When double-entry accounting moved into the industrial era

04/18/2013 | Bloomberg

This week's move by the International Integrated Reporting Council to introduce a new corporate accounting framework that would include environmental, social and governance risks is the start of a paradigm shift -- one of many that have marked the accounting profession's history, writes Jane Gleeson-White, author of "Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Created Modern Finance." An earlier shift occurred at the end of the 18th century when double-entry account-keeping practices were updated for the Industrial Revolution. One of the earliest adopters was Josiah Wedgwood, who built the world's first industrialized pottery factory in the north of England.

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