Prostitution is regarded by many as the world's oldest profession, which makes accounting the world's second oldest profession. For as long as there have been goods, services or taxes changing hands, there has been a need to account for these transactions. Not only is accounting pervasive through all of written history, but it is now prevalent and necessary in every business of every industry in every country. If asked what an accountant is, most people will respond by describing bookkeeper's duties. Ultimately the purpose of accounting is to provide information at a glance for those responsible for making financial decisions. Thankfully, there is an accounting process to make information easily digestible through an accountant's summarized reports and analyses. This essay intends to familiarize the reader with a brief history of bookkeeping, explain the differences between bookkeeping and accounting, and detail the accounting process. .
The history of accounting is rich and spans to the beginning of recorded history. *In fact, the ACAUS recognizes earliest forms of writing as being developed explicitly for the purposes of accounting; this is evident in a set of five thousand year old stone tablets discovered in Egypt which were used for recording taxes. However, one of the most important events which led to modern accounting begins in 15th century Venice, Italy, due to a number of factors. To begin with, since Venice was a small city built of canals, they turned their weaknesses into strengths, and developed one of the world's greatest economies with the help of skilled merchants and their proficiency in maritime culture which would not only sustain the city but make it the primary trading hub between mainland Europe and Asia. In addition to goods, accounting-essential intangibles such as algebra and Arabic numbers had arrived in Italy thanks to the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean trade routes, which would later make calculations and tabulations much more accessible than using Roman numerals.