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Evidence suggests that modern day bookkeeping methods was developed in Italy around 13th century. A 1211 account book of a Florentine banker present the earliest known evidence of the double entry-system.

The first book written on double entry bookkeeping was written by Luca Pacioli in 1494. Pacioli was often referred to as the father of accounting, but he did not actually invent the system he described. He simply wrote in his book "Summa" about the mathematics of business practices used by merchants in Venice at the time.

Thirty-six years before Pacioli publish his work, Benedetto Cotrugli wrote Delia Mercatura et del Mercante Perfetto (Of Trading and the Perfect Trader), which included a brief chapter which described many of the features of double entry. Although this work was not published for more than a century, Pacioli was familiar with the manuscript and credited Cotrugli with originating the double entry method. And according to Cotrugli, the double entry methods had been used for over two hundred years in certain parts of Italy.

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Updated On: 17.04.10