Business maths are mathematics used by commercial enterprises to record and manage business operations. Commercial organizations use mathematics in accounting, inventory management, marketing, sales forecasting, and financial analysis. Mathematics typically used in commerce includes elementary arithmetic, elementary algebra, statistics and probability. Business management can be made more effective in some cases by use of more advanced mathematics such as calculus, matrix algebra and linear programming.
In academia, "Business Mathematics" includes mathematics courses taken at an undergraduate level by business students. These courses are slightly less difficult and do not always go into the same depth as other mathematics courses for people majoring in mathematics or science fields. The two most common math courses taken in this form are Business Calculus and Business Statistics. Examples used for problems in these courses are usually real-life problems from the business world.
An example of the differences in coursework from a business mathematics course and a regular mathematics course would be calculus. In a regular calculus course, students would study trigonometric functions. Business calculus would not study trigonometric functions because it would be time-consuming and useless to most business students, except perhaps economics majors. Economics majors who plan to continue economics in graduate school are strongly encouraged to take regular calculus instead of business calculus, as well as linear algebra and other advanced math courses, especially real analysis.
Another meaning of business mathematics, sometimes called commercial math or consumer math, is a group of practical subjects used in commerce and everyday life. In schools, these subjects are often taught to students who are not planning a university education. In the United States, they are typically offered in high schools and in schools that grant associate's degrees.
A U.S. business math course might include a review of elementary arithmetic, including fractions, decimals, and percentages. Elementary algebra is often included as well, in the context of solving practical business problems. The practical applications typically include checking accounts, price discounts, markups and markdowns, payroll calculations, simple and compound interest, consumer and business credit, and mortgages.
The emphasis in these courses is on computational skills and their practical application, with practical application being predominant.