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Internal control, accountability and corporate governance: Medieval and modern Britain compared

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  • Michael John Jones
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The aim of this paper is to compare modern internal control systems with those in medieval England. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a modern referential framework (control environment, risk assessment, information and communication, monitoring and control activities) as a lens to investigate medieval internal controls used in the twelfth century royal exchequer and other medieval institutions. It draws upon an extensive range of primary materials. Findings – The paper demonstrates that most of the internal controls found today are present in medieval England. Stewardship and personal accountability are found to be the core elements of medieval internal control. The recent recognition of the need for the enhanced personal accountability of individuals is reminiscent of medieval thinking. Originality/value – It investigates internal controls in medieval England for the first time and draws comparisons to today.

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    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0951-3574&volume=21&issue=7&articleid=1746764&show=abstract
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 1052-1075

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:21:y:2008:i:7:p:1052-1075

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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    Related research

    Keywords: Accounting history; Corporate governance; England; Internal control; Management accountability;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Bryer, R. A., 2000. "The history of accounting and the transition to capitalism in England. Part two: evidence," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(4-5), pages 327-381, May.
    2. Bryer, R. A., 2000. "The history of accounting and the transition to capitalism in England. Part one: theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 131-162, February.
    3. Hoskin, Keith W. & Macve, Richard H., 1986. "Accounting and the examination: A genealogy of disciplinary power," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 105-136, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jones, Michael John, 2010. "Sources of power and infrastructural conditions in medieval governmental accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 81-94, January.

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