In the estimation of Napier (2009: 31; see also Bryer 2000a: 131) there are studies of the ‘history of accounting’ and there is ‘socio-historical accounting research’. The latter focuses on how accounting impacts on particular individuals, organizations and society in general. ‘History of accounting’ investigations, in contrast, are concerned with the study of accounting as a set of procedures or practices, though ‘likely to go beyond simple description in order to develop understandings’ (Napier 2009: 31). This is one such study of the history of accounting which aims to provide an understanding as well as a knowledge of accounting’s past.