Title: Early European accounting theory: Sir William Petty's contributions to accounting

Authors: Aida Sy; Tony Tinker

Addresses: Department of Economics, Accounting, and Finance, School of Management, Marist College, 3399 North Road, Poughkeepsie, 12601 New York, USA ' Department of Accounting, Zicklin School of Business Baruch College, P.O. Box 225, City University of New York, USA

Abstract: Accounting and auditing are frequently cited as culprits in the current economic crisis. Traditional practices (including academic rationales) are coming under increased scrutiny. This paper proposes a way of beginning to reinvigorate the subject by returning to the classics. Accounting, as a social science has several origins. This paper explores these diverse origins of accounting starting with the work of one of the 'Fathers of Accounting', Sir William Petty, the first general comptroller of England. Petty lived during the 17th century and published a variety of works on political economy that extended into accounting of the period.

Keywords: Sir William Petty; accounting history; England; Ireland; ancient texts; political arithmetic; methodology; mathematics; political economy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2014.064192

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2014 Vol.6 No.3, pp.211 - 232

Published online: 30 Aug 2014 *

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