Using accounting history and Luca Pacioli to put relevance back into the teaching of double entry.

Sangster, Alan (2010) Using accounting history and Luca Pacioli to put relevance back into the teaching of double entry. Accounting, Business & Financial History, 20 (1) . pp. 23-39. ISSN 0958-5206 [Article] (doi:10.1080/09585200903504215)


Double entry bookkeeping is generally considered to be a topic that students struggle to learn. In part, this is seen as being due to their lacking awareness of both business processes and of the business environment in which accounting operates, which makes double entry appear an abstract concept and one they find hard to justify the effort of learning. It is also seen by many faculties as failing to encourage critical thinking; and as a purely mechanical process that is unnecessary in a university degree in accounting - that it belongs in the professional office where it can be taught in context in the work environment.

This paper argues that there is an alternative justifiable view that, far from being unnecessary and failing to encourage critical thinking, knowledge and understanding of double entry is a key element required of anyone who seeks to fully engage in critical thinking concerning the validity of accounting information. It argues that double entry should be retained in the undergraduate accounting curriculum - that its absence from the curriculum encourages blind acceptance of accounting information as 'truth' and makes it more difficult to encourage accounting students to think critically about accounting information at later stages of their studies.

This paper suggests that by adopting an accounting history-based approach, students can be presented with a context that may overcome their traditional failure to grasp the topic well at an early stage in their accounting studies. To support this claim, the paper suggests themes that could be covered when introducing the topic, suggests sources of teaching material, and offers access to historical background material concerning the 'father of accounting', Luca Pacioli, in order to assist faculties that wish to try it for themselves in the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Accounting and Finance
Item ID: 6663
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2010 13:34
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.