- Luca Pacioli – the ‘Father of Accounting’
Luca was the first person to publish detailed material on the double-entry system of accounting. He was an Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar who also collaborated with his friend Leonardo da Vinci (who also took maths lessons from Pacioli).
It is said that Luca Pacioli published works for the double entry accounting system based on procedures in use by Venetian merchants during the Italian Renaissance. Most of the accounting principles and cycles described by Luca are still in use to this very day. His documentation includes journals, ledgers, year-end closing dates, trial balances, cost accounting, accounting ethics, Rule 72 (developed 100 years earlier than Napier and Briggs), and extensive work on the double entry accounting system.
- J. P. Morgan.
This famous financier and banker began his early career as an accountant on Wall Street. But after his father died and left him the family business, J.P. Morgan went on to become a banking and corporate pioneer. He began buying distressed businesses, in particular railroads, and merging them.
- Josiah Wedgwood – the first cost accountant.
Though better known for his pottery and ceramics business, Josiah Wedgwood is also considered the first cost accountant.
During a slump in business in 1772, Josiah began to make a concentrated effort to establish the profit or loss realised each time a particular product was sold from his factory. He recognised the sense in recording not just the cost of materials and labour but calculations for coal, storage and transport.