The importance of accounting in any successful venture can’t be overstated. This fact was most clearly demonstrated when Hernando Cortes travelled to the new world; on his infamous expedition, he brought horses, soldiers, and his accountant Alonso de Avilla. Cortes named Avilla as the first mayor of Veracruz as a reward for his excellent service in the campaign.
This was not the first instance of accounting playing a pivotal role in the course of wars and history. The most successful civilisations the world has ever known used accounting to keep track of their own progress, and build even further. The Romans in particular were meticulous record keepers, wherein historians believe that everything down to the last nail was counted and recorded.
What makes accounting so special that it would play such a pivotal role in the growth and development of empires and kingdoms? People are quick to marvel at the feats of engineering, art, music, and literature that ancient civilisations were capable of. But few if any are ready to credit the art of accounting afforded to make it all possible. After all, a general can’t go to war if he doesn’t know how many soldiers, horses, swords, and so on he has at his disposal before beginning a campaign.
If we can imagine the world as a kitchen, and its leaders are the chefs, then accounting is the apprentice that gets all the ingredients ready at the start of the day. That isn’t to say that accounting is the apprentice to other professions, just that they serve as a base or a foundation for other fields to build on.
The world, however, doesn’t like to stand still very much, and everything needs to change to keep up. Accounting is no different; as territories expand, so do the assets that need counting. Accountants needed methods to keep track of larger sums of assets, and the double entry-accounting system – made famous by Luca Pacioli – was one of those systems.
Accounting isn’t the most glamorous profession in the world, and not many appreciate the role it plays in the advancement of everything else in the world. But if anyone wants to make progress in his or her business or in any other venture, they would be wise to secure the services of professionals to move everything along.
Just ask the accounting experts from Scolari Comerford. They will tell you that the world would be at a standstill, if not in chaos, without proper accounting.