BY VIRGIL F. BLANK PRINCIPAL, SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE
Presented before the National Association of Cost Accountants, San Diego Chapter — September, 1955
In future years, the present period may be known as the era of mechanized accounting. The business world now has an array of machines
to aid in clerical tasks from which to choose a combination to solve almost any data-processing problem. From the simple adding machine to the complex electronic computers, there are offered today a group of machines so versatile as to give hope that monotony in office work is soon to pass. Here is an interesting quotation: "The elimination
of human drudgery will be accomplished only by the introduction of automatic tools." Was this spoken by a great modern industrialist? No, it was said by Aristotle over 100 years before the birth of Christ. Today, it could apply to office machines as well as it did then to the potter's wheel.
What is "mechanized accounting?" Broadly, it is any means, other than strictly manual, by which record-keeping systems are maintained. Machine systems unquestionably possess many superiorities over manual
systems, such as in their ability to:
Enforce an accurate record of transactions. Perform various operations simultaneously, such as adding, subtracting, computing balances, and accumulating control totals.
Post transactions on two or more related records at the same time.
Provide mechanical proof of correctness as a by-product of
processing operations. Eliminate operations.
Record a large number of routine transactions faster, more accurately, more legibly, and more economically. These are only a few of the characteristics which have resulted in the general acceptance of machines in the office today.
REASONS FOR MECHANIZATION Why do we mechanize? Dr. Howard Aiken of Harvard University