The Changing Role Of Accountants In The

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The Changing Role Of Accountants In The 21st Century. Essay, Research Paper A number of reports by academicians and practitioners all over the world have called significant change in the accounting methods and research and their relevance in the 21st century. Many believe that the accounting model is outdated with little relevance to the changes taken place in the wider world. Both the academicians and practitioners agree that if accounting is to serve a useful role in the changing environment, accounting education and accounting research should become more broader, dynamic and not constraint by a single approach. Despite these facts, the academicians and practitioners both stated that the accounting methods taught and practiced have changed significantly. The history of

accounts does not begin from the colonial era of the British Empire neither does it begin in the fourteenth century Italy, accounts came from the Mesopotamian region in the 3500 B.C. Five thousand years before the appearance of double-entry, the Assyrian, Chaldaean-Babylonian and Summerain civilizations were flourishing in the Mesopotamian Valley, producing some of the oldest known records of commerce (ACAUS, 1999). As business prospered and industries developed, cities of Babylon and Ninerah became the center for commerce and the language of business and politics. Mesopotamia had more than one bank with a standard measurement in gold and silver. And in some transactions allowing some credit. The accountants in the Mesopotamian times had similar but more extensive duties than the

accountants of today. Apart from writing up transactions, he ensured that the agreement complied with detailed code requirements for commercial transactions (ACAUS, 1999). The scribes would record the transaction on specially prepared clay not because clay was available in surplus but because paper also known as papyrus was very expensive and scarce. Between the years 2000 ?256 B.C. ancient Egypt, China, Greece and Rome followed a similar accounting methods compared to the Mesopotamian. The use of paper was more than clay tablets as detailed records were made easily on paper. In these early ages, accountants had to be honest and accurate, because irregularities disclosed by audits were punishable by fines, mutilation or even death. Household expenses played an important role in

ancient Rome as citizens were required to submit regular statements of assets and liabilities, used in the basis of taxation, and were recorded in an adversary or daybook and monthly posting to a cashbook known as codex accepti et expensi. Although such records were important ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greek and Romans accounting never progressed beyond simple list making in its thousands of years of existence (ACAUS, 1999). Thousands of years after the fall of the Roman Empire, publication of Pacioli?s Summa is widely viewed as the period of accounting stagnation and medieval practices outside Italy were often ignored (ACAUS, 1999). Medieval bookkeeping was localized and midpoint around specific institutions. The central task of accounting during this era was a means for the

government or property owner to monitor those in the lower portions of the socioeconomic ?pyramid? (ACAUS, 1999). The oldest surviving accounting record in English, dated from 1130 through 1830 A.D., is the Pipe Roll or ?Great Roll of the Exchequer.? After the Industrial Revolution the demand for accounts and accountants was rapidly increasing. A vital characteristic in this process was the establishment of professional organizations in 1853. Historically, business relied on accountants to prepare financial information for internal and external decision-making and to assist in the fulfillment of tax-preparing requirements (Albrecht & Sack, 2001). As the business climate became more complex, demanding and rapidly changing than ever before, this affected the role of accountants