chapter  10
12 Pages

Spirited accountants

The rise of the Distillers Company
WithWilliam J. Jackson, Audrey S. Paterson, Darren Jubb

Little has been written about the role of accounting in the development of the Scotch whisky industry to the ubiquitous presence it has today. This chapter shows how the oversight of the tax authorities contributed to the industry becoming a highly calculative environment. It also shows how accounting was used ruthlessly by the industry players, sometimes fraudulently, to gain advantage in a heated business environment. The tensions created by alternate accounting treatments then repeatedly prevented formation of an industry monopoly, until the head of DCL broke the deadlock and allowed the formation of the world’s largest alcoholic drinks company.