The article focuses on the understudied role of accounting information in financial fraud in pre-modern historical contexts where specific regulations and standards were absent. Following a systematic literature review, the authors adopt an enriched version of the ‘fraud triangle’ to correctly identify fraud in such a setting. A microhistorical approach allows them to identify an exceptional case documenting the use of accounting statements to disclose a financial fraud in a ceramic manufacturing partnership in late eighteenth-century Venice. The case is analysed to identify the role of accounting information in determining the purpose (incentive), the technical possibility (opportunity) and the consequences (rationalisation) of the fraud. The results emphasise the authorities’ use of accounting statements to assess the situation of the company and fix its crisis, rather than to sanction fraudulent behaviours.

Accounting fraud before codification: An inquiry on budget misstatements in eighteenth-century Venice

Agostini, Marisa;Cella, Riccardo;Favero, Giovanni
2021-01-01

Abstract

The article focuses on the understudied role of accounting information in financial fraud in pre-modern historical contexts where specific regulations and standards were absent. Following a systematic literature review, the authors adopt an enriched version of the ‘fraud triangle’ to correctly identify fraud in such a setting. A microhistorical approach allows them to identify an exceptional case documenting the use of accounting statements to disclose a financial fraud in a ceramic manufacturing partnership in late eighteenth-century Venice. The case is analysed to identify the role of accounting information in determining the purpose (incentive), the technical possibility (opportunity) and the consequences (rationalisation) of the fraud. The results emphasise the authorities’ use of accounting statements to assess the situation of the company and fix its crisis, rather than to sanction fraudulent behaviours.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3741920
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