Bookkeeping Ontology for Historical Accounts

RDF

Version 1.2 by Christopher Pollin / Georg Vogeler. 2022.

The "Bookkeeping Ontology", a conceptual model being based on the REA model and CIDOC CRM, is developed in an ontology engineering process in which historians, software developers and digital humanists were involved. It formalizes the interpretation of a transaction (bk:Transaction) as combination of transfers (bk:Transfer) of measurable objects (bk:Measurable) from one accounting object (bk:EconomicUnit) to another. bk:EconomicUnit defines an abstract class which unites bookkeeping categories (bk:Account, e.g. a cash account) and actors (individual bk:Party, e.g. Washington or an unknown group of individuals bk:Group, e.g. four farmers). Its physical representation in a historical source is an entry in a written accounting record (bk:entry). The bk:Entry is an information fragment of a bk:Transaction often naming only one party, while the other party is implicit in the textual context of the entry. Further information on the temporal (bk:when), spatial (bk:where) dimension of a bk:Transaction as well as the status (bk:status) of it (e.g. "partly paid", "settled"), can be expressed optionally. In regard to a research question a bk:Transaction can be assigned to a specific context. Every transaction consists (bk:consistsOf) of at least one transfer (bk:Transfer). A single bk:Transfer describes the action of transferring a bk:Measurable in one direction (bk:from or bk:to). bk:Measurable is defined as everything that can be quantified. It has subclasses for economic goods (bk:EconomicGood, as labor: bk:Service or as physical things: bk:Commodity) and money (bk:Money). bk:Measurable is describe by its quantity (bk:quantity) and the unit of calculation (bk:unit). The bk:Entry is described by the transcription fragment of the original source (bk:text). bk:EconomicGoods can be categorized (what is measured) and can be assigned a price. A bk:Transfer can be carried out by (bk:by) someone who conducts the transfer process in place of the business partner (bk:Agent). When writing it down into the ledger, accounting categories (bk:debit and bk:credit) are coded optionally.

Classes

Account

Subclass of
DescriptionComparison and accounting of incoming and outgoing payments.
Domainhas accountHolder

Date

Subclass ofE61_Time_Primitive
DescriptionDate that is related to a transaction.
Rangewhen

Agent

Subclass ofE39_Actor
DescriptionSomeone who supports in a transaction.
Rangeby

Booking

Subclass ofE28_Conceptual_Object
DescriptionBooking of a transaction.
Rangecredit debit

Commodity

Subclass ofE19_Physical_Object
Economic Good
DescriptionA commodity is an economic good.
seeAlsowikidata.org

Context

Subclass ofE28_Conceptual_Object
DescriptionTransactions can be assigned to one or more contexts.
Rangeassigned

Conversion

Subclass ofE28_Conceptual_Object
DescriptionDefines the conversion from one unit of measurement to another.
Domainconverts from converts to

Monetary Unit

Subclass ofE98_Currency
Unit
DescriptionThe monetary unit has the character of a unit of measurement.

Economic Unit

Subclass ofE39_Actor
DescriptionAn economic agent is an economically independent decision-maker. This can be, for example, a private household, a company, a city or an individual person.
Rangefrom to has accountHolder

Economic Asset

Subclass ofE71_Human-Made_Thing
DescriptionEconomic assets are goods and receivables.
Domainunit
Rangetransfers

Economic Good

Subclass ofEconomic Asset
DescriptionAn economic good is a good or service that has a benefit (utility) to society.
Domainclassified has price

Government Transfer

Subclass ofMonetary Value
DescriptionA transfer payment is a redistribution of income and wealth by means of the government making a payment, without goods or services being received in return.

Group

Subclass ofE74_Group
Economic Unit
DescriptionA group of agents involved together in a transaction.

Individual

Subclass ofE21_Person
Economic Unit
DescriptionAn individual actor in a transaction.
seeAlsowikidata.org

Monetary Value

Subclass ofE97_Monetary_Amount
Economic Asset
DescriptionThe amount of value an item or a service has in relation to if it were sold for cash to a willing buyer. A Monetary Value can consist of subtotals, which are monetary values too.
seeAlsowikidata.org
Rangecomprises

Organisation

Subclass ofEconomic Unit
DescriptionAn organisation acting in a transaction.
seeAlsowikidata.org

Place

Subclass ofE53_Place
DescriptionPlace related to a transaction.
Rangewhere

Price

Subclass ofMonetary Value
DescriptionPrice in this context refers to a price indication in the historic source
Rangehas price

Service

Subclass ofE7_Activity
Economic Good
DescriptionA service is a transaction in which no physical goods are transferred from the seller to the buyer.
seeAlsowikidata.org

Subtotal Transaction

Subclass ofE28_Conceptual_Object
Transaction
DescriptionSubtotal Transactions are intermediate totals that add up to a Total Transaction.
Domaincomprises

Tax

Subclass ofMonetary Value
DescriptionFinancial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a government or functional equivalent.
seeAlsowikidata.org

Total Transaction

Subclass ofE28_Conceptual_Object
Transaction
DescriptionTotal Transaction means the total of transactions occurring in a time frame or context.
Domaincomprises

Transaction

Subclass ofE7_Activity
DescriptionA transaction is an agreement, carried out between economic units to exchange an asset.
seeAlsowikidata.org
Domainassigned consists of credit debit when where

Transfer

Subclass ofE7_Activity
DescriptionTransfer is the activity in which an economic object is transferred from one economic agent to another.
Domainby from to transfers
Rangeconsists of

Unit

Subclass ofE58_Measurement_Unit
DescriptionSomething is measured in a unit.
Rangeconverts from converts to unit

Unit of area

Subclass ofUnit

Unit of length

Subclass ofUnit

Unit of mass

Subclass ofUnit

Unit of time

Subclass ofUnit

Unit of volume

Subclass ofUnit

Properties

assigned

DescriptionAssigns transactions to a specific context. This decision is made by a scholar. This can be done in the course of a specific research question.
DomainTransaction
RangeContext

by

DescriptionA transfer can be carried out by an agent.
DomainTransfer
RangeAgent

classified

DescriptionAn economic good is assigned to a concept.
DomainEconomic Good
RangeConcept

comprises

DescriptionConnects a subtotal or a total transaction with a monetary value.
DomainSubtotal Transaction Total Transaction
RangeMonetary Value

consists of

DescriptionA transaction consists of at least one transfer.
DomainTransaction
RangeTransfer

has price

DescriptionConnects an economic good with a price that is mention in the source.
DomainEconomic Good
RangePrice

converts from

DescriptionA unit is converted from a unit.
DomainConversion
RangeUnit

converts to

DescriptionA unit is converted to a unit.
DomainConversion
RangeUnit

credit

DescriptionMarks a transfer as a transfer on the credit account. The sources for spending money in transaction account is credit, like liabilities.
DomainTransaction
RangeBooking

debit

DescriptionMarks a transfer as a transfer to a credit account. The money obtained with the credits is destined as debit in transaction accounts like assets.
DomainTransaction
RangeBooking

from

DescriptionAn economic unit that provides/gives an economic asset to another economic unit.
DomainTransfer
RangeEconomic Unit

to

DescriptionThe economic unit receiving an economic asset
DomainTransfer
RangeEconomic Unit

has accountHolder

DescriptionAn account is assigned to a economic unit.
DomainAccount
RangeEconomic Unit

transfers

DescriptionA transfer conveys something.
DomainTransfer
RangeEconomic Asset

unit

DescriptionAn economic asset has a unit.
DomainEconomic Asset
RangeUnit

when

DescriptionA transaction can be related to a date which is the date of the transaction.
DomainTransaction
RangeDate

where

DescriptionA Transaction can be related to a place.
DomainTransaction
RangePlace

entry

DescriptionA transfer has a physical representation (text) in a source.
DomainTransaction
RangeLiteral

has formula

DescriptionA unit has a conversion formula to another unit
DomainConversion
RangeLiteral

quantity

DescriptionAn economic asset is countable.
DomainEconomic Asset
Rangefloat

status

DescriptionSpecifies the status of a transaction.
DomainTransaction
RangeLiteral

point in time

Descriptionpoint in time
DomainDate
RangedateTime

starts

DomainDate
RangedateTime

ends

DomainDate
RangedateTime