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HAILEY COLLEGE OF BANKING AND FINANCE, UNIVERSITY OF PUNJAB

Prepared By: Muhammad Usman Saeed


Roll Number: M11MBA (074)
Class: MBA (Banking & Finance) 1
st
Semester
Subject: Financial Accounting

Etymology of the word Accounting or Accountancy
Word Accounting is originated from where?
Accounting is thousands of years old; the earliest accounting records, which date back
more than 7,000 years, were found in Mesopotamia (Assyrians). The people of that time
relied on primitive accounting methods to record the growth of crops and herds. Accounting
evolved, improving over the years and advancing as business advanced.
Now the question is that from where the word Accounting is originated?

As the history of Accounting is very much old so there is no exact proof for origin of the
word accounting. But there are some value able references, which describes about the
etymology of the word Accounting.

There are different etymologies and history of origin of the word of Accounting. The word,
accounting and accountant both words had been taken from Middle English, French, Latin &
Proto-Indo-European languages.

Mostly references narrates that the English word Accounting comes from the Middle
English
i
word To Count which is used in Mathematics. Also it is described that
accounting is derived from Middle English word Account which means an oral or written
description of particular events or situations e.g. an account of the meetings; an account of
the trip. Some references also point out that Accounting is derived from Middle English
word Accounten
ii
.

Also some references narrate that the word Accounting comes from French language.
The word Accounting comes from Anglo-French or Old French
iii
word Acounte
iv
or it
is derived from the word Acompte which means a payment of part of a debt; usually paid
at regular intervals. A reference points out that Accounting comes from French word
Acont. Acont comes from the French word aconter or conter which means
narrate or give a detailed account of or liable to give an account.

There are also some references which describes that the word Accounting comes from
Latin language. The word Accounting comes from Latin Word Computare which means
compute and calculate. Or it is derived from Latin word Putare which means think or
suppose.

Accountancy is derived from "Accountant":
As per Wikipedia.org Accounting or Accountancy is derived from the word Accountant.
There is written that the English word accountant comes from the word accomptant.
Accomptant comes from the French word compter. The French word compter comes
from the Latin word computare. Even though the letter 'p' is in both of these words, a
person cannot hear it when speaking aloud.
The English spelling for the word accountant comes from the sound of the word accomptant.
Because the 'p' is silent, both of these words sound similar. The word accountancy comes
from the word accountant
v
.

Now a Days Accounting is written and spoken in French as Comptabilite, in Latin as
Ipsum or Donec, and in Arabic as Al Muhasba





HAILEY COLLEGE OF BANKING AND FINANCE, UNIVERSITY OF PUNJAB
Prepared By: Muhammad Usman Saeed
Roll Number: M11MBA (074)
Class: MBA (Banking & Finance) 1
st
Semester
Subject: Financial Accounting


End Notes & References:
i
Middle English Era:12
th
Century to 14
th
Century (12001400)
ii
The word Accounten is no more exist in English Vocabulary now.
iii
Anglo or Old French Era: round about mid of 9
th
to 11
th
Century.
iv
The word Acounte and Acont is no more exist in French vocabulary.
v
Pixley, Francis William: Accountancy - constructive and recording accountancy (Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd,
London, 1900), page 4. (simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountancy)

Websites:
http://www.myetymology.com/english/accounting.html
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountancy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accounting
http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/accountant
http://translate.google.com.pk/