Pacioli and Meticulousness in Bookkeeping

The emphasis on being accurate in bookkeeping is evident in the first treatise about it, written in 1494 by Luca Pacioli. He reiterates in numerous places things that can make the books more accurate, cleaner, and neater.

As just one example, Jeremy Cripps’s translation of Pacioli says: “The person who wishes to know how to keep a Ledger and Journal using a proper system of internal control must pay strict attention to what follows. To understand the system, we will take the case of a businessman who is just starting out in business and describe how he must keep his accounting books and records so that, at a glance, he may find each thing in its proper place. For, if he does not put each thing in its proper place, he will find great trouble and confusion in all his financial affairs. Just as the saying goes, ‘Without order, there is chaos.'”

Mr. Cripps also note that this last phase was used by Nicholo Machiavelli in his book The Prince written 25+ years later, and is often attributed, incorrectly, to him. It is about bookkeeping.

Why is meticulousness in bookkeeping important? Because good bookkeeping creates more credibility. And credibility is at the center of efficient business.

This is an Episode 119 of Conversations with Kip, the best financial system vlog there is. An English version of his book can be located here. The full book can be accessed here. The accounting section begins on printed page 197 through page 210.

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