Accounting, Mechanization of

Accounting, Mechanization of


the use of computer equipment in bookkeeping and statistical and everyday accounting to perform the technical operations involved in keeping records of labor and wages, output, and incomes and expenditures, and in drawing up accounting and subsidiary accounting summaries. The technical operations are usually large-scale and because of their labor-intensiveness take up to 70–75 percent of all accounting time. The mechanization of accounting significantly raises the labor productivity of accounting personnel and speeds up data processing and improves its accuracy.

The mechanization of accounting began in the late 19th century with the development of mechanized calculating equipment, with the appearance of punchcard machines, tabulators, and calculators. The use of very simple calculating and problem-solving machines resulted in increased labor productivity—2–3 times in adding, 5–6 times in multiplication and division, and 15–20 times in the grouping of accounting data. This made it possible to process economic data at a much faster rate and ultimately led to improvements in production control.

In the USSR, the mechanization of accounting was begun in the 1930’s with the founding of a national computer industry. Since 1949, the mechanization of accounting has developed in the direction of full mechanization of all jobs involving different aspects of accounting and reporting. To achieve this, enterprises and establishments set up computing bureaus, card centers, or computer centers, depending on the volume of accounting work. Full mechanization of accounting involves the replacement of manual labor by mechanized labor not only in the most labor-intensive accounting operations but in all other sectors, from primary processing of documents to the compilation of the book-keeping balance and of summary statistical reports.

The most complex problem in the mechanization of accounting is the preparation of raw data. This problem is resolved when accounting is fully automated and the primary documents that can be immediately understood by accountants are simultaneously computer data carriers. Full automation of accounting operations is the highest stage in the mechanization of accounting; it is achieved in automated control systems.


Isakov, V. I., and M. A. Korolev. Osnovy proektirovaniia mekhanizatsii uchetno-planovykh rabot. Moscow, 1965.
Fel’dman, L. S., and G. S. Zastenker. Organizatsiia i ekspluatatsiia mashino-schetnykh stantsii i biuro, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1972.


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