Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Comptabilité et profit : comment saisir les pratiques comptables de l'époque Moderne

Pierre Gervais 1 
1 CRAN - Centre de Recherche sur l'Amérique du Nord
CREW - CREW - Center for Research on the English-speaking World - EA 4399
Abstract : The accounting methods used in the Early Modern period are hotly debated, particularly from the point of view of a possible «capitalist spirit» (the so-called «Sombart-Weber thesis», linking accounting and the development of capitalism). Because of the diversity of these methods, from day books to single-entry and double-entry book-keeping as well as charge and discharge, and the even wider range of practices, each source needs to be critically examined. Double-entry bookkeeping in particular, a method linked to the merchant world since manufacturers and large landholders tended to rely on charge and discharge, was actually used in ways specific to the period, in spite of the apparent modernity of the vocabulary. It did not focus on balance sheets, cost accounting, profit calculations or returns on investment, but was rather a tool allowing its users to manage the highly complex credit flows which structured merchant activity, thus allowing for the proper circulation of information, and underpinning the cartels and networks which controlled market segments and generated merchant profit.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Pierre Gervais Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, February 6, 2022 - 10:21:20 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 18, 2022 - 3:22:10 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, May 7, 2022 - 6:14:06 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


  • HAL Id : halshs-03559483, version 1



Pierre Gervais. Comptabilité et profit : comment saisir les pratiques comptables de l'époque Moderne. Comptabilité(S) : Revue d'histoire des comptabilités, Institut de recherches historiques du septentrion UMR 8529, 2021. ⟨halshs-03559483⟩



Record views


Files downloads