Hands up if you can name a cool bookkeeping fact? Bookkeeping can be quite a tough profession at times, but if you’re looking for a little light entertainment, there are many truly interesting and exciting facts about both accounting and bookkeeping that can help keep you inspired.
Below is a collection of 7 cool facts that we’ve gathered to give you some really fun nuggets of information about the accounting and bookkeeping worlds that will make you want to share.
Before you go rolling your eyes thinking that you’ve heard them all before, you’ll want to keep reading; these 7 fun facts may just surprise you!
1. “Bookkeeping” is the only English word to contain three sets of double letters back-to-back-to-back
Aside from bookkeeping (and derivations of this word), can you think of any other words in the English language with three sets of double letters?
To put you out of your misery, the answer is: no, you can’t.
Bookkeeper is the only proper noun in the English dictionary that holds this unique property of having three sets of letters one after the other. If we allow for hyphens, “sweet-tooth” is another word that has three doubles back-to-back-to-back. Some place names also have many doubles in their names, for example, check out Woolloomooloo in Australia – now that’s a mouthful!
Looking to automate bookkeeping in your company?
- Extract data from receipts and invoices in seconds
- Use the instant 1-click export to QBO or CSV
- Store all expense-related files in one place
2. FBI Accountants were the ones to bring down Al Capone
If you don’t think accounting and bookkeeping can be thrilling, then you haven’t heard the story of Al Capone! Capone was a well known American mobster and crime boss, although it wasn’t because of his gangster antics that he was arrested; the crime boss was ultimately arrested and convicted for income tax evasion, brought down by FBI accountants in 1931. According to NASBA, some 2,000 accounting special agents are employed by the FBI.
3. A team of CPAs count ballots for the Oscars
Other than doing the accounts, not many would expect to find the talents of bookkeepers being used in the world of showbiz. Yet the Academy Awards Night, hosted yearly to award the biggest names in the American film industry, holds a cool secret: a team of CPAs is in charge of counting out the ballots. Oscar voting has been counted in this way since 1935 and the CPAs are the only ones who know the results before the winners are announced.
4. The words “debits” and “credits” come from the latin words “debitum” and “creditum”
When you’re doing your double-entry accounting, you can’t escape the words “debit” and “credit”. But do you know where this terminology originates?
These words are a nod to the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, often referred to the “Father of Accounting”. The word “debit” comes from “debitum” in Latin, meaning “what is due”. Likewise, “credit” comes from “creditum” meaning “something entrusted to another or a loan”.
5. Bubble-Gum inventor, Walter Diemer, was an accountant
Yes, that’s right – before he accidentally invented the super stretchy, pink chewing gum that we all know and love, Walter Diemer worked as the accountant for the Fleer Chewing Gum Company, where bubble gum was first made. Ever since inventing it in 1928, people from all over the world, of all ages, have enjoyed this accountant’s sweet and chewy creation.
6. The co-founder of Nike is an accountant
Before starting the iconic Nike Inc., Phil Knight was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and worked as an accountant in Portland, Oregon. While studying at Stanford, Knight founded the sports company as part of his MBA course, dedicating all his efforts to the new company after he graduated.
7. The first recorded name in history belonged to an accountant
Nestled within the popular non-fiction bestseller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, is an interesting fact: the first ever recorded name belonged to an accountant, and that name was ‘Kushim.’
Harari notes that as people started settling down into larger kingdoms, recording mathematical data became a necessity for these societies to function. Taxes, incomes, and possessions were all vital figures that needed to be recorded by bookkeepers, accountants and administrators.
The first written text in history, made some 5,000 years ago, is believed to belong to an accountant who was making records of supplies. It read something along these lines: “A total of 29,086 measures of barley were received over the course of 37 months. Signed, Kushim.”
Looking for more inspiration on accounting and bookkeeping? Take a look at these 6 daily habits that will help you develop your accountancy skills.