Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: Old-World Charm

Here is another attempt at “flash fiction“, writing a 99-word blog post in response to a prompt. The prompt this week is “old-world charm“:

In 1494, Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan friar, wrote one of the first published descriptions of double-entry bookkeeping. He described journals, ledgers, year-end closing entries, and proposed that a trial balance be used to prove a balanced ledger. He warned that a person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equalled the credits. His ledger had accounts for assets, liabilities, capital, income, and expenses — the account categories that are reported on an organization’s balance sheet and income statement, respectively. These terms are still used today. Who knew there was a certain old-world charm to what I teach.

 

24 thoughts on “Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction: Old-World Charm

  1. Being the father to many modern accounting practices, is there anything in accounting that bears his name? The Pacioli Priciniple or Pacioli’s Paradox or something?

  2. As far as I know, no there is not. Perhaps he knew that accounting would be the tormentor of many an accounting student, and he didn’t want his name associated with that!

  3. Thanks for the history lesson. I think I might have enjoyed you teaching me numbers.
    I think too that this could also work for accounting for ones deeds.
    And if one fell short in the balance for good, doubling down the next day should be a ‘prior’ity…

    -Prior, derived from the Latin for “earlier, first”, is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior. – Puns and humor are a big part of my life 😉

  4. You teach accounting? Interesting.

    I used to teach accounting a few years ago. It was an interesting experience, and I did it sort of as a way to give back and pay forward what I have learned.

    I still work as an accountant, and yes, I do know the dread of not having your debits not equal your credits. Good luck sleeping when you are off by a single decimal! Hahahaha

      1. Wow, 30 years! Amazing. I would have probably been under your class if I was enrolled in your university, then, Prof. 😀

      2. yes, it’s hard to imagine it’s been over 30 years. But it has been an enjoyable career – the students are the best, and I am sure you would have been as well!

  5. Great response to the prompt Jim.. fantastic.. and on another note.. the first of your archive posts that I have selected has just gone live and the other three will follow suit over the next three Tuesdays. thanks again for letting me share.. I am sure you will have feedback. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-wellness-wednesday-take-a-two-minute-walk-before-you-read-this-2015-by-jim-borden/

    1. thanks, Sally. The idea for the story based on the prompt just seemed to pop into my head out of nowhere. Thanks again for featuring some of my posts on your blog; you are quite generous.

      1. that’s the kind of thing that will drive you nuts! (but secretly, I think accountants get excited when things don’t balance the first time 🙂 ) (sorry for the delay, your comment was somehow in my spam folder!)

  6. Oh my, reminds me of my Accounting class ….. wasn’t really the best in that class. Wish I had you as my Professor…. I’m sure you would’ve been amazing! ❤️ P.S. In my world today, I love Accounting principles ….helps me navigate my life with loads of love, intentionality, and positivity! ☀️☀️☀️

  7. History serves to remind us that we are not the original original thinkers. The human capacity for problem-solving has long been with us. I had no idea, though, that accounting had old world charm! Great flash, Jim.

    1. thanks, Charli. Accounting does have a long history. Fun fact – Pacioli was one of da Vinci’s teachers, and later on the two of them lived together for several years.

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