Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It is important to understand a bit of the history of the accounting profession here. Prior to the launch of Visicalc in the summer of '79 for the Apple II accounting was a really grinding profession requiring people with excellent numeric skills and a willingness to devote their lives to endless basic mathematics calculations. A business spread sheet was a thing of beauty, but any change might take a day to propagate through all of the rows and columns. Just doing the calculations to keep double entry books for companies up to date fully occupied most accountants' work days. This is also why economists only took, at most, intro accounting and held it in low esteem, failing to appreciate the power of double entry bookkeeping and stock and flow analysis for the most part as a consequence.

VisiCalc changed all of that. Now changes in an electronic spreadsheet propagated themselves through the spreadsheet automatically. Accountants found that they now could offer their employers and clients what if analysis and a whole range of higher order tasks. This pre-VisiCalc world of accountancy was the world in which Schäuble submitted his dissertation in 1971. Rules, rules, rules. Interestingly, rules did not keep him from accepting the cash donation over DM 100,000 contributed by the arms dealer and lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber back in 1994, which led to him stepping down as head of the CDU and has dogged him since. So I guess he has some flexibility about rules.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 02:08:12 PM EST
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I remember some of the brighter accountants messing about with Visicalc in the early 1980's and wondering what it was all about.  My enlightenment didn't come about until Lotus 123 and later Excel 4.

BTW - how do you know that a football team is made up of accountants?

It's the one with 11 goalkeepers....

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 28th, 2015 at 04:49:48 PM EST
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