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

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  • Michael John Jones

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael John Jones, 2008. "Internal control, accountability and corporate governance: Medieval and modern Britain compared," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(7), pages 1052-1075, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:21:y:2008:i:7:p:1052-1075
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Niamh Brennan & J. (Jill) Solomon, 2008. "Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability : an overview," Open Access publications 10197/2906, Research Repository, University College Dublin.
    2. Niamh M. Brennan & Jill Solomon, 2008. "Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: an overview," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(7), pages 885-906, September.
    3. 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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