November 10th is designated as International Accounting Day. Does the sight of a ledger book make your head spin? That’s why we have accountants to figure it all out. Your job, school, bank, religious institution, and government wouldn’t survive without those dedicated number crunchers. That’s why we have a day out of the year “earmarked” just to celebrate them!
History of International Accounting Day
The history of accounting as an established practice dates back several millennia. Records and documents originating from the Mesopotamian region traced back as far as 5,000 B.C. reveal the employment of accounting systems in the service of tracking the exchange of goods between temples. Further evidence of the prevalence of accounting would appear from discoveries in ancient Egypt and Babylonia, but the most comprehensive findings would first originate from materials belonging to the period of the Roman empire. Information notated across innumerable archives during this era show detailed quantifications kept across areas, spanning public revenues, private expenditures, the distribution of commodities, and more.
The field of accounting has undeniably developed significantly since its introduction in pre-modern times. It would experience especially robust advancements throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period; International Accounting Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the publication of a critical work in the 15th century by an Italian mathematician.
The discipline would go on to see a sharp rise in necessity and demand in the fields of business and finance starting in the mid-19th century. The Industrial Revolution would prove to increase the number and size of companies across the world to an unprecedented degree, and it became imperative for corporations to maintain strong accounting departments to have a part in all aspects of business’ operations. Today, there is an indisputably great number of people working in the profession all over the world – the Bureau of Labor reported in 2018 that there were nearly 1.5 million accountants and auditors working in the United States alone!
International Accounting Day timeline
'The Father of Accounting,' - Luca Pacioli, introduces the double-entry bookkeeping system with his publications.
Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar invents the arithmometer, triggering the shift toward computations completed by machines.
The Institution of Accountants in Glasgow become the first official organization representing and regulating the accounting profession.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is established in the United States.
Enron's bankruptcy proved to be an audit failure in American history, bringing new regulations to the accounting profession.
International Accounting Day FAQs
Is there an accountant's Day?
There is! And it’s international, too. On November 10th, give some extra praise to all the accountants in your life.
How do I become an international accountant?
The path to becoming an international accountant is neither easy nor fast. That said, it’s also not impossible! You should first aim to achieve your bachelor’s degree in accounting, eventually strive to receive a master’s degree in the field, and, finally, work to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam. After all of that, you’ll meet the requirements needed to enter into the world of international accounting!
Do accountants travel internationally?
They do, indeed. While it depends on their employer, as well as their official role, it is not uncommon for auditors and CPA’s to journey to countries everywhere to fulfill their duties.
Is accounting a stressful job?
Accounting is not inherently a more stressful job than any other; it simply requires the same level of effort and attention to detail that is standard in most other professions.
International Accounting Day Activities
Shout Them Out on Social
Take into account how your favorite CPA might feel if you voice your appreciation for all their hard work on one of your favorite social media channels - and make sure to use the hashtag #InternationalAccountingDay!
Buy an accountant a coffee
Besides being a recognized gesture of appreciation, a piping hot caffeinated drink is a great way to make sure the accountant in your life is alert and focused while combing through all those numbers.
Make an accountant's job easier
Take extra care to format all your spreadsheets the way your accounting department asks you to. It's only one day out of the year. They're worth it.
5 Wild Things Accountants Accomplished
Accountants brought down Al Capone
After escaping so many other charges, Big Al finally went to jail for tax evasion, thanks to tireless FBI accountants.
An accountant wrote history's first words
The oldest surviving example of written language anywhere dates from around 5,000 years ago. It is written in Sumerian cuneiform and reads: "A total of 29,086 measures of barley were received over the course of 37 months. Signed, Kushim."
Accountants helped write the Bible
Before writing the Gospel that bears his name, St. Matthew worked as a tax collector. Another tax collector was Saul, who took the name Paul after his conversion and wrote several books of the New Testament.
An accountant invented bubble gum
Accountant Walter Diemer worked for the Fleer chewing gum factory and experimented with gum recipes in his spare time. He invented the modern formula for bubble gum in 1926 and was the first to market it commercially. The gum was pink because that was the only food coloring the factory had available.
Accountants handle the annual Oscar vote
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences employs certified public accountants to tabulate all the Oscar ballots and declare winners. The Academy says that accountants are ideally suited for this task because of their reputation for objectivity and attention to detail.
Why We Love International Accounting Day
Accountants Can Keep Us Safe
The FBI reportedly employs more than 2,000 accounting special agents, and they help take down even the biggest of the baddies, too. After escaping numerous other charges, notorious gangster Al Capone finally went to jail for tax evasion, thanks to the tireless efforts of FBI accountants.
Accounting Allows for the Annual Oscar Vote
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences employs certified public accountants to tabulate all Oscar ballots. The Academy says that accountants are ideally suited for this task because of their reputation for objectivity and attention to detail.
Accountants Know Parts of Us Better than We Do
Accountants are privy to the most intimate details of your firm (and your life). They have access to facts and figures you could never collectively understand and could spell serious trouble if mishandled. It's best to keep them happy, and International Accounting Day is an opportunity to help do just that!
International Accounting Day dates