A desire to be self-sustaining and a dedication to communal property required the Shakers to place great importance on accounting. This importance was underscored by the fact that the spiritual covenants of the Shakers were revised to require accounting procedures and policies including an annual audit. The Shakers circulated manuscripts concerning bookkeeping, and recorded transactions and events in three types of journals: financial, “family,” and spiritual. The Shakers also prepared financial reports. Temporal transactions were a means of maintaining the “gospel order” which elevated accounting procedures to a means of creating and protecting consecrated property.

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