It would be a major accounting faux pas if I were to neglect writing about the “Father of Accounting”, the “Sultan of Cash Flow Statements”, the “Gangster of Love” in my series of Great Moments in Accounting History posts. I, of course, am referring to Bob Newhart. Actually I’m talking about Luca Pacioli who has been credited with creating the double-entry accounting system way back in 1494, which, by my calculations, means that those of us in the accounting field have been forced to do twice the amount of work for the last 1,000 years or so (I’ve never been very good with numbers).
After spending many minutes researching Luca Pacioli I believe I can boil down his life to the following four bullet points:
- In 1494 he published a book entitled: Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità, which roughly translates to Accounting for Imbeciles. Thusly he was not only responsible for creating more work for us accountants but also started the trend of titling books in a highly insulting manner
- He was a Franciscan friar which, I assume, means that he also played a hand in creating the fried food craze we American’s have grown to love (especially at our county fairs)
- He lives on the second floor; yes, you’ve probably seen him before
- He wasn’t nearly as funny as Bob Newhart
Despite lacking the sense of humor of a Bob Newhart I can honestly say that it gives me chills knowing that what Good Ol’ Luca accomplished in the accounting world all those years ago has, in some small way, led to me sitting here in my cubicle* typing a blog post about him while eating deep-fried M&M’s wrapped in deep-fried bacon.
Thank you Luca.
*Disclaimer – No actual writing of this post was performed during work hours (or any other time of the day for that matter).