Basic Maths

jow774jow774 Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 465
I often get asked at work to provide super quick calculations in my head of figures. Im not the greatest at this and was wondering whether anyone else thought that being able to perform large sums in your head was something an accountant should be able to do.

Im hoping the answers no, lol! :lol:
sharan2015
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Comments

  • EsmeEsme Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    I'd say no, it's not about the speed of your work but accuracy so a calculator should always be used.
    sharan2015
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    very strange that they should be asking you that off the top of your head. when really it should be you ability to mak sure that any calculations are correct and not just relying on your abailty to add numbers in your head ?
    sharan2015
  • CJCCJC Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,657
    Although I'm not too bad with mental arithmetic, the thing that I am useless at is adding up lists of figures. I can add up a TB three times and get three different answers. Thank god for spreadsheets.

    I suspect that I just get lazy with doing sums in my head, reaching for a calculator for all but the simplest then often chiding myself for my laziness. However, to answer your question, I don't think being able to do mental arithmetic is a particularly necessary skill but I do think if you are good at it it can be quicker and more accurate than using a calculator.
  • Sonny_LSonny_L Well-Known Registered Posts: 201
    It's a handy skill but hardly vital.

    Get a Nintendo DS + Brain Training game. Lots of fun.
  • jow774jow774 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 465
    Got a DS and do use it, but sadly mental arithmetic not much better, lol.

    My boss is fab and can add up everything in his head.

    I wondered if its an age thing, everyone over approximately 45 seems to be able to do it, everyone under is a bit more dodgy at it, maybe its the schools fault, I'll blame them, lol.

    I wasnt talking serious budget figures or anything just general "how much is that over the year" type of stuff. I just tend to pretend I havent heard while I come up with an answer, lol.
    sharan2015
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    I used to be really good but never used a calculator however in the last couple of years ive had to and my mental maths has gone down hill since
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    i always use to add the items up when i worked in a small sweet shop years aago and the customers used to be amazed that i could just get the items out of the basket and put them into the bag and give them atotal without using the till.......dont know if i could still do that now as now its just @sum formulae ?
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Agree with Chris, don't think it is an essential skill, but sometimes it can be quicker. Like most things, the more you do it the easier it becomes. I think it teaches you more about number bonds - if that is the correct term - when you recognise what numbers added together make without having to think about it, sometimes helps when you are looking for a difference.

    I used to add to lists of figures manually when I worked in a bank; it was frowned upon to reach for the adding machine. (Can't remember seeing many calculators about and I'm not that old, ok just seen jow774 post, I'm over 45!) I suppose they didn't want all the cashiers disappearing round the back office to add up cheques paid in.
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    you do have a point there ,if you know the rough figure of adding uop a line of figures then when you are typing them up on a calculator then at least if it comes out as 43,000,000 and you only got 28,000,000 then at least if can give oyou a second test ...
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    jow774 wrote: »
    Got a DS and do use it, but sadly mental arithmetic not much better, lol.

    My boss is fab and can add up everything in his head.

    I wondered if its an age thing, everyone over approximately 45 seems to be able to do it, everyone under is a bit more dodgy at it, maybe its the schools fault, I'll blame them, lol.

    I wasnt talking serious budget figures or anything just general "how much is that over the year" type of stuff. I just tend to pretend I havent heard while I come up with an answer, lol.

    I think you are correct about it being an "Age" thing.
    In the dark old days(:lol:) when I was at school, we had to do mental arithmetic as part of our day to day work. When we first started work, we had adding machines and they were big and bulky(god, I feel old:lol::lol:). It was easier to add up in your head. It was also quicker, because the machines seemed to take forever. I started work in 1969 and very few shops had electric tills, hardly any offices had electric adding machines, other than Burroughs machines. These were used for control account postings.
    I got my first pocket calculator in the early 70's, it cost about £20 and ran on a 9volt battery. It was still easier and faster to total up figures manually!!!

    Signed
    Grandad..lol
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    i still have my first calculator , it was a scientific one which my mum got me when i was 11 attending the BIG school . it was great and of cause we all loved doing the 55378008 and 71077345 on the calcs too !!!or was that just me ?
  • DiannewDiannew Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,814
    I think you are correct about it being an "Age" thing.
    In the dark old days(:lol:) when I was at school, we had to do mental arithmetic as part of our day to day work. When we first started work, we had adding machines and they were big and bulky(god, I feel old:lol::lol:). It was easier to add up in your head. It was also quicker, because the machines seemed to take forever. I started work in 1969 and very few shops had electric tills, hardly any offices had electric adding machines, other than Burroughs machines. These were used for control account postings.
    I got my first pocket calculator in the early 70's, it cost about £20 and ran on a 9volt battery. It was still easier and faster to total up figures manually!!!

    Signed
    Grandad..lol

    And did you write on a slab of stone:lol::lol:
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    other than Burroughs machines

    - with row and rows of figures and you pressed the last one entered just a little bit harder to add it in?

    Oh happy days, happy days.....
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    suprised giles didnt trade in salt.....:laugh:
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    Diannew wrote: »
    And did you write on a slab of stone:lol::lol:

    Thank you:lol:

    It was slate and pencil actually, don't you remember:tongue_smilie:
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    Thank you:lol:

    It was slate and pencil actually, don't you remember:tongue_smilie:

    didnt use chisel and slate ?
    :thumbup:
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    mark130273 wrote: »
    didnt use chisel and slate ?
    :thumbup:

    We weren't as intellectually advanced as you were on the Wirral:lol::lol::lol:
  • DiannewDiannew Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,814
    Thank you:lol:

    It was slate and pencil actually, don't you remember:tongue_smilie:

    You are welcome FG:lol::lol: I was still pushing my dolls pram around then...and boy's were yuk!.......................or is that now:lol::lol:
  • mark130273mark130273 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 4,234
    what.............ahhh so one grunt for no two grunts for yes !!!:tongue_smilie:
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    mark130273 wrote: »
    what.............ahhh so one grunt for no two grunts for yes !!!:tongue_smilie:

    As I said, we weren't as intellectually advanced as you lot on the wirral, we hadn't got as far as grunts, we were still using hand signals.
    I think we actually bypassed the "grunting" stage and went straight to speech. What happened with you lot, was speech too difficult:lol::lol::lol:
  • marknotgeorgemarknotgeorge Well-Known Registered Posts: 158
    I seem to recall reading that an electronic calculator cost about a month's wages in the early 70s. The calculator that I did my Foundation and much of my Intermediate cost me 68p, which was about 7 minute's wages at minimum wage!

    I find mental arithmetic difficult, unless I can write the numbers down. I find it hard to visualise them in my head. Same with spellings - I have to write down any word I'm not sure of.
  • DiannewDiannew Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,814
    As I said, we weren't as intellectually advanced as you lot on the wirral, we hadn't got as far as grunts, we were still using hand signals.
    I think we actually bypassed the "grunting" stage and went straight to speech. What happened with you lot, was speech too difficult:lol::lol::lol:


    Well I certainly did not use my hand...........man thing I think!!:lol::lol:
  • jiltjilt Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,903
    I'm no spring chicken but what the hell are Burroughs machines?
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    jilt wrote: »
    I'm no spring chicken but what the hell are Burroughs machines?

    They were very large adding & posting machines, about a metre wide. They had a large keyboard, probably about 30 digits wide. They normally took an account card, a control account card and an audit roll in a large typewriter style carriage across the top.

    Have a look at: archive.computerhistory.org/.../Burroughs/Burroughs.E1400.1966.102646238.pd

    This shows a smaller one than we had in the offices of Woodcock Freight & Travel in Sheffield in 1970/71
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    They also made "computers" except you wouldn't recognsie them as such! As large as a desk with a querty & numerical keyboard and printer roll, with music score type paper. Date was punched in - in the real early days onto a punch card which was then sent onto a computer centre! Later data was sent via a modem, wow!
  • DiannewDiannew Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,814
    They were very large adding & posting machines, about a metre wide. They had a large keyboard, probably about 30 digits wide. They normally took an account card, a control account card and an audit roll in a large typewriter style carriage across the top.

    Have a look at: archive.computerhistory.org/.../Burroughs/Burroughs.E1400.1966.102646238.pd

    This shows a smaller one than we had in the offices of Woodcock Freight & Travel in Sheffield in 1970/71

    I really wanted cheering up to day FG.........that is just not doing it:lol::lol:
  • farmergilesfarmergiles Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,693
    Jan wrote: »
    They also made "computers" except you wouldn't recognsie them as such! As large as a desk with a querty & numerical keyboard and printer roll, with music score type paper. Date was punched in - in the real early days onto a punch card which was then sent onto a computer centre! Later data was sent via a modem, wow!

    I remember working in wages in 1975 at Stanley tools and we had a "punch room" with half a dozen girls converting payroll details onto punch cards, which were then taken to the computer room and fed into the computer. The computer probably had less processing power than todays modern scientific calculators:lol::lol:
  • jiltjilt Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,903
    :ohmy: found some on google images.......................................it's a good job we don't still use them, there'd be no room for anything else in my office at home :lol:
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    A bit of trivia, you may have heard the term “T Totaller” used to describe a person who stayed away from drinking and was very formal and precise. Well, the term came from bankers using the Class 2 machines, which had a key on the keyboard that was marked “T Total”.

    Bankers, T-Total?
  • AK002AK002 Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,492
    I'm rubbish at maths full stop lol
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