He may not be a man who is widely known or lauded but the contribution of the mathematician and Franciscan monk Luca Pacioli should never be underestimated. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find any exciting historical programs about him or even many statues in his honour but he has provided one of the building blocks for our modern world. Not bad, considering he was around in the 1400s living to the ripe old age of 70 which was pretty good in those days. It’s not too far a stretch to say that without Pacioli Bookkeepers Colchester, or anywhere else in that matter would not exist in the way they do today.
Pacioli was a mathematician and also a well-read and educated individual. He backed all of this up with a strong faith in God, hence he was a monk. He’s also known as the father of accounting being one of the first two set up modern accounting practices that we would know today. He is responsible for double entry bookkeeping. In other words, illustrating profit and loss. He quietly puts it into his rather grandly titled “Summa de arithmetica, geometria proportioni et proportionalita”. Sumina means dreams so perhaps it was from some divine inspiration.
You may well be thinking, ‘that probably wasn’t a very exciting dream’ but it did give rise to the debit and credit form of bookkeeping that we have today. This was truly revolutionary and made the whole art of accounting and bookkeeping a lot easier for people to understand.