in the report.
By XIII century there was a system of the accounting of cash operations, the warehouse account and trading operations in Western Europe. A single-entry bookkeeping was dominating, which existed in the form of chronological record of the current turns in notebooks.
Development of economic activity also demanded the development of certain forms of control of the quality of registration information. So, there was an initiative of creation of a new position at a royal yard -- the controler (auditor) in 1299 in England.
The XV century the Arab figures were included into the use-- the account had also changed. The idea of using Arab figures instead of the Latin belongs to the Italian mathematician Fibonachchi. Use of the Arab figures for maintaining business accounts had essentially facilitated accounting work.
3.2 Demand for the accounting in Renaissance
Trade starts to develop at rough rates in the late Middle Ages. It is promoted by the mass movings of the people connected with crusades through city-states of northern Italy. The trade center between Europe and Asia was concentrated near the Mediterranean, in the cities of Northern Italy (Venice, Florence, etc.). With development of trade the idea of property starts to seize the world. The emergence of a commercial law promoted the strengthening of this idea. In the XII--XIII centuries merchants began to create intermediary courts and develop unified requirements for the accounting. That was the time of enrichment of the Italian cities and the beginning of the fight for their power.
For example, the rules accepted in the XIII century in Barcelona for the Mediterranean merchants, said that economic operations had to be registered in a chronological order, there shouldn't be any admissions between records in accounting books, each operation had to be documented, and numbers were registered in an alphabetic form so there were no fakes.
The need for establishment of rules of maintaining trading books appeared due to the need of protection of the interests in court, where people addressed with problems of repayment of debts, compensations of the actual damage were the entries in trading books.
Development of trade led to strengthening of economic relations. At intersections of trading ways new settlements began to be created and the old expanded. Growth of the cities led to separation of craft from agriculture therefore there were small craft centers: textile production, processing of skin, metals, etc. Handicraftsmen united in the professional organizations - workshops which began to operate in many European cities. The need for association first of all was caused by aspiration to protect the economic interests. Emergence of new estate - handicraftsmen promoted disorder of feudal and formation of the capitalist (market) relations. Development of crafts became the incentive for technical progress.
Gradually manufactories became the main production facility where thanks to specialization and division of labor productivity was much higher. Owners of manufactories had the purpose of receiving profit by its identification by means of accounting procedures, which had led to the emergence of a method of double record. The new purpose also predetermined new problems of accounting. From that time the accounting starts to carry out not only function of control of safety of a property, but also information function.
Development of the industry gave incentive to development of the monetary relations. Difficulties in transportation of money led to emergence of circulation of bills: money-changers (bankers) gave out to merchants receipt (bill) for the money handed over to them,so that later merchants could receive it accordingly to the corresponding sums on these receipts in any city. Thus, the accounting of calculations with debtors and creditors becomes an important part of accounting work.
The accounting of cash operations demanded the corresponding control. It was reduced to division of keys from a chest in which moneywas kept, between the cashier, the accountant and the intermediary (the person to whom the key was given before cash desk opening), to parallel reflection or operations by two accountants. The cash-book bound was stored in cash desk, strung together with the indication of pages number. On each page of the book the seal and the signature was put down. In the first part of the book there were registered income operations, whereas in the second - expenditure operations. The copy of this book was conducted in accounting, once in a six months the records of both books were verified.
Great geographical opening became a powerful push of development of international trade: the new markets were found (America, India, China, Africa, Australia), maritime routes were laid, etc. All this led to the change of the purposes of use of the capital and the credit. Such elements as trade, capital and the credit, for the first time could become the fruitful soil for bookkeeping development.
Two main types of accounting were formed in the Middle Ages:
- cameralistic (budgetary) which recognized the cash desk as the main object, i.e. the accounting of the income and expendenture; the condition and movement of property are considered as a result of implementation of the budget;
- simple (commercial) which assumed the accounting of a condition and property movement, and the income and expenses admitted to be a consequence of this movement.
After emergence in the Italian city-states of a system of double record the form of accounting for a long time underwent only minor changes. The period of relative inertia when the techniques of the accounting extended across Europe orally or in lists (in the copies L.Pacholi's work) ran so much over so received the name of an era of stagnation. Social, political and economic conditions changed slowly, therefore there were no sufficient incentives for development of accounting. The changes which were taking place, were the a consequence of new conditions of public life and commerce, including decline of agriculture, growth of trading activity and aspiration of businessmen to consider the activity in more long-term prospect than before. Global changes were also caused by changes of philosophical views and systems of values of leading classes, as the reasons of that were the Reformation, calvinism and weakening of influence of Catholic church.
At the end of this rather inactive period, on the threshold of industrial revolution (about 1750) several systems of the accounting were applied in Europe. In agriculture, in manors of traditional type and the oldest organizations the income and expendenture accounting was used. The one that has remained still from died off of estate, or manorial, system. Dealers used systems of unary (unigraphic) or (diagrafic) record, often without deducing account balances and without having possibility to define profit size.
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