Accounting Controls at the Kelheim Brewery in the Seventeenth Century–Single Entry Accounting as Fit for Purpose

Martin Quinn, Gerhard Kristandl

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Abstract

Prior to the arguably superior double-entry system of accounting, single-entry accounting was used widely. 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 seventeenth 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 although it was known in Germany at this time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-71
JournalEssays in Economic and Business History
Volume39
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2022

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