Scotland is where Chartered Accountants originated. Edinburgh was long associated with the profession of law, so we often find the designation of Writer applied to persons designated as an Accountant. Several members of the Society of Writers to the Signet, the leading Solicitor Society in Scotland, practiced as accountants. Moreover, until rather recent times, much accountant work was done in the offices of solicitors. To some extent in Edinburgh, but to a greater extent in Glasgow, the early designation of accountant was confounded with that of merchant.
In July 1854 The Institute of Accountants in Glasgow petitioned Queen Victoria for a Royal Charter. The Petition, signed by 49 Glasgow accountants, set forth: That the profession of an Accountant has long existed in Scotland as a distinct profession of great respectability; that originally the number of those practicing it was few but that, for many years back, the number has been rapidly increasing. The Edinburgh Society of accountants adopted the name "Chartered Accountant" for members. In 1880 the English Institute also adopted this designation
Today, accounting is called "the language of business” because it is the vehicle for reporting financial information about a business entity to many different groups of people. Accounting that concentrates on reporting to people inside the business entity is called management accounting and is used to provide information to employees, managers, owner and auditors. Management accounting is concerned primarily with providing a basis for making management or operating decisions. Accounting that provides information to people outside the business entity is called financial accounting and provides information to present and potential shareholders, creditors such as banks or vendors, financial, economists, and government agencies. Because these users have different needs, the presentation of financial accounts is very structured and subject to many more rules than management accounting. The body of rules that governs financial accounting in a given jurisdiction is called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP. Other rules include International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, or US GAAP.
Modern society would be hopeless without accounting. No large enterprise could survive without it. Just knowing where you stand financially is critical.