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Expense Reports Through the Ages: A Timeline From the Stone Age to Today

Posted by / May 23, 2014

We have only been using technology to automate our accounting processes since the late 20th century, but long before that individuals and businesses had other ways of keeping track.

During the stone age, when humans first began exchanging tokens (stones) for goods, they kept track of their expenses simply (but tediously) by counting the stones. In Egyptian times, a great new counting tool called the abacus made this task much easier and many countries had their own versions of this calculator. In medieval times, coins of various values began to be produced.

In 1883 the first cash register was patented and businesses began to have a better record of expenses and profits. In 1955, the first fax was sent across the continent. In the 1970’s the first accounting software was released, making expense management much faster with less room for human error. Overtime the computers got smaller (currently smartphones are capable of handling all of these tasks). Only time will tell what the future of expense management will look like. Check out the timeline below by Expenseit from Concur to see the evolution of expense management over time.


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