If you are the one who reads this blog regularly then you know that I pride myself in performing exhaustive research (meaning I look up a topic on the internet until I get tired of doing so) on the subjects that I write about. So it came as quite a surprise when I stumbled across an article stating that our old pal Luca was not in fact the creator of the modern double-entry accounting system as I stated in a previous post. It turns out that the credit (or the debit perhaps) for making accountants do twice the amount of work for the last 500+ years actually belongs to Bob Newhart. I’m kidding of course. The credit actually belongs to a gentleman named, and in the words of the great Dave Barry – I am not making this up – Benedikt “Beno” Kotruljević (literally, Bennie Da Bean Counter).
As you may have surmised by Bennie’s name, giving Luca credit for inventing the modern accounting system wasn’t my only error. It seems that the term Bean Counter, which is often used in reference to accountants, also originates with Beno and not the rogue accountant who counted the beans individually while auditing his local beanery’s inventory as I stated in the first post of the Great Moments in Accounting History series. After much additional research I was able to discover these additional tidbits about our new pal Beno:
1. Unlike Luca he didn’t live on the second floor, so you probably haven’t seen him before
2. He may have patented the Beano medicine
3. He never hung out with Carrot Top
It was a difficult decision to post this admission of guilt but if the CPA ethics test taught me anything it was that the most important moral tests can be met head-on with an open book.