The Father of Accounting
General Macarthur said that “old soldiers never die; they just fade away”. Similarly it is said that old accountants never die, they just lose their balance. Did you ever wonder why accountants seem to be so fixated on maintaining their balance? Did you know that accountants are fixated on maintaining their balance? Well, I am, and I will even admit to being somewhere between amused and annoyed when I see an advertisement for small business software that claims no double-entry bookkeeping is required. The truth is that double-entry bookkeeping is a concept that has stood the test of time and these software systems don’t eliminate the need for double entries, they just do one side for you.
When I say the test of time, I really mean it, evidence of double-entry bookkeeping goes back some 7,000 years to ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Babylon, Assyria and Sumeria. The development of accounting systems was closely related to developments in writing, counting and money, and was an important development which allowed for the expansion of commerce.
Skip ahead to the 15th century and the Italian Renaissance and we meet Luca Pacioli, the “Father of Accounting”. Brother Luca was a Franciscan Friar and mathematician. While working in Milan he taught mathematics to none other than the great Leonardo da Vinci. He is known as the “Father of Accounting”, not because he invented the idea of double-entry bookkeeping, but because in a text book published in 1494, he was the first to describe the double-entry system and the entire accounting cycle. Brother Luca warned that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equal the credits.
Brother Luca is not as famous as some of the other great minds in history, and certainly not so much as his one time student Leonardo, but he was one of the great figures of the renaissance. He also gave us a system of accounting that although it has been updated by technology still rests on his principles. He also taught us the importance of never losing your balance.
My name is Lew Bequette and I joined the Verity team in October of 2014. Although I am new to Verity, I have almost twenty-four years’ experience working in credit unions. I was born in Kirkland and have lived most of my life (so far) on the east side of Lake Washington, but I have also lived in the South Sound, the Olympic Peninsula and for 10 years in Prior Lake, Minnesota. I graduated from the University of Washington (GO DAWGS!!) with a degree in accounting and St. Martin’s University (GO SAINTS!!) with an MBA.
I always knew I would be a CPA, and I was even pretty sure I would work in a financial institution. So I decided I should do something different first and I joined the Navy right out of high school. I worked as radar technician and later taught electronics technicians how to troubleshoot and repair a certain piece of cryptographic equipment. I didn’t get to see the whole world, but I did see a good portion of Asia, and I got a lot of good stories to tell.
Now I’m living in Redmond and (along with my wonderful wife) raising a couple a couple of great kids. I like to take my dog for walks at Marymoor Park, take a few pictures and I’m a big sports fan. I love the Mariners and the Seahawks, but my favorite teams are my kids’ baseball and softball teams.