The Advent of Accounting in Business Governance: From Ancient Scribes to Modern Practitioners

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 12(1), 21-46. 2017

43 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jenifer Axtell

Jenifer Axtell

Murray State University - College of Business

Murphy Smith

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

Wayne Tervo

Murray State University - Accounting Department

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

General social theory provides a framework within which accounting and its role in advancing business and society can be examined, including historical development and functions. This study examines the advent of accounting in business governance, from ancient origins to present day, from the scribes of ancient Mesopotamia to the internal control concepts described by the Apostle Paul in the Bible, from Friar Luca Pacioli’s landmark book published in Renaissance Italy to the work of modern-day accountants employing the latest technology, to the expanding role of women in the profession. Throughout history, while standards and technologies have changed, a fundamental purpose of accounting in business governance remains constant: to provide a test of stewardship or accountability for those trusted with financial resources. Findings of this paper will be of interest to business stakeholders and academic researchers, who will be able more clearly to see the role that accounting played in the progress and development of business over millennia.

Keywords: business governance, accounting history, accounting standards, ancient Mesopotamia, Roman Empire

JEL Classification: B10, B12, B25, M14, M41

Suggested Citation

Axtell, Jenifer and Smith, Murphy and Tervo, Wayne, The Advent of Accounting in Business Governance: From Ancient Scribes to Modern Practitioners (2017). International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 12(1), 21-46. 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3035965

Jenifer Axtell

Murray State University - College of Business ( email )

351 Business Building
Murray, KY 42071-3314
United States

Murphy Smith (Contact Author)

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

6300 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

Wayne Tervo

Murray State University - Accounting Department ( email )

Murray, KY 42071-3314
United States

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