Henry Rand Hatfield
About ten years ago, the late Hugli1 published in the Zeitschrift für Buchhaltung an essay about the origin of the natural theory of accounting, usually known as the theory of two series of accounts. In this article, he attributed the development of this new predomin-ant theory to two German authors, G. D. Augspurg of Bremen and George Kurzbauer of Vienna, whose works appeared almost simul-taneously in the early 50;s. These authors are "the pioneers of this natural theory and their merit cannot be appraised too highly." He says of Augspurg's work, which appeared in the year 1852, "Here for the first time the two account series of double-entry bookkeep-ing are sharply differentiated and contrasted" and that "this differ-entation of the two account series of double-entry bookkeeping in their juxtaposition was a great step." This view has up to now ap-parently not been refuted and is repeated by Professor Julius Ziegler in his "Contribution to the Explanation of the Two Account Series of Double-Entry Bookkeeping."
The purpose of this essay is to show that two American authors, Thomas Jones and B. F. Foster, whose separate works appeared between the years 1836 and 1852, preceded the above named Ger-man authors by ten to fifteen years. In order to show this, important passages cited by Hugli are compared with similar passages from the writings of the two American authors.2
The principle on which the new doctrine with which Augspurg is credited is based, is reported by that writer as follows:
"The system of double-entry bookkeeping consists chiefly in keeping side by side two sets of accounts, the one for the entire capital and the other for the individual parts of it, and in proving by their agreement, the mathe-matical corrections of the results achieved."
*Translated by Richard H. Homburger. Original text appears in Zeitschrift für Buchhaltung (Linz), No. 4, 1909, pp. 80-86. Certain translations from the original article which are simply translations into German of English quotes, have been omitted.