Seeking calculator opinions from accounting/financial pros....

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Surely, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I'm currently studying accounting and plan to sit for the CPA examinations in the spring. I figured that now would be a good time to get a proper accounting/financial calculator so that I will be a pro at using it by the time I have to take those serious exams.

    I am trying to decide between:


    • The Texas Instruments BA II Plus Professional Financial Calculator
    and

    • The HP 12C Platinum Financial Calculator

    I'm leaning towards the TI, mainly because the reviews on Amazon are just as good as the HP reviews, and the price is almost half. Price isn't really an issue, but for the record, the TI is $35 and the HP is $65 on Amazon.


    I was hoping for some opinions from users. Thanks!
     
  2. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #2
    My recommendation would be the TI (though there are plenty of others who swear by the HP models). I've used the TI you're considering for the last two years (required in my managerial accounting, cost accounting, and finance courses) and like it just fine. Its certainly not as intuitive as the TI 83's finance application since the 83 has a larger screen to work with, but once you get used to using the BAII, it is pretty simple.

    I also purchased mine via Amazon, great price.

    In reality I think you'll do fine with either, they're both good calculators and I know people that use both models. I pretty much went with the BAII because it looked nicer, had really good reviews, and was $30 cheaper.
     
  3. Surely thread starter Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Thanks for the advice.

    I remembered from some other threads that there was a forum member that was studying accounting as well.... couldn't remember your username though.

    I'm going to go to Staples this afternoon to see if they have a test model of each so I can at least get a hands-on tryout before I buy.

    Anyone else have any advice?
     
  4. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #4
    I've been in finance for fifteen years. Most of the folks have the HP. Most of the companies that I've worked for have either bought them (for accounting staff) or required that they purchase one (sales trainees). I really can't speak to any differences between the two.

    I can recommend this website, it has been helpful. There are comparisons and techniques for calculators and calculations. He has also helped with answers to questions via email.

    http://www.tvmcalcs.com/
     
  5. Surely thread starter Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    ^^^^ Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

    I had a hands-on this afternoon with both of them. I found that both calculators were receptive to fast keying- no digits were skipped when I tried to enter numbers really fast. Both displays were easy to see from sharp angles. Why aren't they solar powered? Not enough juice for them?

    The TI looks nicer and more modern.... not that that matters much.

    The HP seemed (from its appearance) slightly more complicated to use.

    I guess I have more research to do.

    Anyone else?
     
  6. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    I'm not in finance, but I have used the HP 15C engineering calculator since it was introduced almost 20 years ago. I do believe that the newer HP 12 C's give you a choice of regular input or RPN - Reverse Polish Notation. Once you get used to RPN, there's NO going back. The more complicated the calculations, the more you'll appreciate RPN. Amazing that it was invented in the 1920's, long before the first electronic calculator.

    Another plus on the HP is that the batteries last forever... well, almost.

    Here's wiki's take on RPN

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_polish_notation
     
  7. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    Terminus
    #7
    Why do you say this? As someone who owns (and uses) an HP-12 C Platinum, I just don't recognize that as being a big advantage. I use it in RPN mode exclusively, but I just don't see how it's better than entering numbers with parenthesis and everything.

    Surely, I do know that rhsgolfer33 is studying accounting so that might be worth a PM or something.
     
  8. Surely thread starter Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    ^^^^^ Thanks, I know he is. rhsgolfer33 provided his opinion a few posts ago, which was helpful.

    Thanks for your input, absolut_mac and Badandy.

    I was wondering if RPN mode is really a big deal or not.

    My B.Sc. is in Statistical Sciences (well, one of them), so I'm very familiar with calculating complicated calculations using parentheses and whatnot. Without having any RPN experience, it seems like it would be a little annoying to have to learn a new way of keying.

    On the other hand, if I went with the HP, I would have the RPN option. I don't believe that the TI utilizes it.
     
  9. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #9
    The TI does use CHAIN, while its not RPN (no "2 1 +" entry) it does result (of course) in different answers than the algebraic method.

    The example my TI BAII manual gives is:

    3 + 2 x 4 = 20 under CHAIN

    3 + 2 x 4 = 11 under Algebraic Operating System

    I'm not really an RPN fan, I never mastered it and much prefer the CHAIN method of the TI. In accounting I haven't really encountered anything that has necessitated using RPN, but I suppose there are some out there who like to use it for everything. For me, anyways, if I'm going to do something complex I'm probably not going to be using my one line display financial calculator, I'd use my TI 83+ or a computer program.

    Surely, are you sure you're allowed to use the calculator on the CPA exam anyway? I though they only allowed the computerized 4 function calculator and TVM tables (fun, fun). Not that you shouldn't get a financial calculator either way.
     
  10. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816

    Rapmastac1

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Location:
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    #10
    If you want a calculator from which to use for accounting, I would go with a much different one with full-size keys. I do accounting work all the time where I work and we use one of these -

    [​IMG]

    It is so much faster typing on this, and having a literal "paper trail" is worth the bulk. The reason for the paper trail is putting information for specific accounts, for the actual paperwork. These are industry standard as far as I know. For home accounting, I just use a CASIO hand calculator as well as the calc in the computer. A lot is done on the computer but you still deal with a lot of paperwork.
     
  11. Surely thread starter Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    I like the sound of CHAIN. The calculators that I've been using utilize the AOS. That helps a lot, thank you. And I agree, if I come across anything complex, I would most likely do it on a computer so that everything is visible at the same time. Kind of hard to see everything on a one-line calculator.

    Hmmm..... you know, until you questioned if I am allowed to bring a calculator to the exam, I just assumed that I could based on the way the professors and other students have been talking. It seemed, based on their comments, that as long as you weren't bringing in a programmable or a graphing calculator to the exam, financial calculators are just fine. I just looked on the CBA's website, and it says that nothing can be brought into the exam. I'm going to have to ask all of these people at school where they got their info from. And possibly call the Board for clarification.

    I don't mind the TVM tables and 4 function calculator (that's what I've been using so far), I'm pretty quick with them, so that won't be a problem for me. Fun fun, indeed. :D

    Well, regardless of the exam allowances, I still need a good financial calculator.

    Rapmastac1, thank you for your input.

    However, there is a very big difference between bookkeeping and accounting. What you are talking about is bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is a component of accounting, but there is much, much more to accounting than just bookkeeping. That calculator would not be able to accomplish much of what I am looking to be able to do.
     

Share This Page