Robert Haulotte & Ernest Stevelinck ORDER BELGE DES EXPERT COMPTABLES BREVETES
OF ACCOUNTING HISTORY ADDING THE PAGES IN THE JOURNAL*
Abstract: The evolution of the procedure of comparing the column total of addi-tions (footings) of the journal with the debit and credit totals of the same time period in the ledger is discussed as it reflects the contributions of E. T. Jones of England.
Martin Bataille, bookkeeper and professor of commercial arith-metic in his treatise on the new commercial and financial account-ing published in Brussels in 1834, wrote as follows:
Jones of Bristol the First, in a work full of impractical ideas, instructs us to balance the journal by debits and credits, a conspicuous rule from which Gaspard Domen-get of Lyon proceeded to take considerable advantage.
This statement is partly correct: If one examines the two illu-strations on pages XVI and XVII of the 13th edition of Jones' Eng-lish System of Book-keeping,1 one finds that the "Italian Journal" is not balanced while the "English Journal" shows this innovation.
Edward Thomas Jones was a controversial English accounting author who was widely read in the early 19th century. It is our per-sonal belief that modern accountancy is really indebted to him. In any case, the vast majority of authors who followed him copied from him either openly, using him as a model while correcting cer-tain minor points not properly substantiated by him, or ridiculing certain minor imperfections which he had allowed to remain in his earlier editions, or, more dishonestly, plagiarizing his work without giving credit and making the public believe that they had invented a system which they could never have discovered by themselves. The entire accounting literature of the 19th century bears the im-print of Jones' thinking. Since then, accountancy has definitely ceased to be called "book-keeping under the Italian method."
*(Translated by Richard Homburger from the Journal de la Comptabilite, Brus-sels, December, 1958)