F. M. W. Hird THE INSTITUTE OF COST & MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS LONDON, ENGLAND
A SPECULATION ON THE ORIGINS OF ACCOUNTING
Now is not the precisely tactful time to ask anthropologists as to the exact moment and place of man's emergence. The road to knowledge has been strewn with pitfalls in the form of practical jokes provided by man and nature. The Piltdown Man was an ob-stacle to progress for years and it was a little unkind that the first almost complete skeleton of Neanderthal Man was that of a poor fellow who suffered badly from arthritis. Lately, discoveries in Africa have added two million years to the previously conceived time scale.
But these are not of present concern; the chimera of the Missing Link is no longer pursued and it can be accepted that "homonids" were a separate development from the apes.
All that is necessary is to postulate individuals who stood and moved on two legs, had binocular vision and who could throw a stone on the run. This modest specification seems scarcely ade-quate and the American author J. B. Cabell gives a vivid descrip-tion of the plight of these creatures.
For it was unpleasantly apparent that man did not excell in physical strength, as set against the other creatures of a planet whereon may be encountered tigers and ele-phants. His senses were of low development, as compared with the senses of insects; and, indeed, senses possessed by some of these small contemporaries man presently found he did not share, nor very clearly understand. The luxury of wings, and even the common comfort of a caudal appendage, was denied him. He walked painfully, without hoofs, and, created naked as a shelled almond, with diffi-culty outlived a season of inclement weather. Physically, he displayed in not a solitary trait a product of nature's more ambitious labour. . . . He, thus, surpassed the rest of