Plus&Minus owes Luca Pacioli’s double-entry
bookkeeping for its existence.
Tim Mattingly and Tom Friedman, the developers of Plus & Minus, started their accounting careers on a crane company audit in 1973. The company had two domestic subsidiaries and a foreign subsidiary. The books were kept by hand, written in ink, by a German controller and one assistant. It was a work of art. There were journals recording the original source documents, general ledgers with journal postings, and subsidiary ledgers for receivables, payables, and fixed assets. They created working trial balances, which were the foundation for the final consolidated financial statements. The crane company books were a real-world application of Luca Pacioli’s double-entry bookkeeping treatise published in 1494.