Accounting is ancient. As long as there have been ledgers, there have been accountants to keep track of them. In the world of modern technology and new algorithms every year, it’s easy to forget that despite its reputation, accounting has a storied history.
A piece of that history has recently resurfaced and is due to be auctioned off over the summer. Luca Pacioli’s Summa de arithmetica was printed in Venice in 1494 and contained the first published description of double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping (where all transactions are recorded as both a credit and debit for the purposes of completely accurate balance keeping) is one of the key tenets of modern accounting. As such, the book is regarded as a key development in the accounting world, especially since very few original copies exist.
The book has been valued at between $1-1.5m and has been touring various areas on show for the last month. So, if you have a spare million lying about and want to own a piece of accounting history – here’s the buy for you!