The bulk of the documents relate to the running of a large, private estate Each administrator on each sub-division of the estate drew up his own little accounts, for the day-to-day running of the estate, payment of the workforce, production of crops, the sale of produce, the use of animals, and general expenditure on the staff.
This information was then summarized as pieces of papyrus scroll into one big yearly account for each particular sub-division of the estate.
Records of cash, commodities, and transactions were kept scrupulously by military personnel of the Roman army.
An account of small cash sums received over a few days at the fort of Vindolanda circa AD 110 shows that the fort could compute revenues in cash on a daily basis, perhaps from sales of surplus supplies or goods manufactured in the camp, items dispensed to slaves such as cervesa (beer) and clavi caligares (nails for boots), as well as commodities bought by individual soldiers.
It included a 27-page treatise on bookkeeping, "Particularis de Computis et Scripturis" (Latin: "Details of Calculation and Recording").
Pacioli wrote primarily for, and sold mainly to, merchants who used the book as a reference text, as a source of pleasure from the mathematical puzzles it contained, and to aid the education of their sons.
The inscription was an account to the Roman people of the Emperor Augustus' stewardship, and listed and quantified his public expenditure, including distributions to the people, grants of land or money to army veterans, subsidies to the aerarium (treasury), building of temples, religious offerings, and expenditures on theatrical shows and gladiatorial games, covering a period of about forty years.
The scope of the accounting information at the emperor's disposal suggests that its purpose encompassed planning and decision-making.
Between the 4th millennium BC and the 3rd millennium BC, the ruling leaders and priests in ancient Iran had people oversee financial matters.
In Godin Tepe (گدین تپه) and Tepe Yahya (تپه يحيی), cylindrical tokens that were used for bookkeeping on clay scripts were found in buildings that had large rooms for storage of crops.