Acounting for the non accountant - by a computer programmer

Purpose of Accountants
The Ledgers
Sales and Purchase Orders

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A history of accountants and accountancy

Some comments on the systems of accounts for the person who has no wish to be an accountant.

By a Computer programmer.

Note: This tale grew in the telling. It started as a serious guide for programmers joining the world of accountants... but soon become a longer, and somewhat more tongue in cheek article. I wrote it a word processor years ago, and am slowly converting it to HTML.

The theory of accounts has got a little muddled, for a number of reasons: partly because those who are trying to keep track of it have got a little muddled, but also because some very muddling things have been happening anyway.

One of the problems has to do with payroll and the difficulties involved in trying to understand it. You canít. Nothing is more complicated than payroll, with the possible exception of accountants. Somebody tried to make an accountant run a payroll, but it didnít work particularly well and was so expensive that there didnít seem any point having any employees

So, by and large, the accountants tended to languish in their own local muddles and the history of accounts was, for a long time, mostly boring.

Then the major muddle of Accounting history came along. Computers. Everybody assumed that computers would be able to do all the boring accountant stuff for them and the accountants could charge huge fees for doing vastly less work. The direct affect of this frame of mind was for all the accountants to completely forget how to do basic accountancy. When it was discovered that the computers barely add up, never mind understand accounts, it was necessary to bring in a consultant.

But that is a story of another day.

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