An applicable knowledge of arithmetic and a minimal amount of basic algebra skills will suffice to be successful in accounting. While accounting uses a lot of numerical data, the math operations used to record the data are often addition and subtraction.

An accounting student needs to understand whole number operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The student should have the ability to express numbers as a decimal. Accounting requires the ability to convert numbers into percentages and from percentages to whole numbers. In accounting, the ability to express numbers as a fraction is also needed. Accounting requires the ability to perform basic math operations using positive and negative numbers. In this area of study, it is important to express numbers as ratios or averages. Basic algebra is important, along with knowing the order of operations to solve a math problem. Accounting requires the skill to understand calculations related to exponents.

Obtaining the skills to be successful in accounting can begin with a basic math class. This class should suffice and cover all the needed areas. Follow up a basic math class with a business math class to learn how to apply what has been acquired.