DEFINITION of 'Abacus'

1. A calculation tool used by sliding counters along rods or grooves, used to perform mathematical functions. In addition to calculating the basic functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, the abacus can calculate roots up to the cubic degree.

2. A semi-annual accounting journal published and edited by the University of Sydney. Published in 1965, this journal covers all areas of accounting.


It is believed that the abacus was first used by the Babylonians, as early as 2,400 B.C. Since that time, the physical structure of abaci have changed. However, the idea has survived almost five millenia, and is still being used today.

The Chinese and Japanese use different finger techniques with their abaci. The Chinese use three fingers (thumb, index, and middle) to move the beads; while the Japanese only use their thumb and index fingers.

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  1. Do dividends affect working capital?

    Regardless of whether cash dividends are paid or accrued, a company's working capital is reduced. When cash dividends are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do prepayments provide working capital?

    Prepayments, or prepaid expenses, are typically included in the current assets on a company's balance sheet, as they represent ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does working capital include salaries?

    A company accrues unpaid salaries on its balance sheet as part of accounts payable, which is a current liability account, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

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