American works on accounting and bookkeeping have almost without exception been mere practical manuals, not scientific or theoretical treatises. The conventional explanation of the theory of accounting is to treat each account as though it represented an actual relationship of debtor and creditor, carrying out the principle by a forced and unnatural personification. This is abandoned in favor of two groups: Specific Accounts and Proprietorship Accounts. The monographs on the cash account and the merchandise account are also so valuable that one cannot but regret that the author altered his original plan of treating in detail all the principal forms of accounts. Again the distinction between the two sides of the balance sheet that the credit side gives the distribution not of actual assets but of the value is unsatisfactory, for in any case every account, on either side, deals only with its value.