Early Traces of Materiality and Relevance Principles in Luca Pacioli’s Tractatus XI

  •  Christian Rainero    
  •  Giuseppe Modarelli    
  •  Alessandro Migliavacca    
  •  Riccardo Coda    


This paper aims to investigate the materiality and relevance principles, as observed from a historical perspective, specifically as shown in the Tractatus XI of Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalità, printed in Venezia in AD 1494 by Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli, a real cornerstone for bookkeeping literature. Materiality and relevance principles are today fundamental to manage information and are discriminating for information acceptance. This research questions about how these principles are present in the Pacioli’ treatise. Seven fragments from the Tractatus, within which traces of relevance and materiality can be found, are extracted and analyzed under the IASB theoretical framework and their historical background.

This paper contributes to the literature by investigating the principles through a historical approach, that is selected to explore the topic and to argue about the possible causes for which it is possible to find early traces of relevance and materiality in Pacioli's work. Moreover, this research is a contribution to keep the debate open on the need for the participation of the academic world and practitioner, in the standard-setting process, that is currently lacking.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.