The Invention of Double-Entry Bookkeeping

31 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2021

See all articles by Maxime Izoulet

Maxime Izoulet

CEMI-Robert de Sorbon / Lycée Germaine Tillon

Date Written: May 26, 2021


Based on the work of Jean Fourastié, accountant and economist, this article seeks to show that the origins of double-entry bookkeeping are the result of several successive innovations that appeared in Italian commercial enterprises between the 13th and 14th centuries in response to the development of credit and receivables. The three successful innovations that led to the invention of double-entry bookkeeping are thus analyzed in detail from an accounting and logical point of view. This invention, which will have considerable consequences for the emergence of our modern monetary and banking systems, leads to a precise and efficient definition of value, which we still depend on today, especially to understand financial crises.

Keywords: Accounting, Finance, Capitalism, Economic History, Banking, History of Accounting

JEL Classification: A1, B15, B52, E50, M41, N13, N20

Suggested Citation

Izoulet, Maxime, The Invention of Double-Entry Bookkeeping (May 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Maxime Izoulet (Contact Author)

CEMI-Robert de Sorbon / Lycée Germaine Tillon ( email )

68 Avenue Léo Lagrange
Thiers, 63300

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