As far as I can tell, accounting is the measuring of a business in some currency. This facilitates two kinds of business decisions, intra and inter-business, both of which are necessary in most economies. But, there have always been forces within accounting which act to retard the discipline's advances.
For example, businesses do not have a standard dictionary of accounts, neither do they have nomenclature rules for creating new accounts. I can only presume that this is due, in part, to the lack of mass communication between firms on an accounting level, and also, in part, to the social tendency to give things names particular to a group.
Recently, the XML revolution has spilled over into accounting via XBRL and FinXML, amongst others. Perhaps we'll see an accounting structure develop, which is capable of sustaining change; but I'm not holding my breath. ;)