Accounting at Mahou, brewers, from the 1890s to 1970s

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Extant accounting history literature contains some research of accounting on breweries. This research is useful in understanding the evolution of accounting practices within firms (i.e. management accounting) over time, as brewing has been a rather ubiquitous practice of humankind. Breweries also preserve their past, resulting in useful archival sources to study the evolution of business practices (including accounting). However, much of the research has been in an Anglo-Saxon context, which limits its usefulness and comparative international accounting histories are lacking. Breweries, many of whom have survived for centuries, operated in differing political, legal, professional, and economic contexts. This, in turn affects how accounting is practiced within (and without) breweries. Some of the extant literature adopts strands of institutional theory to explore the stability/change of brewery accounting, and this study follows suit. The brewing business studied here is Mahou, a Spanish business, which operated in a non-Anglo-Saxon context. The objective of this paper is thus to explore how internal accounting practices were affected by a differing institutional context. Available accounting records of Mahou reveal stable practices over a period of about 80 years, despite much change in its operating context. It also reveals an emphasis on meeting legal requirements, with little evidence of accounting for decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 03 Aug 2023
EventAccounting History Review Workshop 2023 - Messina, Italy
Duration: 28 Sep 202329 Sep 2023


WorkshopAccounting History Review Workshop 2023

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