Dr. Mattessich, Professor Emeritus (Accounting)

Richard (Ricco) Mattessich, Professor Emeritus (Accounting), Accounting and Information Systems Division at UBC Sauder passed away on Sunday, September 30, 2019. He recently celebrated his 97th birthday.

Over a career extending back to the early 1940s, Richard Mattessich authored over 25 books and more than 180 papers published in books, anthologies and journals (close to 100 of these published post 1988 retirement). He is best known for introducing the concept of electronic spreadsheets into the field of business accounting in 1961, as well as pioneering analytical and philosophical methods in accounting. He was a trained accounting historian, as well as a theoretician and philosopher of accounting. He regarded historical research as no less a search for truth than science. Among the many prestigious awards he received, was the 2019 Hourglass Award by the American Accounting Association’s Academy of Accounting Historians. The Hourglass Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a demonstrable and significant contribution to knowledge through research and publication in accounting history. It is the most significant research award offered by the Academy, and the second time Mattessich was chosen to receive the award, the first time being in 2003.

Ricco left an incredible impression on many of us here at UBC Sauder. He was a dedicated scholar who loved the School. Even after retirement, he could be found in the office every day working on his research. Ricco will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

In honor of Dr. Mattessich, David Lam Library has put up a display of some of his books including:

-Reality and accounting : ontological explorations in the economic and social sciences
-Two hundred years of accounting research : an international survey of personalities, ideas and publications (from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first century)
-The beginnings of accounting and accounting thought : accounting practice in the Middle East (8000 B.C. to 2000 B.C.) and accounting thought in India (300 B.C. and the Middle Ages)
-Historical survey of accounting valuation issues : emphasizing general and specific price-level adjustments, the present value approach, and the capital maintenance problem
-Critique of accounting : examination of the foundations and normative structure of an applied discipline
-Foundational research in accounting  : professional memoirs and beyond
-Instrumental reasoning and systems methodology : an epistemology of the applied and social sciences
-Contabilidad y métodos analíticos : medición y proyección del ingreso y la riqueza en la microeconomía y en la macroeconomía  (Accounting and analytical methods.{Spanish})

Other titles available at UBC Library include Accounting and analytical methods: measurement and projection of income and wealth in the micro- and macro-economy (1977) and Simulation of the firm through a budget computer program (1964).

The inventory for Dr. Mattessich’s archive is available on-line: http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/u_arch/mattessich.pdf

Archival record of the fonds in the library catalogue is located at  http://resolve.library.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/catsearch?bid=9356843

Ricco’s obituary has been published in the Globe and Mail: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/theglobeandmail/obituary.aspx?n=richard-mattessich&pid=194182286