Who was Luca Pacioli?

September 15, 2021 10:52 am


Have you ever heard of the name Luca Pacioli? The chances are, unless you work in accounting or have a keen interest in the history of mathematics, you probably haven’t.

Image credit

Luca Pacioli has been credited as being the founder of bookkeeping. Modern day accountants and Swindon Bookkeepers still use some of the methods that Luca first created, although they are a lot more sophisticated and are often used in the coding of accounting software. It is a key component in bookkeepers’ studies and in their day to day work activities.

Pacioli was born around 1446 in Italy where he learnt the trade of being a merchant and how commerce worked across the country. He always had a keen interest in maths and it was this love for the subject that led him to become a tutor of mathematics. He also wrote a textbook on the subject to help his students, one of which was Leonardo Da Vinci.

Image credit

In 1494 Pacioli published a book called ‘Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita’. The book described some of the fundamentals of maths and introduced the concept of algebra as well as describing for the first time the concept of double entry bookkeeping. He discussed the use of journals and ledgers to account for assets, liabilities, expenses and income. It is the same double entry system that is studied by bookkeepers and accountants today.