Article 1, Volume 1 Issue 2:

The international transfer of technology: Examples from the development of accounting


Christopher Nobes – (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Received December 30, 2014; accepted February 11, 2015.


This paper examines the international transfer of accounting technology, using seven examples in chronological order. These include double-entry bookkeeping, the true and fair view requirement, and the second income statement. Some overarching features of these transfers are noted. Inventions respond to commercial need, particularly increasing complexity. They therefore spread slowly if complexity spreads slowly. Common culture and language can speed up transfers but are not the major drivers. Political and legal intervention spreads technology, but sometimes inappropriately.

Este documento examina la transferencia internacional de tecnología contable, utilizando siete ejemplos en orden cronológico. Estos incluyen la contabilidad de doble entrada, el requisito de visión verdadera y justa y el segundo estado de resultados. Se observan algunas características generales de estas transferencias. Las invenciones responden a la necesidad comercial, particularmente aumentando la complejidad. Por lo tanto, se propagan lentamente si la complejidad se extiende lentamente. La cultura y el lenguaje comunes pueden acelerar las transferencias, pero no son los principales impulsores. La intervención política y legal difunde la tecnología, pero a veces de manera inapropiada.


Nobes, C. W. (2015). The international transfer of technology: examples from the development of accounting. European Accounting and Management Review2(1).



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