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Introducing 'mercantile' bookkeeping into British central government, 1828-1844

Edwards, John Richard and Greener, Hugh Thornton 2003. Introducing 'mercantile' bookkeeping into British central government, 1828-1844. Accounting and Business Research 33 (1) , pp. 51-64. 10.1080/00014788.2003.9729631

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The finances and accounting practices of British central government were the subject of persistent and critical comment from radical politicians within Parliament during the 1820s. The key to effective reform was seen to be the adoption of more business-like procedures, with the mercantile system of double entry bookkeeping considered superior to the established methods for recording and reporting the financial effects of government activity. The radical revision of entrenched administrative procedures required not only recognition of existing defects but individuals possessing the political will and position to implement necessary reform. This paper examines the characteristics of the assembly of politicians committed to accounting change, the initial implementation of accounting change and how further resistance was addressed so as to achieve the apparent diffusion of cash-based double entry bookkeeping throughout much of British central government by 1844.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0001-4788
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:30

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