Accounting – historic profession

Information provided by Kidwells Accountancy on our website is for informational purposes only. For bespoke advice, call 01432 278 179 or email to learn more about what is best for your business.

International Accounting Day started in 1972 and was celebrated annually on 10th November as a day to inspire those starting their careers to explore accounting as a profession. Now, half a century later, it marks a day to celebrate those in the accounting profession, and their contributions to the world of business and the economy.  

The history of accounting can be traced back to early civilisation in Mesopotamia and was developed alongside writing, counting and money. The early Egyptians and Babylonians created auditing systems, and by the time of the Roman Empire, detailed financial information was being collated. 

1494 proof of double- entry bookkeeping

On the 10th November in 1494, Venetian accountant and mathematician, Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli, who collaborated with Leonardo Da Vinci, published his book Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita: Everything about arithmetic, geometry and proportion.  

The book described the system of double-entry bookkeeping used by Venetian merchants. Pacioli did not invent accounting, but he was the first to describe the system of debits and credits in journals and ledgers. 

1852 invention of adding machine

Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar, a French inventor and founder of French insurance companies, invented the first mass-produced calculator, the arithmometer. The first model of the arithmometer was introduced in 1820 but it was more than thirty years, in 1852, before the arithmometer was produced commercially. 

1854 First professional accountants’ organisation 

Queen Victoria was petitioned for a Royal Charter by The Glasgow Institute of Accountants. Originally, accountants had belonged to associations of solicitors, offering accounting in addition to legal services. In 1854, the title of chartered accountant was adopted for its members, setting themselves apart from solicitors. 

1904 London Association of Accountants 

By the mid-1800s, London was the financial centre of the world with the commencement of the industrial revolution in Britain. With the growth of large-scale manufacturing and limited liability companies, more technically proficient accountants capable of handling the complexities of global transactions were in demand. 

The London Association of Accountants was formed in 1904. After several name changes over the years, in 1996 the Association adopted the name the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).  


The role of the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) was to issue accounting standards in the United Kingdom and was recognised for that purpose under the Companies Act 1985


The ASB took over the task of setting accounting standards from the Accounting Standards Committee (ASC) in 1990.  


The ASB was taken over by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) on 2 July 2012. The FRC is now the authority that issues accounting standards in the UK. 

The Financial Reporting Council is the regulator for auditors, accountants, and actuaries, and sets the UK’s Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. 

2022 Making Tax Digital 

Digital technology has changed the game for accounting professionals and small businesses. Using online technology enables them to be more creative and efficient, enabling them to offer higher value services. HMRC introduced Making Tax Digital for Business in the hope of making the UK one of the most digitally advanced tax services in the world. 

Can we help? 

It is not only businesses that hire accountants. Self-employed, non-profit groups, charities and community organisations, governments, and schools all use accountants to keep their books balanced. 

Contact Us

Disclaimer: Information provided by Kidwells Accountancy on our website is for informational purposes only. It is provided in good faith but we make no guarantee of any kind regarding the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of any information on our site. We always recommend businesses seek independent legal and financial advice before working with us or acting on any information on our website.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *