The History of Expense Reports: A Look at How Expenses Have Evolved Throughout Time

Humans have been tracking expenses since the Stone Age, when we began using tokens to keep track of trade and wealth. The abacus, coin-based currency, and cash registers all reshaped how individuals and businesses managed profits and expenses. It wasn’t until the late 20th century, thanks to a technology boom, that we were able to automate our accounting processes – and with it how we track expenses.


Curious about how people tracked expenses before faxes, computers, and smartphones? Check out the timeline our ExpenseIt team created to show how expense management has evolved over time.