Any document which records a financial transaction can be described as an accounting record. Researchers will come across a wide variety of historical accounting records in archive offices. They range from vouchers acknowledging the payment of a few pence for labouring work, to large series of ledgers recording the turnover of major businesses.
Many older methods of accounting, such as the 'Charge and Discharge' method used by landed estates and government offices, are no longer in use. Some researchers may not be familiar with the principles of double-entry book-keeping, which became the standard accounting method during the course of the nineteenth century.
This unit attempts to demystify the ways used to record monetary transactions, from medieval compoti to twentieth-century balance sheets.
Throughout the unit, illustrative images are taken from the collections held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham.
This unit was written in September 2008.
Next page: Bills and Receipts
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