The Lisbon School of Commerce, established in 1759, was important in the diffusion of knowledge about accounting in Portugal and the Portuguese Empire. Although scholarly literature has canvassed the reasons for the school’s creation, and has profiled its first two teachers, little is known about the manuscripts that were dictated in classes, or the early textbooks used. This paper fills this void by exploring three manuscripts used in the Lisbon School of Commerce that are indexed at the National Library of Portugal and the University of Coimbra Library. Two important insights emerge. We show how Souza and Sales used the technical and the rhetorical dimension of accounting to diffuse new accounting practices; and we reveal why manuscripts were dictated and why they were used in the classroom. In doing so, we explore how double entry bookkeeping (DEB) was taught and we highlight how Souza and Sales helped to diffuse DEB knowledge in Portugal.
- double entry bookkeeping
- Lisbon School of Commerce