Accountants are not universally popular, especially during a recession. To boost their image two Seattle professors, William Weiss and David Tinius, are promoting the cause of an Italian monk, Fra' Luca Pacioli, who, 500 years ago, wrote a slender volume containing a tract on double-entry book-keeping. The professors, who would like him acknowledged as the founding father of accountancy, have produced a short video with themselves as stars and are hoping to hold a fete at Luca's Tuscan birthplace on next year's anniversary of the publication. Yet no one seems to have pointed out that accountants already have a patron saint - Saint Matthew a tax-collector himself. He suffered the traditional contumely Jews afforded such people and now extends his patronage beyond accountants to tax collectors, customs officers, and security guards. It seems the professors should take another look at the books.
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