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The birth of modern public sector accounting in France and Britain

  • Marc Nikitin

    (Laboratoire Orléanais de Gestion)

Under the Ancien Régime France, collecting taxes was a business affair confided by the King to businessmen. After several unfruitful attempts to have his revenue under control, the King finally imposed, in 1788, the centralisation of the Treasury and the use of double entry bookeeping in that institution. The Révolution confirm this orientation and a modern public sector accounting system was progressively set up, completely dedicated to the service of the nascent nation. Double entry progressively spread in all the wheels of the State, under the instructions of Count Mollien and Marquis d'Audiffret from 1806 onwards. The influence of the former spread itself outside France, and the system was imitated in Naples (1806-1815), under the rule of the Napoleonic army. In Great Britain, after 1829 the movement towards a modern and democratic system of Public Accounts was initiated, beyond doubt under French ifluence.

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Paper provided by Laboratoire Orléanais de Gestion - université d'Orléans in its series Working Papers with number 2000-1.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:log:wpaper:2000-1
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