Publication Details

Funnell, W. N. (2009). Military. In J. Richard. Edwards & S. P. Walker (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Accounting History (pp. 561-578). New York: Routledge.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780415410946


The study of the military and their accounting has reflected the essential political nature and purpose of armies. Accounting historians have had a particular interest in the political protections provided by accounting in Britain after the constitutionally fraught seventeenth century when the supremacy of Parliament had been compromised by military intervention. Until the twentieth century, accounting for military expenditures in Britain was determined almost entirely by the need t ensure that Parliament had effective control over how much the military spent; it was not intended to enhance military performance. Howevere, in examining the evollution of cost accounting, accounting historians have suggested that the circumstance of war and military culture have played a role in the evolution of cost accounting. Indeed war, but especially the First World War, has been shown to have provided a critical impetus to the evolution and professionalisation of cost accounting in the early twentieth century. Particularly influential was the greater intervention required of government during the war in the affairs of business through the regulation of production and prices.

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