Research shows that the need to keep account was the key driver in the invention of writing and numbers. The ‘Introduction’ explains the importance of accounting to civilization and identifies the different types of accounting — bookkeeping, financial accounting, auditing, and management accounting. The focus is on the central areas of accounting and not insolvency, tax, consultancy, and finance. The structure of accountancy bodies and firms is explained as well as the rules and standards that govern them. The reporting entity can range from a sole trader to a larger business with joint owners or partners who are liable for the debts of the business and the tax on the profits.