Accountancy – Some interesting historical facts


Going back over 7,000 years, we can see the results of early accounting records,  showing lists of goods traded and received.  Lists of expenditure and evidence of money being counted.
The earliest we can trace an individual back in accounting history is Luca Pacioli who described the system of double-entry bookkeeping in 1452.  Business information was being recorded before then, but Pacioli was the first person to describe the system which is the basis of today’s accounting systems.

Did you know the first accountancy firm was established in Bristol? Well this was in 1852 and the profession hasn’t stopped evolving since!

When the chartered accountant’s hall was built in London between 1890 and 1893 it raised the question of the admission of women. The first women to be admitted to the profession was between 1914 and 1938!

An accountant named Walter E. Dimer invents bubble gum!
Every year since 1935 a team of Certified Public Accountants have spent an average of 1,700 hours prior to Oscar night counting the Academy Awards ballots by hand.

1939 – 1967 
During the Second World War courses were offered to returning service men.
The first Member’s Handbook is published for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Chartered Accountant’s Hall is extended.

1968 – 2003 
Further professional accountancy bodies pop up, and a co-operation between accountancy bodies was established. Adoption of International Accounting Standards.
There are a lot of celebrities who began their careers as accountants or Certified Public Accountants such as the Ultimate Fighting champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, comedian Bob Newhart, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger and singer Janet Jackson.
This timeline has primarily focused on the CCAB bodies/recognised qualifying bodies but there have been a number of other bodies in existence during the period covered. Please visit


  • Miss USA pagenant winner in 2013 was an accountant!
  • Luca Pacioli, as above, created the first book of fashion!
  • Luca Pacioli’s book on double entry was described as a “best seller”
  • St Matthew the Evangelist is the patron saint of accountants….. and tax collectors (urgh!), book-keepers, stockbrokers and bankers
  • To see professional modern accountancy firm, please visit for more information
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