Adapting to crisis: Accounting information systems during the Weimar hyperinflation

Sebastian Hoffmann, Stephen Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


German corporations are characterized as adaptable in the face of numerous traumatizing events during the twentieth century. This article explores how firms adapted their accounting information systems during the hyperinflation of the 1920s. It suggests that responses to the crisis focused on system elements identified as key to continuing operations. Initially, firms amended selling and purchasing arrangements, modified financial reporting, and shifted managerial reporting to non-monetary information. As inflation accelerated, human resources were diverted to maintaining critical functions, especially those related to remunerating labor. While some elements of accounting systems fell into disrepair, there were also examples of innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-625
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number3
Early online date25 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2020


  • accounting information systems
  • adaptation
  • hyperinflation
  • Germany


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