Benedetto Cotruglio and his first in modern history work on the theory of accounting
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Looking at the beginnings of accounting from the 21st century perspective one can hardly fail to see two prominent figures inextricably linked with the history of modern accounting: one figure is commonly known Luca Pacioli and the other one is little known to date Benedetto Cotruglio. Whereas Luca Pacio-li’s work has enjoyed undisputed status in the history of accounting and has become a legend, the works of B. Cotruglio have for ages been overshadowed and even cast into oblivion. It is only in the late 1990s, following the discovery and studies of previously unknown manuscripts, that Croatian academics took efforts aimed at recognition and promotion of Benedetto Cotruglio’s achievements. The history of ac-counting as a research area has been underestimated even though it has a long and rich history. The objective of this paper is to look at Benedetto Cotruglio from the perspective of his lifetime achievements and resulting knowledge and experience related to accounting against the background of his era. In addi-tion, the paper takes a close look at chapter XIII On Orderly Keeping the Business Records in Com-merce of his little known work The Book on the Art of Trade written in 1457. The double entry is a phenomenal accounting method first described in this book.
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