In defense of Pacioli

Alan Sangster, Greg N. Stoner, Patricia McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper responds to Basil Yamey’s paper in the December 2010 issue of this journal. In that paper, Professor Yamey contradicts some of the points made in our 2008 paper, also in this journal, in which we conclude that Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita (1494) was written primarily for merchants and their sons. He does so by attempting to explain why Pacioli’s exposition of double-entry bookkeeping, De Computis et Scripturis, was neither an effective reference text for merchants nor a satisfactory school text for their sons. We are unconvinced by Professor Yamey’s argument and counter it in this paper by demonstrating that, if anything, Pacoli’s bookkeeping treatise was even more fit-for-purpose than we previously indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting Historians Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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