Performance measurement in Juliusz Au's theory of agricultural accounting in 19th century Poland
Before the Partitions, Poland, beside Russia, was the largest, territorially compact European state. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, which were carried out in 1772, 1793 and 1795, Polish territory was divided and annexed by the three partitioning powers: Russia, Germany and Prussia. In an attempt to resist aggressive Germanization by the invader, Poles employed, among others, the methods of “organic work” and “work at the grass roots” (a programme, launched by the Polish positivists, of economic and cultural development through spreading literacy and popularizing science among the masses). It was on Polish territories under Prussian occupation that the theoretical and practical foundations of farm accounting were developed (Bernacki 2007b, p. 116-117). The main objectives of this paper are: to place the work and theory of Juliusz Au within the social and political context of the Prussian partition; to present a theory of agricultural accounting developed by J. Au; to evaluate J. Au’s theory from present-day perspective. J. Au is the author of a comprehensive, universal theory of accounting encompassing its three cognitive levels (aspects): (1) general level, covering the concept, objectives and method of accounting; (2) procedural level, comprising principles of assets measurement, choice of accounting period and production cost calculation; (3) supporting level, comprising organization of accounting, rules for statistical data collection and audit procedures.