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Bookkeeping History & Fun Facts

With everything going on in the world today, it’s good practice to take a step back and have some light reading material. Today, we provide you with 10 fun facts about bookkeeping to make you smile and melt at least a little bit of  stress away!

  • St. Matthew the Evangelist is the patron saint of accountants, bookkeepers, tax collectors, stockbrokers, and bankers.

Before being dedicated to preaching the word of God, St. Matthew worked as a tax collector in Capernaum, landing him the title as the patron saint of these skills.

  • Bookkeeper and the words derived from it (bookkeeping etc.) are the only words in the English language with 3 consecutive sets of double letters.

Although yellowwood has 3 sets of double letters, bookkeeper has it beat with all 3 sets coming one after the other. When you start to look too closely, the word, “bookkeeper” starts to look a little strange.

  • In 1494, Italian mathematician and “father of accounting” Luca Pacioli wrote the first book on double-entry accounting entitled Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita.

In this book, Pacioli writes, “should not go to sleep until the debits equal the credits.” Even though the double-entry bookkeeping system was created in the 1400s, it is still being used today to keep businesses and finances organized.

  • The term “bean counter” has been thought of as an ancient term used to describe a detail-oriented bookkeeper, but actually, this term originated in the 1970s.

Originally this phrase was used in Germany to describe somebody who is a “nitpicker” and finds the smallest problems in any situation. The phrase shifted to describe bookkeepers who are essentially nitpicking numbers and ensuring that all transactions and finances are in order to support a business’s success.

  • Many celebrities began their careers as accountants, bookkeepers, or CPA’s.

Some of these influential people include Ultimate Fighting Champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, jazz artist Kenny G., comedian Bob Newhart, author John Grisham, Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger, and singer Janet Jackson!

  • Accountants, Bookkeepers, and CPAs are not the same

Accountants provide tax advice and tax planning, financial projections for the business’s future, and oversight and recommendations regarding company spending. Accountants also go over books maintained by bookkeepers. A bookkeeper records purchases and sales, reconciles financial documents, tracks accounts payable and receivable to allow a business to know how much it owes and how much a customer owes, pays the accounts payable bills, and processes and maintains the payroll system. A CPA is an accountant that is qualified to write audited financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements.

  • The first recorded name in history belonged to a bookkeeper.

As human beings began to settle down into larger kingdoms, they needed to record taxes and income. It became essential that bookkeepers and accounts took a prominent role. The first written text in history, more than 5,000 years ago, reads, “A total of 29,086 measures of barley were received over the course of 37 months. Signed, Kushim.”

  • Income tax was introduced as a temporary measure to finance the war against France.

On 9 January 1799, William Pitt the Younger, the British Prime Minister, decided to implement income tax to help cover the high cost of wars with France. Although we may not be so thankful now, it effectively helped to boost the economy and support extreme war costs that would have been covered in more financially damaging ways.

  • The FBI employs over 2,000 special agents responsible for accounting and bookkeeping

If the Federal Bureau of Investigation values organization and bookkeeping, it must be really important. A lack of organization could be detrimental to your business, so whether you hire a bookkeeper or do it yourself, it is important to be on top of it with every transaction you make.

  • Many bookkeepers will save you enough in late fees and penalties to make their services very inexpensive.

If you’re struggling to keep up with your finances, it may be worthwhile and cost-effective to hire a bookkeeper! We are always willing to help out and do what we can to save you money and time!

Looking to hire a bookkeeper to keep your business organized and profitable? Reach out anytime using the “Contact Us” tab on the top of the screen!