IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Multiple Origins of Accounting? An Early Italian Example of the Development of Accounting for Managerial Purposes


  • Valerio Antonelli
  • Trevor Boyns
  • Fabrizio Cerbioni


Utilising archival materials relating to an Italian pottery manufacturer, Manifattura Ginori, this paper examines the development of the company's accounting system during the 19th century. By the early 1800s, Manifattura Ginori is shown to have developed a double-entry bookkeeping system and to have carried out cost calculations. Deficiencies in the archive unfortunately do not enable us to determine precisely the nature of the links between the cost calculations and the financial accounting system during the early decades of the 19th century. However, as the century wore on, and the business moved from being an artisanal based manufacturer of high quality porcelain to a large-scale, industrial producer of utilitarian wares, Manifattura Ginori developed its system of accounting to reflect organisational changes and managerial needs. The Ginori archives therefore not only provide us with a rare glimpse of accounting in an early industrial context in Italy, but also of the use of accounting as a mechanism for business management and control in a non-Anglo-Saxon context. In particular it allows us to examine the role of accountants, to throw light on factors causing accounting change, and the relevance of alternative theoretical paradigms in interpreting such changes. By placing the experiences of Manifattura Ginori in a context of developments elsewhere in Europe, especially Britain and France, some implications can be drawn regarding the possibility of multiple origins of accounting ideas.

Suggested Citation

  • Valerio Antonelli & Trevor Boyns & Fabrizio Cerbioni, 2006. "Multiple Origins of Accounting? An Early Italian Example of the Development of Accounting for Managerial Purposes," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 367-401.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:367-401
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180600916275

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Giaccari & Mario Turco, 2014. "L’introduzione dei sistemi di controllo di matrice anglosassone nelle aziende italiane: il caso Cornigliano s.p.a," CONTABILITA' E CULTURA AZIENDALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 13-32.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:367-401. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.