Double Entry Accounting

Luca Pacioli

Somehow in discussion with fellow “Poem a Month”-er, Tracey Korsten, the idea of a poem about double-entry accounting came up. So we committed to delivering one during April.

The system of double-entry accounting will forever be labelled as boring, due to Monty Python. But it is an incredibly elegant system. It was invented by Luca Pacioli (above), who is also credited (no pun intended) with teaching mathematics to Leonardo da Vinci.


Profit and Loss

His life was a balanced ledger

everything was accounted for


Every minute spent with friends

was tallied as a debit or credit


Everyone’s name was listed

as an asset or a liability


For every debit he made sure

he could take credit from someone else


Equity was less important

than maximising profit


He made sure he was last in, first out

never first in, first out


He believed in a return of capital

punishment for bad debtors


On the quiet he consumed

his stock of liquid assets


but covered his audit trails

and purged his journals each morning





© Mike Hopkins 2014



4 thoughts on “Double Entry Accounting

  1. *claps hands excitedly* Excellent job sir! You’ve set the bar high for me to work on mine…
    and reminded me I still have bookeeping to do
    How can I quiet the innervoice?

  2. Oh, well done! When I saw the prompt, my mind went blank. No actually, that’s not true – apart from thinking ‘How could you possibly write a poem about that?!’ I thought ‘In what universe do people, poets, come up with the idea to write a poem about double-entry accounting, *AND* think that’s a reasonable thing to do?’

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