When we talk about business curriculum and liberal arts together, accounting is often an obvious example of a course that just does not have any hope of fitting into the liberal arts environment.


But why not an accounting course that would be extremely liberal artsy?

We would begin in Mesopotamia and the origins of writing, counting, and money.

Then we'd look at the invention of bookkeeping in 3rd/4th millenium BC. and the emergence of the role of the accountant in the bible and in Egypt.


Takeaway: important relationship between accounting and civilization.

Next we'd look at accounting in the Roman empire and the relationship between accounting, law, and the state.

Then invention of double-entry bookkeeping in medieval Europe and the beginning of banking and the commercial revolution.

A side trip to look at how accounting interacted with the three great religions prior to the reformation and the role it played in/around the Protestant reformation.


Next we'd encounter the invention of the corporation (well, first joint stock companies) and the divergence of managerial and financial accounting and then look again at the relation between accounting and the pre-modern nation state.

All along the way we'd have exercises in contemporary accounting.


Edwards, John Richard and Stephen P. Walker (Editors). 2008. The Routledge Companion to Accounting History, London.