Luca Pacioli: The Father of Accounting

12 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2013 Last revised: 8 Mar 2018

See all articles by Murphy Smith

Murphy Smith

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting

Date Written: 2018


In 1494, the first book on double-entry accounting was published by Luca Pacioli. Since Pacioli was a Franciscan friar, he might be referred to simply as Friar Luca. While Friar Luca is regarded as the "Father of Accounting," he did not invent the system. Instead, he simply described a method used by merchants in Venice during the Italian Renaissance period. His system included most of the accounting cycle as we know it today. The first accounting book actually was one of five sections in Pacioli's mathematics book, titled Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita (Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportions). This section on accounting served as the world's only accounting textbook until well into the 16th century. Accounting practitioners in public accounting, industry, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as investors, lending institutions, business firms, and all other users for financial information are indebted to Luca Pacioli for his monumental role in the development of accounting.

Keywords: Accounting, Luca Pacioli, Friar Luca, Father of Accounting, Italian Renaissance

JEL Classification: A10, F3, M1, M4

Suggested Citation

Smith, Murphy, Luca Pacioli: The Father of Accounting (2018). Available at SSRN: or

Murphy Smith (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-Department of Accounting ( email )

6300 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

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