Through a historical approach, this study shows the role of book-keeping and, more generally, of accounting and accountability. In particular, we analyse the role of Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank in the earthquake of 1798. Our research highlights the role of recording data in describing the main events and activities of the Bank. In June 1798, the Florentine Grand Duke approved a specific fund, called ‘Cassa delle restaurazioni’ (Fund for restructuration) and Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank was designated for its management. The Tuscan government immediately supported the Fund through an initial deposit of 2.000 scudi. The local ecclesiastical heritage increased the fund with 3.000 scudi. The initial balance of 5.000 scudi was managed by the bank and they were immediately expended as funds to restore the ruined buildings. Therefore, based on a case study with archival sources, we analyse the administration of the whole fund. In doing so, we try to engage with the sub-research area of accounting for natural disasters. In this sense, our contribution is the exploration of a natural disaster at the end of the XVIII Century. We also contribute to increasing the historical research on the banking sector and the significant role of book-keeping, accounting, and accountability.
Keywords: Accounting for Natural Disasters, Bookkeeping, Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank, Earthquake, Archival sources, XVIII-XIX Centuries.