The year 1994 marked the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luca Pacioli's treatise on accounting, regarded as the first printed source in the field. This event brought attention to the rich historical literature of the field. "The History of Accounting" is an encyclopedic reference to more than 400 topics important to accounting practice and thought. The entries cover a broad range of topics, from accounting and economic concepts to accounting practices in different countries. Lengthy entries discuss the history of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Big Eight accounting firms, and the impact of computers on the accounting profession. Biographical sketches of individuals important to the profession, such as Arthur Andersen, and historical profiles of accounting organizations are also included. There are entries for many court cases. The globalization of accounting is reflected in the book's entries and by the country affiliations of its 153 contributors, who come from 13 different countries. Each entry is signed and includes a bibliography for further research and a list of cross-references
The book begins with a "List of Entries," which would be more helpful if it included additional cross-references. For example, there is a cross-reference from "Auditing--External" to the entry "External Auditing", but no corresponding cross-reference for "Internal Auditing". The book also contains a thorough index, which readers will find especially helpful for locating information about people, like the economist John Maynard Keynes, or concepts, like leases, for which there are no individual entries
Accounting students will find this encyclopedia a useful, thorough source for short essays and for historical background for class discussion. Researchers and scholars will also appreciate the bibliographies. Academic and special libraries will find "The History of Accounting" a useful addition to their accounting collections.