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Adoption and diffusion of double entry book-keeping in Mexico and Spain: A related but under-investigated development

Author

Listed:
  • Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo
  • Hernandez-Borreguero, Julian
  • Maixe-Altes, J. Carles
  • NuÑez-Torrado, Miriam

Abstract

There is a consensus within Mexican accounting historiography regarding widespread use of double entry bookkeeping by the end of the 19th Century in the realm of both private and public enterprise. However, there is conflicting and even contradictory claims as to when exactly this technique arrived to the viceroyalty of New Spain (present day Mexico) as well as its diffusion during the colonial era. In this article we address this conflict while putting forward the idea that the history of ‘modern’ accounting practice in Latin America should be framed by developments in its former colonial power. We offer the analysis of primary and secondary source material to support the view that there was continuity in the use of double entry in Spain and therefore, the so called ‘period of silence and apparent oblivion’ seems limited to the production of indigenous accounting thought (as expressed in the production of bibliographic material such as manuals and textbooks). We conclude that the history of Latin America accounting should be wary of extrapolating everyday practice by interpreting bibliographic material and proceed by examining surviving company documents as well as informal educational practices amongst organisations based in the metropolis and its then colonies.

Suggested Citation

  • Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Hernandez-Borreguero, Julian & Maixe-Altes, J. Carles & NuÑez-Torrado, Miriam, 2009. "Adoption and diffusion of double entry book-keeping in Mexico and Spain: A related but under-investigated development," MPRA Paper 14649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14649
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/14649/1/MPRA_paper_14649.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Miriam Nunez, 2002. "Organizational change and accounting: the gunpowder monopoly in New Spain, 1757-87," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 275-315.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Business and Accounting History of Religious Organizations
      by bbatiz in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-07-11 14:45:31

    More about this item

    Keywords

    double entry; diffusion of accounting systems; knowledge transfer; Mexico (New Spain); Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • N46 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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