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.

BREAKING DOWN 'Abacus'

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.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Aggregate Function

    A mathematical computation involving a set of values rather than ...
  2. Fat Finger Error

    A human error caused by pressing the wrong key when using a computer ...
  3. Average Return

    The simple mathematical average of a series of returns generated ...
  4. Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculation

    An informal mathematical computation, often performed on a scrap ...
  5. Functional Currency

    The primary type of money that a company uses in its business ...
  6. Rule Of Thumb

    A guideline that provides simplified advice regarding a particular ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Abacus: How it Works and Makes Money

    Read about the business expense software company, Abacus Labs, and learn more about how it is working to transform business expense reporting and reimbursement.
  2. Investing

    From Beads To Binary: The History Of Computing

    Investing today couldn't happen without the inventions of yesterday. Learn more here.
  3. Investing

    Ancient Accounting Systems

    Learn how accounting evolved to keep records of increasingly complex transactions and civilizations.
  4. Investing

    Calculating The Means

    Learn more about the different ways you can calculate your portfolio's average return.
  5. Small Business

    Calculating Net Present Value at Different Points Using Excel

    Calculating the net present value (NPV) of your investment projects using Excel.
  6. Retirement

    11 Social Security Calculators Worth Your Time

    The safest Social Security calculators to use when figuring benefits are on the official website. The best are the ones that access your actual record.
  7. Retirement

    The 3 Best Social Security Calculators For 2016

    Find out how to analyze your Social Security benefits under different retirement scenarios using multifunctional online Social Security calculators.
  8. Retirement

    Why Online Retirement Planning Tools Could Betray You

    Retirement calculators on the web may paint a dangerously rosy picture of your future, according to new research from Texas Tech University.
  9. Personal Finance

    3 Best Mortgage Calculator Websites for UK Residents

    Identify the features offered by good U.K. mortgage calculators, and learn where you can find some of the best calculators on the Web for U.K. borrowers.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    Learn what the utility function is in microeconomic theory and how it is calculated based on a functional form that represents ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do I calculate my portfolio's investment returns and performance?

    Learn the basic principles underlying the data and calculations used to perform personal rates of return on investment portfolios. Read Answer >>
  3. How do I calculate the rule of 72 using Matlab?

    Learn how to calculate years it takes for an investment to double or halve based on the rate of return or inflation using ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do you use a financial calculator to determine present value?

    Learn how to utilize a financial calculator to calculate present value. Understand the necessary data, why it is important ... Read Answer >>
  5. How is a simple moving average calculated?

    Learn about the simple moving average, how the indicators are used, and how to calculate a stock's simple moving average ... Read Answer >>
  6. Where can I find a good compound interest calculator free on the Internet?

    Understand compound interest calculations and learn where you can find a good, free online compound interest calculator to ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
  2. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  3. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  4. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
  5. Job Market

    A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as ...
  6. Yuppie

    Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, ...
Trading Center