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Spherical Accounting: Using geometry to embody developmental integrity


Spherical Accounting
Case for multi-dimensional accounting
Multiple-entry bookkeeping
"Bottom lines"
"Three sets of books": shadow of the "bottom line" approach?
Conditioning metaphors
Spreadsheet to torus
Imaginative reframing
Synergetics and tensegrity
"Sustainability" through "golden mean accounting"?
Towards a "semantic dome"
Strategic dilemmas
Construction of "semantic shelters" or "memetic vehicles"?

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It is universally accepted that the most basic form of accounting lies in the single answer to the question "what does it cost?" A more elaborate approach, leading to that figure, is to itemize in a list the costs which total to that single budget figure. The great historical innovation in ensuring control over financial accounts was the shift to double entry bookkeeping, subsequently taking the form of the spreadsheets that are basic to the project and program management of any modern institution. Spreadsheets facilities have of course been embodied into spreadsheet software.

The following text is concerned with how the third dimension is reflected in an actual geometrical representation of accounting -- moving beyond one-dimensional "budgets", and two-dimensional budget lines and spreadsheets. It is correct that standard spreadsheets offer 3-D graphics in addition to 2-D displays -- as a means of obtaining an overview of sets of datapoints. The focus here however is on the potential significance of the actual geometry in integrating disparate (or potentially incommensurable) preoccupations of an organization in such a manner as to heighten the coherence and integrity of the operation.

The only resources relating tangentially to this possibility seem to be materials referenced by Robert Grace (The Over-all Picture, 2000). The exercise here is intended to be suggestive of possibilities -- as a stimulus to imagination and creativity -- rather than implying closure on a well-defined new method.

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