The history of bookkeeping and accountancy is a long one and evidence of accountancy can be traced back to around 4000BC, but the history of actual bookkeeping isn’t as long with records only dating back to the 1300’s. It is thought the first person to develop an actual bookkeeping system was an Italian man called Fra Luca Pacioli, he was an acquaintance of Leonardo De Vinci. He was a great mathematician and developed the system during the boom of exports during the 13th century in Italy which became widely used by merchants wanting to keep track of their sales. It was in 1494 that he decided to write a book including some of his mathematical findings but the most interesting article was the development of a process very similar to that of double entry bookkeeping. It wasn’t exactly the same process as we know and use today but it was the basics of what we use today, only now it is made a lot easier because we have specialised computer software that can organise the different ledgers and also do most of the maths for us.
Now in this day and age it is mandatory that every business has a bookkeeper or accountant to keep track of their accounts and ledgers to ensure the account details are always up to date, this is also because they need to keep track of all sales made through out the year as that affects how much tax they need to pay. There are different types of bookkeeping services including double entry bookkeeping, commercial bookkeeping, single entry bookkeeping and computerised. Some of the different roles played and duties that can be carried out by bookkeeping clerks are;
- A balance sheet – This shows the businesses financial situation with charts including profit and loss, and it enables most business people to make financial decisions based on their account information at the time.
- Monthly operating systems – This is where they have to complete a break down of the months sales and expenditures working out if they are at a profit or loss, they will also usually provide a comparison to the same month in the previous year so the business owner can see the progress of the companies accounts and if there are any problems they can try and solve the problem as soon as they can.
- Tax planning – The bookkeeper will most likely prepare all your accounts ready for the tax return period. This will include going through the detailed records of each sale and purchase for that tax year ensuring all records are correct.
Bookkeeping has changed dramatically from the early forms of the accounting to become a reliable and accurate form of accounting.