What are the purposes of accounting? How do these purposes affect how accounting works? What is double-entry bookkeeping? ‘The international evolution of accounting’ considers these questions and outlines some examples of how different countries have contributed to the development of accounting. Double-entry bookkeeping, conceived in thirteenth-century Italy, balances the debits and credits. It enables the calculation of profit and the presentation of a business's financial position. Publication of accounting information is required to protect shareholders and creditors from potential malpractice by company directors. The globalization of world business has resulted in International Financial Reporting Standards, now used by around 90 countries. The US use their Financial Accounting Standards Board's ‘generally accepted accounting principles’.