Cathedrals in the middle ages were built as monuments of the Church. The vast and expansive buildings not only served as places for the local community to worship and attend services; they also served as a personification of the glory of God.
The main idea behind the extreme buildings of the European cathedrals was that they were supposed to be a place for God to meet His children. These were supposed to be the houses of God and as such they needed to be built as a fitting house for the Most High.
The laborers, architects, and planners worked for years to build some of the most significant, and long lasting buildings in the world. But these magnificent building did not come without a great cost.
Financing these cathedrals was one huge problem for the church in the medieval times. These churches would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in today’s currency. Raising this kind of capital was not easy for the church. That is why many of the cathedrals around Europe were completed at different times during history. They were added on through out the middle ages until the project was complete.
One of the main sources of funding was the state’s http://www.myaccountingcourse.com/financial-ratios/accounts-receivable-turnover-ratio. Back then the state, or government, was closely tied with the church. In fact, the church controlled most European governments at that time. For instance, the King of England was considered the head of the church. This kind of theocracy allowed the church to collect mandatory tithes and offerings.
Unlike churches today, these tithes were not given out of good will. They were more like a tax mandated by the government. Many Kings used this tax money to sanction different cathedral building projects. King Louie sanctioned an astonishing 13 massive building projects in his lifetime.
The church also sold many “goods and services” during this time to fund the expansion of the cathedrals. These goods and services, most often called indulgences, were pardons that peasants and local workers could buy for themselves or others to ensure they will be forgiven their sins and allowed to go to heaven when they died. The modern Catholic Church has decanted this practice and does not speak highly of the period in its history.
There were several other accounting tips and tricks that church officials used to help build these monumental buildings. One of which was to borrow money from the state in the form of average accounts payable turnover ratio. This allowed the church access to the capital it needed to start the project without having to actually come up with the cash initially.
Often times, later the debt would be pardoned by the King and the commoners would be forced to pay higher taxes or allow the government to take some of its crops and harvest for the year.
Even though these buildings were financed through mysterious means, they are still a great testament to the ingenuity and creativity of man.