Contaduría, a general term referring to accounting procedures in Spain and the Indies. Throughout Spanish America royal accountants (contadores) kept records for the royal treasury (caja) in their district. In Lima and Mexico City similar officials labored over the ledgers of the viceregal matrix treasuries along with a host of other accountants who were responsible for keeping track of one specific tax category (ramo) such as tribute, indulgences, mercury, stamped legal paper, and sales taxes. In 1605, to strengthen the colonial accounting system, Philip III established in Bogotá, Mexico City, and Lima auditing bureaus (Tribunales de Cuentas) whose task was to audit the myriad of ledgers generated by regional and viceregal accountants. After the audits, the tribunals forwarded the accounts to the contaduría of the Council of the Indies in Spain. Here, more accountants subjected these books to still another vigilant review, before sending them to the archives—after 1783 to the General Archive of the Indies in Seville.
See alsoViceroyalty, Viceroy .
De Escalona y Agüero, Gaspar. Gazofilacio Real del Perú, 4th ed. (1941).
Jáuregui, Luís. La real hacienda de Nueva España: Su administración en la época de los intendentes, 1786–1821. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Economía, 1999.
Klein, Herbert S. The American Finances of the Spanish Empire: Royal Income and Expenditures in Colonial Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia, 1680–1809. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.
Recopiliacíon de leyes de los reynos de las Indias, 4 vols. (1681; repr. 1973), libro II, título XI; libro VIII, título II; libro IX, título VIII.
John Jay TePaske