Mar 05, 2010 (LBO) – Accounting principals have been the same for almost 500 years, but the role of the accountant has evolved from a book keeper and today’s finance managers should play a more active role in steering the business, a senior accounting professional said. “Ever since Italian monk Pacioli came up with double entry, the principals of accounting have held good and they still do, they still have the checks and balances,” Aubrey Joachim, president of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) said.

“But we have been so engrossed and embedded in those aspects we have forgotten that we have a wider role.”

The farther of modern accounting Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan priest and mathematician, with Italian inventor and painter Leonardo da Vinci, laid the foundation for double-entry book keeping in the late 14th century.

Joachim, the first non-British and Irish national to become president of CIMA, said corporate collapses cannot happen overnight and came after long periods of poor performance.

He said finance professionals should not limit themselves to finance functions and should ideally have hands on experience of the business to make the right decisions.

“They must be more proactive, more influential and therefore more st