Publication Date



Recent research has produced the earliest known treatise on Accounting written by an American. Samuel Freeman's The Town Officer [1791] is significant in that it recommended double-entry fund accounting for municipalities. The paper analyzes and compares Freeman's objectives of "a plain and regular Method" to modem municipal accounting concepts as articulated by the GASB. Additionally, the entries and the accounts recommended by Freeman are analyzed and compared to modern municipal accounting evidenced in current textbook material. These analyses show The Town Officer to be a significant contribution to accounting literature not only for its 1791 publication date, but also for the similarity of its content to present day municipal accounting objectives and requirements.



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