Okay, first…counting cigarettes?

Seconding, more importantly, I do a lot of accounting at work, 95% of the book keeping for a small business. On the one hand, very little of it is actual arithmetic that I have to do in my head. I have a computer, I have an adding machine, I have quickbooks, I have a calculator on my computer with a hotkey so I can pull it up very quickly, I have my phone with a calculator and sometimes I have all of them going at once. I also have a few spreadsheets with a bunch of custom formulas so I have to do a lot less math since those are all formulas I have to do every single day. Also, Quickbooks does the bulk of the actual accounting work and as long as you have an understanding of what’s going on and a way to reach out for help (co-workers, google etc) you’ll be okay.

However, in a job that does rely heavily on math, you do need to have a firm grasp on it. At the very least, you need to be good at estimating things in your head and that’s what worries me with you’re saying. If her boss asks her how much payroll was last quarter and she say it was at 12% of income (the software can pull that number), the question is, can she answer the next question, “What will it take to get it to 10%” (how much less do we need to spend on payroll or how much more do we need to make)?

Maybe she should just start off with an accounting 101 class and see how she feels. Do you know why she picked accounting? Does she know she’s bad at math? IME accounting 101 will be all on paper, so if she can’t keep up with the math, she’ll learn quickly. I don’t recall it being overly math heavy, it was just an intro class, some theory and just enough math to let you know how the theory works, but it’s there and it might scare her off. Accounting math isn’t like normal math.

So, there is a lot of math, there’s not that much arithmetic, at least not now, over the years, I’ve figured out my formulas and I just use them on a regular basis or program them into spreadsheets.

It’s funny, though, people will often ask me to do math in my head and, while I’m not bad, I’m not *that* good and they’ll always come back with “I thought you were math major” to which I reply “I am, but I didn’t spend 4 years doing arithmetic, you’re an English major, right [yeah], did you spend 4 years studying the dictionary…same thing.”

Wait, I got it, you worked at a gas station, right?