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The 10th of November marks the day of International Accounting Day. To celebrate this day we have put together 10 interesting and possibly surprising facts about accountancy.

The word ‘accountant’ is derived from the french language

When you think of the word Accountant the first thing that comes to your head is Accounts… right? After all as Accountants, one of our main jobs is dealing with company accounts. The word ‘accountant’ actually comes from the French word ‘compter’ or ‘computare’ which means to count or score. The words ‘accounting’ and ‘accountancy’ were in use in Great Britain in the mid-1800s and come from the words ‘accompting’ and ‘accountantship’.

ICAS is the oldest professional body of chartered accountants

The ICAS was founded in 1854 by Royal Charter, making it the oldest professional body of chartered accountants. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland is the world’s first professional body of Chartered Accountants. They act as a thought leader and voice of the professional business community.

Accountants can work for the FBI

The FBI employs over 2,000 specialist accountants. An accountant can use their accounting expertise to launch their career as a special agent, a forensic accountant or an accountant professional charged with handling the bureau’s financial business.

Accounting is thousands of years old

Accounting dates back thousands of years to ancient civilisations. There is evidence of early auditing systems by the ancient Egyptians and double-entry bookkeeping in medieval Europe.

Many accounting terms have Latin roots

Accounting is often referred to as ‘the language of business’, but did you know that many of the well-known accounting terms are derived from Latin? The word ‘debit’ means ‘he owes’ in Latin, while ‘credit’ means ‘he trusts’.

The Great Depression led to the creation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

In 1934 the SEC was formed. All publicly-traded companies were required to file periodic reports with the Commission which had been? certified by members of the accounting profession

Franciscan friar Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli is the father of accounting

Franciscan friar Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli was an Italian mathematician and is known as the father of accounting and bookkeeping.  Although double-entry had been around for centuries, he was the first person to publish a work on the double-entry system of bookkeeping.

We have an accountant to thank for chewing bubble gum

But how you may ask. In 1928 an accountant by the name of Walter Diemer invented what we call Bubble gum. Although he was an accountant by trade, Walter Diemer liked to experiment with recipes in his spare time. In doing so, he accidentally stumbled upon a unique gum recipe… and that’s the story of an accountant who invented bubble gum.

Mick Jagger studied accountancy

Mick Jagger, the legendary frontman of the Rolling Stones makes the list of celebrity trainee accountants. According to several sources, Jagger studied accounting and finance at the London School of Economics on a scholarship. He lasted less than a year but he gave it a good go.

There is a patron saint of accountants

St Matthew of Apostle fame is the patron saint of accountants, bookkeepers and tax collectors. Before becoming an Apostle, he was a tax collector in the ancient town of Capernaum.


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