Accounting controls at the Kelheim brewery in the 17th century – single entry accounting as fit for purpose.

Martin Quinn, Gerhard Kristandl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior to the arguably superior double-entry system of accounting, single-entry accounting was widely used. Extant literature on single-entry accounting suggests it remained in use well after the advent of double-entry, with ease of use cited as a key reason. However, there may be other reasons which have not been revealed in the literature. This study explores how single-entry accounting was utilized at the Kelheim brewery in Bavaria, Germany during the 17th century. It finds an organizational field in which single-entry accounting was fit for purpose. Single-entry accounting provided sufficient information and accountability, implying the more sophisticated double-entry accounting system was not used.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEssays in Economic and Business History
Publication statusAccepted - 31 Aug 2020

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