Hans Johnson, Editor1 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
Axel Grandell, Redovisningens utvecklingshistoria fran bildskrit tii dator (The Development of Accounting from the Hieroglyphs to the Computer) (Abo, Finland, 1972, 121 pp.).
Reviewed by Sandor Aszely Gothenburg University, Sweden
Though we have comprehensive and scholarly studies in English and German of the history and development of accounting (Yamey, Penndorf and others), readers of The Accounting Historian might be interested in a study of the development in the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden and Finland. This development was, to be sure, strongly influenced from Northern Germany and the Netherlands but had also characteristics deserving more than local interest. As to the influences from abroad, we have to bear in mind that Lübeck and the Hansa had a solid grip on the commerce of the Baltic region from the 12th to the 16th centuries and that the influ-ence of the Low Countries became manifest after their indepen-dence from Spain and after they had established themselves as a worldwide naval and commercial power with considerable business interests in the Arctic regions and the Baltic Sea.
Grandell discusses in detail two of the simplest means of control and instruments of accounting of the old days, the scoring board and the tally. The scoring board was used as an aid to memory in the counting of physical units (loads, sacks, etc.) or as a control on work-performance. The oldest type was a board with 10x10=100 holes and a peg to put into the holes corresponding to the counted units. A later type had 10 holes in 3 columns for marking one, two and three digits respectively. The simple tally served the same pur-pose as the scoring board: as a memory-storage of the counts of stores or as a means of control of operations. It was just a stick upon which notches were cut for each operation carried out. An-
1Appointment appeared in Vol. 2, No. 3. p. 4, 1975.