The article describes the evolution of the accounting knowledge from the simple registration technique to economic and social institution, in medieval Italy. It is shown that the institutionalization of accounting was completed to the XIV century, when it became a system of codified technical standards, scholar discipline and professional field. Examined the interrelations of this process with a business environment, political, social, economic and cultural factors of Italy by the XII-XVI centuries.
In the article the most significant milestones in the development of accounting thought in Italy are considered in terms of the formation of the modern concept of management accounting (MA). The core content of the Italian accounting school authors since the early Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century is compared with modern interpretations of the subject area and methodology of MA. In the theories and attitudes of theorists and practitioners highlighted the key elements relevant to MA objectives, functions, approaches. It is shown that the holistic nature of Italian theories leads to the interpretation of accounting as the general managerial science.