Account books of the Moscow Print Yard (1622-1700): the origins of cost accounting in Russia

Marina I. Sidorova, Dmitry V. Nazarov


This paper reports the results from the study of the account books (1622-1700) of the Moscow Print Yard, the largest Russian state manufactory in the 17th century. This case confirms the existence of sophisticated calculative techniques in pre-industrial societies and adds an argument in the debate about origins of the cost accounting. Management of the Russian state owned monopoly enterprise used the original cost technique not for efficiency reasons but only for pricing and control of material, labour and financial resources.

We also investigate the influence of the organizational changes at the Moscow Print Yard on the evolution of its bookkeeping practice for eighty years. The cause of calculative practice development was intuitive reaction of enterprise management to changing political and economic circumstances. The methods of product costing, pricing, expense recognition and production control are examined within the political, economic, and social context of Russia at the time. The 17th century was the epoch of the formation of the Russian state and the awareness of the state power as the driver for governing of a public life. The paper argues that the political attitudes of the state determined the organizational changes at the state manufactory and transformation of traditional bookkeeping practice to the new type of administrative activity – cost accounting.

Palabras clave

Cost accounting, 17th century, Moscow Print Yard, state enterprise, organizational changes

Texto completo:



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