12 Uber-Cool Vintage Accounting & Business Documents

Think accounting records are boring? Written diligently, these 12 uber-cool accounting/business documents provides rich insights to the bookkeeper/accountant’s era.

From an elegantly drawn chicken to a receipt for buying 57 leeches, accounting records contains rich history found nowhere else. There could be fun doing accounting, conservatively speaking. 😉

Title-less book by Thomas Tye (1712-1783)

Thomas Tye's Account book starts in 1737

Thomas Tye (1712-1783) came to London from Derbyshire in 1738 to “seek his fortune”.He was in business, mostly in the City of London and he recorded all expenditure with great care. He also recorded tit bits of news and information. Some of this is fascinating.

His nephew’s wife blogs about this find here.

Donald Paterson’s Journal, January 1835

Donald Peterson 1821 24

Wonderful handwriting! This document appears to be business ledgers and accounts for a firm in London, England but there is nothing to identify the business or the owner. Within these ledgers are workbooks dating from 1821-24 on business, mathematics, etc. and the name Donald Paterson is doodled on these quite a bit.

Larger image here

Source: snap-happy1

Bookkeeper and Accountant Advertisement 1954

Advertisement for Accountant

From Popular Mechanics magazine, October 1954

Source: jackieinmi

George Watt Store Mann Street Gosford, 1885

George Watt Store Mann Street Gosford 1885

The only known surviving photograph from a series taken by Charles Bayliss in 1884/85. The series was commissioned by Boyd and King, for their Gosford Model Farms subdivision prospectus. Fortunately many photographs were reproduced in the prospectus in the form of lithographs, and these survive today. This is a close-up of a larger image. It is one of the earliest surviving images of life in Gosford NSW.

Gosford Coupons

Gosford coupons

Gosford Coupon

Gosford Coupons from a full, unredeemed booklet found in the former Martin family house at Matcham, NSW.

Source: gostalgia

Cash Cheque 1972

cheque 1972

This would be the 1972 equivalent of getting 20 from the ATM. The check was cashed at Studewood Grocery Store which is now part of the Fiesta chain.   Here’s where the bank was located. There is a Chase bank there now, but it’s not the same building.
Source: pmcd9

Unusual Invoice Selling ‘57 Choice Leeches’

1870 57 choice leeches

An unusual Victorian illustrated invoice from Fitch & Nottingham, 16 & 17 St. Peter Street, Hackney Road, London NE. ’57 Choice Leeches’ sold to Swindon businessman Mr John Green, May 12th 1870.

Source: Swindon Collection, Central Library : Scan of original invoice from their ephemera collection. Date: 12/5/1870. Repository: Swindon Collection, Central Library.

Canning & Co’s General Journal, 1928

Canning and Company itemised account Gosford 1928

Canning & Co. Receipt

Canning and Company receipt

Murphy’s Holiday Cottages Receipt, 1939

Murphy holiday cottages receipt 1939

Image a week’s stay at a hotel for just $5.10! See what inflation has done to us!

Source: gostalgia

Motimers Pte Ltd – Store Interior

Mortimers store

Motimers’ Receipt

Mortimers store docket

1918 Liberty Weekly Income Record and Income Tax Record

1918 Liberty Weekly Income Record and Income Tax Record 02

1918 Liberty Weekly Income Record and Income Tax Record ~ ‘The Proper Book of Records of Your Business’. The book’s titled page is dated 1918 & pages follow bookkeeping records from January 1918 through May 1923.

The handwriting is in blue, black & red fountain pen & is clear & neat with very few mark-outs. Some ink-ie splotches where the fountain pen blooped but, all in all, a very neat Bookkeeper of Record.

Source: Le Petit Poulailler

Vintage Ledger Paper

vintage ledger paper

A simple, high resolution artwork from autumnsensation. Free for download and use. See source.

Source: autumnsensation

Counting Chickens

Self-expression of a bored accountant? This artwork done with spray paint/ gouache on antique ledger page (about chickens)

Source: Amy Rice

National Accounting Quiz 2010

Ngee Ann LogoThe National Accounting Quiz (NAQ) 2010 is the biggest annual accounting quiz organised in Singapore since 2004! NAQ 2010 promises to be a fun-filled event. Students will be immersed in a series of accounting-related activities to revise their accounting concepts and to stimulate their passion for accounting.

The event will take place on 21 July 2010, from 1.00pm to 5.00pm, at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre. Click on the button below for more information!

National Accounting Quiz 20102

A Song About the Accounting Cycle

Accounting can be as fun as you make it to be. See how this girl make it happen!

[Clicking opens a new window]


Transactions occur everyday in a business
The accounting cycle has begun
Gather your source documents and file them away

Record transactions in the general journal
Put debits first and indent the credits
Don’t forget an explanation or you’ll get confused

Once a month post the journal entries to the ledger
Just forward the balance if the page gets filled
Start a new page; show everyone you’re skilled

Do a trial balance of the ledger
And if it doesn’t balance you have made a mistake
But don’t be worried if you’ve mastered the error tests

The fiscal period is now at its end
The worksheet shows the columns to be done
Trial balance, adjustments, income and balance sheet

Net income or net loss? That’s the question
The income statement can give the answer
Revenues minus expenses is all it takes

Insurance, late invoices and supplies
All require adjusting entries
Record them on the worksheet then journalize

The nominal accounts need to be closed out
Revenue, expenses, income and drawings
Are the four closing entries

The last step is the post-closing trial balance
But if the debits don’t equal credits
Then it’s a good thing you have mastered the error tests

And if you didn’t, well…I feel bad for you

Accountants In Love



I’m feeling lonely, I know you are too
‘Cause every time that we’re apart my love it accrues
And it’s so taxin’ when you’re not around
I can’t defer my feelings, girl, I get so down

I can’t stop thinkin’ ’bout you, girl I’ve tried
But my opinion of you is unqualified
I like the way you make your assets move
You make me want to crunch some numbers with you

Accountants in love (love)
Accountants in love (love)

Now I’m side steppin’ so I’ll get to the point
If my name was Touche you would be my Deloitte
And I think that you really should know
How bad I, want to check your internal controls

Accountants in love (love) X 3

Girl I hate to be cliche
But you’re the one that I’ve been dreaming of
I could sit here and itemize
All the reasons that I fell in love.

Accountants in love (love) X 3

Whose Line Is It Anyway? – The Accountant Song

Whose Line Is It Anyway? – Accountant Songs
DREW: Welcome back to “Whose Line is it Anyway?”, the show where everything
is made up and the points don’t matter. Uh, I don’t know how many points to
award because during the commercial I was taking off my pants. (Dances in
his seat. Colin gives him the thumbs-up.) That’s right. OK, now we go on to
a game called “Greatest Hits”. This is for Colin, Ryan, and Wayne, with the
help of Laura Hall on the keyboards. Laura Hall. We just found her outside
before the show. Can you believe it? Uh, Colin and Ryan are, uh, TV
voice-over people, and you’re gonna be talking about the latest compilation
album, and Wayne, you’re gonna sing snippets of the songs. What we need from
the audience is the, uh, a kind of profession you wouldn’t normally sing
songs about… Uh… Okay, I heard a lot of… I heard a lot of
“accounting”. Don’t know how you’re gonna do it, but good luck. Uh, the name
of your album is “Songs of Accounting”.
RYAN: Hi! Sorry to interrupt. We’ll be back to the 24-hour Drew Carey
Network in just a moment. But first we’ve got a special offer for you.
COLIN: You know, many people thing accountants are boring.
RYAN: Isn’t it?
COLIN: They are!
(Ryan realizes his mistake.)
COLIN: But out of great boredom comes great songs, and we’ve come up with a
twenty-five-thousand-hour CD filled with songs of accounting!
RYAN: That’s right, we have, Colin. Many different songs. Who for – could
forget that disco favorite, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E I-R-S”?
(Disco music plays. Wayne “spells” out the letters, a la “YMCA”.)
WAYNE: Get out! Get out!
Listen to me, here’s a fact you will believe!
You cheated on me, now I want your ass to leave!
That’s right, none of this is funny!
Just pack your bags, and give me all your money!
I said, D-I-V-O-R-C-E I-R-Ssss, yeah,
I said, D-I-V-O-R-C-E I-R-Ssss!
(Strikes Travolta pose, then blows on fingers like they’re smoking guns)
RYAN: For me, that brings back memories of big pants and shoes with fish in
the heels.
COLIN: Enough about yesterday! Every song a hit, every hit a smack! But you
know what? I even have a song on this album! Remember that?
RYAN: You do not!
COLIN: But we don’t have time to listen to it! What we do have time to
listen to is that great song from the swing era, “Your Love has Bankrupted
(swing music plays. Wayne starts snapping his fingers)
WAYNE: Because I would bet seven,
Hoping that your love would take me all the way to Heaven.
But I guess when you gamble you’ve got no luck.
Your love has left me bankrupt.
Oh, chap-ter eleven’s of the hot what I got it’s hot,
Chap-ter eleven’s of the hot what I got.
Oh, you got you, I got me, ain’t got nobody, see,
‘Cause chapter eleven’s what I am.
Because your love has left me bankrupt!
Why dontcha get out of here? Oh yeah!
DREW: (applauding) Man!
RYAN: Hey, Colin!
COLIN: Yes, Ryan?
RYAN: How much would you pay for a 2-CD set like this?
COLIN: Oh, I don’t know… 39 dollars?
RYAN: Uh… Unfortunately, it’s $69.95!
COLIN: But, I was talking 39 dollars in a foreign currency which doesn’t…
RYAN & COLIN: Add up to more than that!
RYAN: All because the hits keep on coming! Who could ever forget that early
Rock and Roll favorite, “Deduct This”?
(Rock N’ Roll piano music. Wayne imitates Little Richard, mimes playing a
WAYNE: Whoo!
Here’s something I know you see!
You better better save all your receipts!
Because you better save ’em,
Because you’ll do the best! Whoo!
Because if you don’t, you save your receipts,
An act they can’t deduct, you better believe me!
Because, IRS, deduct this! Whooo!
Deduct! You’re screwed! Don’t save ’em, now you’re sued!
Oh, yeah! Yeah, yeah, oh yeah! Whoo!
Baby, you better deduct this! Whooo-ooo!

Transcription credits: http://www.geocities.com/mstiescott/103.html

Oh don’t we all love accounting? That’s why we come to school!

"…We all love accounting – it’s the reason we come to school,
Dear old accounting, there’s nothing else quite as cool! "