Kenneth S. Most

Publication Date

Spring 1993


Thanks to Professor Denise Schmandt-Besserat, we now believe that we understand the origins of writing, and accountants are eager to associate their art with early attempts to demonstrate accountability. Very little attention, however, has been devoted to the medium, as distinct from the message, and in particular, to the tools and materials accountants use. One hundred years ago an English journalist pronounced "In so far as the perfection of materials for writing is concerned, we may have little to hope for in this country." Paper and ink, he thought, were so perfectly adjusted to their purpose that it: was hard to imagine how they could be improved. There is an area here for accounting research.



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