1.1: What Is Business Math?

Business math is the study of mathematics required by the field of business. By the fact that you are reading this textbook, you must be interested in a business field such as accounting, marketing, human resources, or economics. Regardless of your path, you cannot avoid dealing with money and numbers.

Both personally and in your career you certainly use elementary arithmetic such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, there is a whole field of mathematics that deals specifically with money. You will work with taxes, gross earnings, product prices, and currency exchange; you will be offered loans, lines of credit, mortgages, leases, savings bonds, and other financial tools. Do you know what these are and how these financial tools can maximize your earnings and minimize your costs? Do you have what it takes to execute smart monetary decisions both personally and for your business? Do you know how interest works and how it gets calculated? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then you are already off to a great start. If not, by the end of this textbook you will have a better understanding of all of these topics and more.

How Do I Learn about Business Math?

Let’s be realistic. In some areas of life and business, you can achieve a reasonable degree of understanding just by reading. However, reading about business mathematics without doing it would be disastrous. To succeed, you must follow a structured approach:

  • Always read the content prior to your professor covering the topic in class.
  • Attend class, ask questions, and explore the topic to advance your understanding.
  • Do the homework and assignments—you absolutely must practice, practice, and practice!
  • Seek help immediately when you need it.

Learning mathematics is like constructing a building. Each floor of the building requires the floor below it to be completed first. In mathematics, each section of a textbook requires the concepts and techniques from the sections that preceded it. If you have trouble with a concept, you must fix it NOW before it causes a large ripple effect on your ability to succeed in subsequent topics.

So the bottom line is that you absolutely cannot replace this approach—you must follow it.


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NSCC Math For Bookkeeping Copyright © 2021 by JEAN-PAUL OLIVIER and NSCC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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