Since accounting develops to meet the needs of its environment, the same systems may not be used in all parts of the country at the same time. A system of barter and credit bookkeeping was common in the U. S. during the 1700's, but began to diminish from the civilized parts of the country during the early 1800's. However, the barter-credit system continued to be used in some rural areas well into the 20th century. These 20th century barter-credit records were not antiquated. The needs of management were little different than those of other storekeepers of a century and a half earlier. Thus, the same accounting methods were sufficient to meet these needs.

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