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Defining “Accountant” and “Bookkeeper” in the Past

Before the late 1800s, the terms “bookkeeper” and “accountant” were interchangeable because the jobs, at the time, were pretty much the same. Even today, many people still use the terms interchangeably. In the past, business began to boom with the industrial revolution and this is when accounting and bookkeeping became really important. Before, an accountant was only meant to recording financial data, but now the accountant’s job includes the preparation, classification, and analysis of financial statements. This is really where the two professions of “accountants” and “bookkeepers” diverged. John L. Carey summed it up pretty well when he stated: “the nineteenth century saw bookkeeping expanded into accounting.”

If you want to learn more about the history of accounting, use the link!

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