Summary: Records for keeping track of goods or services rendered have been in existence for nearly 5,000 years. Here are 12 examples that hint at the culture and technology of their times.
Worldwide, businesses send a half a trillion invoices each year in the name of getting paid. But did you know that invoicing has roots dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization? Thousands of years ago, in an area corresponding to today’s Iraq, merchants carved IOUs on clay tablets using some of the earliest recorded forms of math to keep track of business. Talk about AP doing the heavy lifting.
Today, we don’t exchange stone tablets, but rather paper, emails, PDFs, and other types of data.
Take a tour through the photo gallery below to see the history of invoices unfold.