Mechanisation, computerisation and information systems
This chapter examines the effects of technical innovations in record keeping on accounting and the nature of accounting work. There is no clear-cut periodisation of the changes in technologies but, for convenience, changes are dealt with in four overlapping eras. The first era covers the period of increasing mechanical-aided record keeping from the mid-nineteenth century until about 1930. The second period looks at the changes from the Second World War until the early 1970s arising from the early introduction of digital computing into the business sphere. The last three decades of the century, when computing became established as the prime mode of business record keeping and the personal computer (PC) revolution took place, represents the third era. This epoch blends into the final era when the combination of the Internet and highly integrated systems changes the nature of business operations as well as the record keeping of which accounting is a part.