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The 'Hojas de Ganado' of the Monastery of Guadalupe, 1597–1784: an accounting instrument for fundamental economic decisions

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This paper examines the development of a new form of accounting system which was introduced at the Monastery of Guadalupe around 1597. Increasing financial pressure on those charged with the management of the economic activities of the Monastery necessitated the development of an accounting system which would enable decision making. The system that was introduced led to the production of documents known as 'Hojas de Ganado', or 'Livestock Sheets'. The nature of the information contained in these sheets suggests a move away from the traditional form of cash accounting, prevalent at the time, towards a more modern system of accounting which enabled the Monastery's management to make decisions, on the basis of profit figures, as to the best way to manage its lands and economic operations.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585200210134929

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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