Debits, credits, assets, expenses: the accounting world could make Einstein’s head spin. Why not bring order to the chaos with the best accounting calculator money can buy?
We’ve all used these convenient products as our mathematical lifesavers at some time. Whether you’re a struggling student or a professional accounting rock star, accounting calculators abound to fit your needs.
How does one choose the best accounting calculator? You’ll want to consider several factors, including dependable standbys like price and function. Let’s take a closer look so you can calculate your perfect solution.
Best Accounting Calculator: What You Need to Know
Calculators have become a fixture in math. With so many choices (graphing calculators, scientific calculators, oh my!), how can we figure out what calculator type suits our accounting needs?
Perhaps we can bring some much-needed clarity.
What is an accounting calculator?
What exactly is accounting, anyway? This field is where we make sense of all our financial doings: If we’re keeping a tab on our company’s profits and losses or just balancing our checkbook, accounting brings a method to the madness.
According to finance assistant professor Dr. Kurt R. Jesswein, the best accounting calculator will more typically bear the name of a financial calculator. These devices boast all the basics, but they’ll also have a few financial wizardry bells and whistles.
Who uses an accounting calculator?
Accounting professionals are far from the only people who can benefit from the best accounting calculator.
Employees in a wide plethora of industries could find these devices useful. Maybe your trade is customer service. Perhaps you’re manning a corporate cubicle. No matter your situation, chances are you’ll be encountering columns packed with financial data.
Students might also find the quick calculations made possible by the best accounting calculators to be a time-saver and grade-saver.
Accounting calculators could even be a life-saver in the home, bringing more ease to personal financial planning and budgeting. In the end, an accounting calculator is an educational, professional, and personal investment well worth your time.
What does an accounting calculator do?
You might be acquainted with those prolonged financial functions and mathematical formulas that look like a language from another planet. An accounting calculator is designed to make these complicated calculations with the push of a button.
As Dr. Jesswein elaborates, the time value of money is an especially vital function inherent for financial analysis.
The best accounting calculator has complex formulas built into its memory, and some allow you to add formulas. Calculator keys may facilitate specific statistical or financial functions.
Where can I buy an accounting calculator?
If you want to check out department store outlets for the best accounting calculator, peruse the electronics section of the store.
Your best bet, however, may rest in a store that specializes in electronics or office supplies. These outlets usually hire employees with some advanced knowledge of the products they sell.
Then again, you could always opt for online shopping. A quick search for accounting calculators may take you directly to a manufacturer’s website. While you can get detailed information about products this way, you may not benefit from impartial reviews.
Renowned general online retailers will typically have numerous customer reviews, ratings, FAQs, and product information. For a fully informed purchase and potential discounts, online may be the way to go.
How does an accounting calculator differ from other calculators?
These calculators focus on finance. While they can perform more mundane tasks, HP tech expert Daniel Horowitz highlights how their benefits lie in their ability to store many financial formulas within their memory. Interest rates and depreciation calculations represent some of the more common functions.
Further, prices often run higher on accounting calculators in comparison to their counterparts.
The advanced functions should compensate for this larger price tag, however. Some varieties of the best accounting calculators may come with an enhanced body or screen size, a larger keypad, and extra features like printing.
Bigger storage capacity is a primary benefit, as these calculator types can potentially store worksheets in addition to formulas.
How We Vetted the Best Accounting Calculators
Image source: Pixabay
All the most precise calculations require a dependable bedrock of data. Choosing the best accounting calculator is no different. We looked to the experts to gain insight on what specs and features help make a truly quality accounting calculator.
We compared prices and features on various brands. Some common benefits emerged amongst the most frequently cited brands and models.
We also took note of product differences. Plentiful customer reviews and ratings added important context and dimension to our analysis. Individuals sounded off on what they loved and loathed about each product.
The accounting calculators that appeared mostly a hit with critics and consumers alike comprise our comprehensive list of the best accounting calculators.
Paying the Right Price
Cost is a major consideration for many when purchasing any product. Why put your hard-earned money into a purchase that’s ultimately giving nothing but headaches? Just as with any product, accounting calculators come in a spectrum of prices.
The “bargain price” varieties will likely be more akin to a traditional calculator and will have lower storage capacities. For basic accounting functions, a quality low-priced model could do the trick.
Pricier versions will come with larger memories, more functions, and possibly in a bigger size. These versions might also feature add-ons like built-in printers. Does a higher price mean higher quality? That’s a question to be determined.
Balancing Your Books: Best of the Best
Several considerations will factor into choosing your best accounting calculator.
If your accounting calculator will serve as your faithful companion for frequent travels, you might want to consider a tougher, more durable build. For greater portability, the size will likely become a greater issue.
Ease of use will prove important as well. If your eyesight needs assistance, opting for a big screen and bigger keypads might help you out immensely. Printing options could be a great asset if you need hard evidence of all that accounting wizardry.
Perhaps most important is your level of comfort with the product. If you’re a beginner, the more advanced models might have overly complicated instructions or capabilities you may never really use.
For the whizzes out there, you’ll probably want a model that packs a maximum punch: large memory, a buffet of functions, and calculation speed that would make NASA envious. HP exert Horowitz reiterates that the time value of money is an essential calculation to master on any financial calculator.
So, let’s take a tour of some of the best accounting calculators on the market, in no particular order.
OFFIDIX Office Desktop Calculator
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This nice device could be an ideal complement for amateur accounting.
Convenience is the name of the game. The company proudly touts easy-to-use features designed for maximum comforts, such as large non-stick buttons.
This model also gives you an enhanced display screen with pigmentation that improves the clarity of numbers. Each mathematical function is likewise on prominent display.
The dual firepower of solar and battery offers an additional asset for longer-lasting day or night viewing.
Although some Amazon reviewers had reservations about the key layout, customers generally raved about the easily readable displays and the large, raised buttons. The tabletop-ready design also won with customers.
This calculator rests comfortably in the bargain price range. For the price, reviewers found this model a solid accounting partner. With around 20 Amazon reviews, the OFFIDIX earned a solid 4.0 out of 5.0-star rating.
Compared to other brands, the focus on consumer comfort sets this brand apart, as does the reduced price.
Sharp EL-1901 Paperless Printing Calculator
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This unique addition to the Sharp line is the “mini-cash register” of our Best Accounting Calculator group. The larger desktop model definitely won’t easily fit in your travel bag like other models, but the enhanced design might make up for the lack of portability.
A sizeable 12-dight display black screen is raised above the keypad, giving you readability that won’t strain your eyes. An additional smaller screen on top offers the versatility of a printing calculator without the paperwork.
This useful all-digital print display is capable of showing 500 lines of results. Up to 300 recorded entries can also survive within this model.
In addition, a full keyboard with touch-typing capabilities gives this offering a leg-up on many competitors. The company highlights a One Touch Change Calculation function. Amazon reviewers came up with descriptive terms like “efficient,” and “innovative.”
The added features also add to the price tag, placing this calculator at the high end of our price range.
As for ratings, the paperless printing calculator secured a high 4.4 out of a 5.0-star rating out of a relatively low 147 reviews.
Texas Instruments BA II Plus Financial Calculator
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With the 80,000-plus product portfolio and 90-year legacy mentioned by Top Products, TI definitely has the respectability and the street cred.
While this “patriarch” of the financial/accounting calculator family is marketed for wide-scale finance endeavors, accounting majors and professionals are a key target audience.
The model proudly touts specialized keys, including cash flow, amortization, and the crucial time value of money. Problems these specialty keys tackle can run the gamut from lump sums to annuities. Profitability calculations and uneven cash flow also merit frequent mentions, as does built-in functionality for statistics calculations with four regression options.
Students and professional reviewers found the product incredibly helpful, after spending time getting acquainted with the calculator’s many functions. Some had difficulty working through concepts like cash flow, and a few found the worksheet mode TI offers a challenge.
Another frequent grievance cited the poor design of the keys, which some reviewers claimed resulted in input errors.
With over 2,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.3 out of 5.0-star rating, a majority of reviewers who routinely perform advanced accounting discovered a dependable, worthwhile investment in this mid-price-ranged TI offering.
HP 10bII+ Financial Calculator
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HP’s renowned contribution to the financial calculator game arrives in a stylish compact design. Billed as a CFP Certification Exam-approved calculator, the HP 10bII+ promises an impressive 400-step memory capable of implementing over 100 basic and complex business functions.
According to Dr. Jesswein, lump sums annuities, uneven cash flows, interest rates, loan payment, and much more should be less difficult to tally with this financial jack-of-all-trades.
One Amazon reviewer summed this purchase up as a “good, simple financial calculator” and raved about benefits like “unlimited frequency of cash flow and statistical calculations” and “breakeven quantity calculation.”
Other reviewers backed up the plethora of advanced functions such as trigonometric calculations and the rapid processing speed, giving the HE calculator a cumulative 4.2 out of 5.0-star rating from 1,000-plus reviews.
Scattered complaints talked of confusing setting options that could impact accuracy and of cheaply made key buttons.
For its mid-price range and its manufacturers’ solid credentials, this calculator distinguishes itself as one of the best accounting calculators.
Casio FC-200V Financial Calculator
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Even if accounting jargon is more likely to elicit a “huh?” than a “hmm,” the Casio FC-200V Financial Calculator best accounting calculator choice rocks the typical, easily navigated calculator design. Be warned, though, that some customers did find the instructions confusing and somewhat vague.
On the upside, the Casio comes equipped with solar power and a slide-on case that should help it survive any ill-timed tumble.
It affords the user a respectable host of both simple and compound functions, as detailed by the Top Products website. If you’re into cost-sell margins, interest rates, investment appraisals, depreciation, amortization, and the like, Casio is practically calling your name.
Consumers on Amazon recommended the Casio Financial Calculator for personal finance and accounting classes. Hit features included the four-line display screen and the programmed-in commonly used formulas.
A few users bemoaned the lack of commas and the learning curve required for the product.
With a mid-price range and a 4.2 out of 5.0-star rating from 154 reviews, however, most agreed that the learning investment was worth the payoff.
Victor 1310 Heavy Duty Commercial Thermal Printing Calculator
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This printing model “big” title delivers with a big 12-digit screen, bigger keys, and a big paper printing capability. Victor guarantees a printing paper rollout 50 times larger than competitors’ offerings.
The relative heftiness of this model might hamper any travel plans you may have for the device. In contrast to most other calculators, you’ll need a plug-in for this one.
Victor does promise a good selection of nifty financial functions: cost/sell/margin, independent tax keys, item counts and time/date features, and more. One disabled customer on Amazon deemed this printing calculator “a miracle” for its “big, bold, and clear” numbers.
”The same consumer praises the thermal printing capability that makes ink cartridges a relic of the past. Others, including a CPA, also gave high marks to the print readouts. The added expense of needed paper purchases was cited as a concern, however.
The Victor sits at the top of our price range. With over 100 Amazon reviews, this calculator may not have been the most popular accounting calculator on record. For its customers, however, its 4.6 out of 5.0-star rating is well-earned.
Bang for Your Buck?
So, what’s the ultimate verdict on our best accounting calculators? As with most any product, it depends on the customer and his or her unique personality and needs.
For the bargain hunters and layman accountants out there, the OFFIDIX might very well reign as king.
Those with a hankering for more intricate, advanced work will find comfort in the standard-bearers of calculator excellence: HP, TI, and Casio. The bountiful memories, diversified functions, and quick, processing of complex data help put these representatives a notch above the competition.
If uniqueness and a little something extra is your speed, try out a printing calculator…if you don’t mind the slightly higher price tag attached.
Whatever your inclination and skill level, the best accounting calculator is waiting for you.
Sound off on your preference for the best accounting calculator in our comments below.