The western-style year dating convention commonly used in many parts of the world was created by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in or about the year AD 532.The convention is based on Exiguus' determination of the year in which Jesus Christ was born.
Perhaps the most unfortunately characteristic of this convention is that "BC" is a suffix (used after the year) while "AD" is a prefix (used before the year).
This is inconvenient when generating computerized lists because extra columns must be reserved for both prefixes and suffixes.
Another proposal, by Cesare Emiliani, is the Holocene Era, with an epoch of 10,000 BCE.
This has the advantage that the arithmetic for conversion is far more straightforward than Julian Era: 2013 CE = 12013 HE and the simple fact it is based on actual science, and not solely on an arbitrary date to appease Christians while still not "being Christian".
The main point here is that this dating system makes Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. Pope John I to determine the correct day of Easter or Christ's resurrection.