10 Totally Random but Interesting Facts About Accounting

Accounting may not always be the most interesting topic for many people, but it does have its rewards – especially when it comes to interesting facts. Included are 10 interesting facts obtained from the NASBA blog “10 Totally Random but Interesting Facts About Accounting” written by Jenna Elkins, NASBA Communications and Digital Media Specialist in May of 2107.

1. The Ancient Accountants: Before a standard numbering system was developed, ancient accountants used clay tokens to keep track of animals and grain.

2. Luca Pacioli: Luca Pacioli wrote the first book on double entry accounting in 1494. He is referred to as the father of accounting. In this book, he warned that one “should not go to sleep at night until the debits equated the credits.:

3. First CPA Exam:  The state of New York gave its first Certified Public Accountant examination in 1896. 

4Christine Ross: Christine Ross was the first female CPA in the United States in 1899. Among Ross’ clients included wealthy women and person working in the business and fashion industries.

5. John Wesley Cromwell, Jr.:  The first African American CPA was John Wesley Cromwell, Jr. licensed in 1921. Cromwell went on to lead a very successful career after he became the controller of Howard University in 1930.

6. Walter Diemer:  Bubble Gum was invented in 1928 by accountant Walter Diemer.

7. Al Capone:  Chicago crime boss Al Capone was finally brought down in 1931 by FBI accountants. Capone was ultimately arrested and convicted for income tax evasion.

8. The Academy Awards: Accountants have controlled the ballots for the Academy Awards every year since 1935. A team of nine CPAs spend up to 1,700 hours prior to Oscar night counting the ballots cast in each category by hand.

9. Accounting Hall of Fame:  Located at Ohio State University, the Accounting Hall of Fame was founded in 1950 for honoring accountants who have made or are making significant contributions to the advancement of accounting.

10. FBI:The FBI employs more than 2,000 accounting special agents.