Publication Details

Wang, J. (2017). The Silk Road and the origins of Double Entry. AFAANZ Conference (pp. 1-16).


The paper considers the previous role of the Silk Road in developing the world economy during a period when China according to Marc Polo, China was the greatest trading nation in the world (Latham, 1958). The paper argues that double entry evolved through time rather than through purposeful search. That is the invention was not by chance or even design but developed gradually from necessity. Yamey (1947) argues that change likely takes the form of variations on existing practice and newly evolved techniques resemble the ones previously used. That is a gradual evolutionary process of development. The paper adopts an evolutionary theme as to origins; that is chance and necessity were the drivers of double entry accounting rather than design.

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