The agricultural revolution has been portrayed as the time when landowners began to display a capitalist mentality. This paper seeks to add to our knowledge of the use of accounting for managerial purposes during this period by exploring the content of treatises advocating different ways of accounting on landed estates. Two research questions are addressed. The first is the degree of inter-relationship between accounting methods – charge-and-discharge accounting (CDA) and double-entry bookkeeping – that have been presented in the literature as distinct in terms of their objectives and operation. The second objective is to assess the extent to which CDA could be used by management and landowners for performance assessment purposes and, following on from that, to reflect on whether the demise of CDA was an inevitable consequence of demands for more useful management information.

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