Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

Pastoral Accounting in Colonial Australia: A Case Study of Unregulated Accounting

Academic journal article The Accounting Historians Journal

Pastoral Accounting in Colonial Australia: A Case Study of Unregulated Accounting

Article excerpt

Garry Carnegie, Pastoral Accounting in Colonial Australia: A Case Study of Unregulated Accounting (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1997, 288 pp., $60)

The history of Australia is a mystery to the average reader. Most see the country's history as nothing more than a shipload of convicts being deposited at Botany Bay and left to fend for themselves. In this book, Carnegie has lifted some of that mystery away from the history of Australia and has placed the development of the country in its proper perspective. More important to this review, he has traced the role that accounting and accountants played in taking Australia from a colonial backwater to a modern country. Carnegie also has showed the importance of the development of accounting principles to the development of a modern economy.

The book, which came from the author's doctoral dissertation, contains a thorough literature review and a methodology chapter that outlines the archival sources and the way they were used in the study. A short historical background of the societal, political, and legal nature of colonial Australia provides the basis for the sound analysis of accounting development used by the author in later chapters of the book. Finally, the author gives short biographies of the people who owned the sheep stations and a review of the contents of each of the 23 manuscripts of business records used for the study. This gives the book a very personal touch and makes the people who compiled the manuscripts more than a century ago very real.

Using the information from the manuscripts, Carnegie tells the story of sheep ranching in the Western District of Victoria before the federation of Australia, a period from about 1834 to 1901. These manuscripts include both accounting data and personal accounts of the proprietors of the stations. The archival research helps to track the development of accounting usages and practices among the sheep stations and related businesses and their effect on the development of the accounting profession in Australia.

In later chapters, the author discusses the nature of colonial pastoral records. In brief summary, the accounting on the sheep stations primarily involved record keeping for wool production. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.