The History of Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is not a recently developed practice by the human race. Records indicate that bookkeeping was in existence as early as 6,000 BC. Historical artefacts show that nearly every ancient civilisation had some form of financial and numerical records. Historians have unearthed traces of commercial contracts in the ancient ruins of great kingdoms such as Babylon and archives which show systematic recording of accounts from farm produce in ancient Greece as well as from the relatively modern Roman Empire.
Accounting services in singapore descended from this rich history and evolved into protocols and guidelines, including Singapore’s Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) and Singapore tax laws. Here’s more on the history of bookkeeping.
The Onset of Modern Day Bookkeeping
The modern-day bookkeeping system was presented in the late 15th century by the Italian mathematician, Frater Luca Pacioli. In his book, Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion, Pacioli described in detail the contemporary standard accounting system – the double entry system. He went to the extent of describing the use of various bookkeeping instruments such as journals and ledgers. His endeavours won him multiple accolades including a reference as the father of modern bookkeeping.
Despite the credit accorded to Pacioli, debates have surfaced contesting Pacioli’s double-entry system, that it was in use for many generations before Pacioli’s publication. Many opposers cite Benedetto Cotrugli’s 1458 book “Of Commerce and the Perfect Merchant” as the first documented guide for the double entry system.
Bookkeeping Before Computers
It may seem hard to envisage what life was like before computers, especially when it concerns bookkeeping. Before the invention of computers, spreadsheets were handwritten, humans did the arithmetic, paper ledgers were maintained by hand, and filing cabinets were the norm. During this era, the skills of a bookkeeper were crucial. Bookkeepers had to demonstrate meticulous attention to detail and have a good head for numbers. Each financial transaction was recorded by hand on a ledger and the risk of human error was high. It was during this era that experts in the field developed some procedures to help verify the accuracy of the records.
Bookkeeping with Computers
Today, technology has evolved and revolutionised various professions, including bookkeeping. Technological innovations such as applications employed by the best accounting firms in singapore have increased the pace of bookkeeping and made it more demanding.
Cloud Bookkeeping in Modern Businesses
The onset of computerisation gave way to the internet era where interconnectivity is seamless and software is more affordable, secure and readily available. Bookkeeping software has also become more sophisticated, able to handle complex tasks and has simplified the traditional bookkeeping profession making accuracy and efficiency more attainable.
These milestones mark the long journey and metamorphosis bookkeeping has undergone over the years. Trends in Singapore indicate the future lies in the use of smarter software and an emergence of a new system of bookkeeping due to cryptocurrencies – the triple entry system. But that’s in the future.