Description of impact

Cummings, L. S., and St Leon, M. V., [2009], “Juggling the Books: The Use of Accounting Information in Circus in Australia”, Accounting History, Vol. 14(1-2), pp.11-33.

Is one of the very few articles to examine accounting and its use in the entertainment industry. A paucity of literature exists on circus in general, and even less from an historical context. This paper outlines the role of accounting information in circus in Australia in the approximate period 1847-1963. Despite elementary levels of education, many circus people exhibited an intuitive grasp of fundamental accounting principles, albeit in a rudimentary form. The article is in the top 25 downloads for the Accounting History journal, and it was reviewed in the UK newspaper ‘The Guardian’ on May 12, 2009 under the heading ‘Great Adventures in Accounting’. The article, along with a portrait of Cummings, was also profiled in the May-June (Vol 15, No. 3) 2009 special ‘accounting’ issue of ‘Annals of Improbable Research’, under ‘Great Circus Adventures in Accounting’ (p.12). AIR is a bi-monthly magazine based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, devoted to scientific humour, in the form of a satirical take on the standard academic journal. Although a science parody magazine, it is widely popular, highlighting achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.
Category of impactCultural impacts