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Inbuilt Calculator Function

Started by Colleen Stromei -   in Feature Requests | Completed

Could we get an inbuilt calculator in all value fields? Thanks.
Asked for this ages ago - surely QuickBooks does not have a monopoly on this feature

Michael Mori  

Excellent idea

Jill Fryer  

This function is available in MYOB, Quickbooks & Attaché. Quicker and more accurate than flicking into Excel or those dinosaur calculators!

Brenda Napier  

Hey C, thanks for posting

Gayle Buchanan  

Adding my hand in the air on this one too. It might seem to be such a small thing (and completely useless to others!), however for we bulk entry bookies in the world, having to stop and start to pick up the calculator is just a pain! (aw... bugger.... where have I put it again?....)

Cassandra Scott  

This feature would save a lot of time - gets my first vote.

Barbara Ford  

A yes vote from me too, thanks.

Trish Jones  

Hand up too. Too silly that it is not in already. Surely its a basic thing to add.

Figures Matter  

I also have been asking for this since I first started using Xero.

Hugh Foster  

Yep, I too would LOVE to see this please, I use it in MYOB and Quickbooks and really miss it in Xero! :o)

Samantha Clark  

Why don't you build a custom calculator for a browser like chrome?

Mark Lawton  

Merged: Numbers field to have facility to calculate

I'm a QuickBooks user as well as Xero - In QuickBooks, all the numbers fields have the facility that once you've entered a number, if you then press any of the add/minus/times or multipy by keys, the field turns into a mini calculator, so you can do your sum 'on the fly' - it's really useful and I use it a lot - any chance Xero could have this?

Carol Saunders  

While the Xero guys are working on that, one thing you could do it install the Cloudy Calculator (Chrome extension), or similar.


Jason Glover  

I'm sure sencha would already have created this function. Please add xero

Luke Pullin  

i'm missing the inbuilt calculator function that comes with MYOB as well, makes things so much more efficient! please add this function!

Jacqui Lui  

Yes please add this we use this extensively and it is slowing down our data entry. Prioritise this one!!!

Josie Ludwig  

My vote too - and this probably needs its own feature request listing but, why not have a pop up when a user chooses something like the entertainment expense that asks - do you want to split this 50% and then if you answer "yes" it does it all for you. This could be done via chart of accounts where you could select a check box that tells Xero that this is a "percentage claim" expense and you could define there the split percentages and where the other part(s) of the split should be coded.

Hamish Olesen  

Yes please, just some basic javascript running on the text box field would do the trick. Xero is really good at parsing dates so something similar for numbers is all that's needed.

Ifan Evans  

I agree this is needed. As a short term fix, I use the calculator on the keyboard. If there's not button on our keyboard put a short cut on the bottom task bar and click there

Lesleigh Richardson  

Ditto to all other comments! Calculator function PLEASE!!

Gabby Cardey  

Just started using Xero yesterday and noticed this functionality was missing. Either allow calculations in the field or a small icon or dropdown that opens up a small calculator to put in the function. Even QuickBooks Online has this!

Brett Barry  

Must have. Will save so much time when doing journals.

Ronak Patel  

Excellent suggestion for a simple feature that a lot of people will use.

Bill Hopgood  

No brainer. mine's a yes. My calculator was on my desk somewhere. under this pile. no, ort was it over there?

Mike Curtis  

Maybe the reason the number of votes is not in the thousands for this feature, is that accountants never need it and bookkeepers are too busy to go onto forums like this to vote! Come-on Catherine, ask Craig to delegate this one to the Sniper Team. Promise them a great coffee and a couple of Easter eggs, and this will be in the next upgrade. ;-)

Michael Mori  

Adding my vote too :)

Leanne Crisp  

Yes please. Pretty much the only thing I miss about MYOB. ;)

Elizabeth Salter  

yes please!

Angela Knight  

Yay, yes please!!

Di Crawford-Errington  

Would be great !

Melanie Morris  

Adding my vote too

Jasmine Hickford  

@Hamish - when splitting something 50/50 quickest way is to use the quantity field and enter 0.5 - no need to use a calculator at all.

Nickie Sheehan  

please please please

Anne-Therese Pratt  

Yes please.

Ivana Dryland  

5 votes for 5 staff member of our team!

Harry Hoang  

Yes Please!

Sonja Neal  

Oh yes please!! Use calculator on the pc (so I dont have to worry about losing the 'hard' one!) but this would be really useful.

Julie Russell  

Great to see the enthusiasm here! Just a gentle reminder - please actually VOTE to have your say counted - adding +1 or 'yes please' doesn't push this up the list of feature requests, the number of votes does. Keep up the good work :)

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)  

Completely agree this would be awesome would make things so much easier to do :-)

Chris Downs  

Im new to Xero. Absolutely love it. But Im truly amazed the in-built calculator wasnt included in the first ever release. Please XERO, give us the calculator! For crying out loud, you went to the trouble of printing calculator stick-it notepads!

Kenny Frisby  

Yes... We absolutely need an inbuilt calculator please.

Ciju Skariah  

Ok - so until XERO decides to comment on this thread besides ^OG of course, the next best option is, if you use Chrome, - which is the fastest browser for XERO and uses the least screen space, you can go to the Chrome Web Store and download "Cloudy Calculator" which sits nicely next to the address bar at the top right and stores your calculations. so no need to go to a spreadsheet to display your entries. Very neat.

Michael Mori  

thanks Michael, that's cool!

Gayle Buchanan  

I have asked for this in Aug 2012, when I got certified

We need this!

Jelena Arkula  

It says 4 votes left... does that 115 is the magical number?

Anne-Therese Pratt  

No, it means that you only have 4 votes left.

Michael Mori  

Hi - I thought accountants and bookkeepers loved calculators!?

Assuming you mean something along the lines of being able to enter formula into a numeric field and when you tab out it gets converted into the result.

I've had a chat to some of our developers and we think we can squeeze something in amongst all the other things we're doing (you guys are tough task masters) - however, I am keen to know how far you think we should take it.

Should the numeric fields be able to process only simple formula (basic operators only) like,

145 / 33
0.15 * 200

or multiple operations taking in to account BODMAS,

1200 - 0.2 * 40 / 24
(1200 - 0.2) * 40 / 24

or access to math functions

SQRT(144) - 24^(2*30) - PI

or referencing other data on page,

invoiceamount * 0.25

I should probably stop now

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)  

Just simple formulas would be fine.

Hitting enter is handy to calculate and show a total inside the field without actually tabbing out (like treating enter as an "=" button).

BODMAS is probably not what we are looking for. eg if we were to go 2+3*5 inside the field i am sure 99.9% of the time we are actually wanting (2+3)*5 (that's where enter comes in handy if you're unsure what would happen ie 2+3 enter * 5

Its usually just addition, subtraction, multiplication and division that is used and in the order we need it, ignoring BODMAS.

People are gonna love this function even though a lot don't realise it yet because they've never used it.

I should probably stop now

Kenny Frisby  

oh Andrew and Kenny ... can we just shove the xero calculator into the fields and use keyboard calculator whats its thingies? you know the * and / and + and - enter to total

how hard could it be?

I really better stop now
(love your work tho Tokes)

Gayle Buchanan  


Gayle, I think I meant exactly what you said but I thought i better reply in software developer language.

Andrew, what Gayle said.

Kenny Frisby  

I deleted all the versions of QuickBooks I used to have, so I don't quite remember how it worked exactly, but I do remember that if the quantity I wanted to enter was 25% of a total of 66, for that line, in the quantity field you could just type 66*25% and when you pressed enter, it would populate that field with the answer. Just take a look at an invoice, journal or any screen that allowed a quantity in QB or MYOB - there are some others as well.

Michael Mori  

I agree with Kenny.... people are going to love it, IF they know it is there. The crazy thing is that I have met dozens of QB users who never knew the feature was there. The same way that most business owners don't know they can access the calender on their screen!

The nice thing about XERO updates - we get told what they are, do and how to use them.

Looking forward to Monday!

Michael Mori  

@Kenny - the mathematician in me is scream about ignoring BODMAS, I'd rather implement this right

@Michael - easy tiger, I didn't say it would be there by Monday!

Will talk to Design about whether we need to visualise that a field can accept formula... or leave it as a nice discovery.

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)  


The mathematician in me agrees with you about the BODMAS debate.
The accountant in me isn't even fussed about the in-built calculator and will rarely use it.

However, and I think most importantly with this feature...

The book-keeper in me doesn't care about BODMAS and possibly, without sounding patronising, has never used it since high school and has forgotten how it works.

This in-built calculator feature is something that book-keepers will use more than others and it will be mostly used for bulk addition and subtraction, a little bit of multiplication and division, and like Michael said, some pecentages, which can of course be calculated by multiplication. i.e in Michael's example 66 * .25

In a real world scenario using this feature, you may, for example, add up a whole bunch of numbers and then multiply by .15 to get the GST.
In this example BODMAS would be a bad thing as it would only multiply the last number in the sequence by .15 and then add the rest.

I used the in-built calculator in Quickbooks for years and years and I'm racking my brain to try and think when BODMAS might have been appropriate in the calculation.

Its a book-keepers quick calculator for data entry much more than it is a scientific calculator for obeying the rules of mathematics

Kenny Frisby  

Calculator please !!

Andrew Zoghbi  

@Tokes - I can wait till Tuesday at a push! No, I was referring to the Monday upgrade - looking good for this year. It is great to be a XEROite!

Michael Mori  

I was going to comment how surprised I was that there are so many votes and comments for a calculator when there are so many other basic requirements lacking from Xero after all these years of development. There is a built in calculator in every computer and a bunch of online apps like wolfram, so what's the point I asked myself? But after reading the above comments I can see what you are getting at. The idea is a bit like the calendar/date shortcuts which I would never have thought about previously but now I use them all the time.

Philip Duncan  

Philip, yes you're spot on.
The idea is not to need a desktop calculator, third party software or anything that takes any time to change to or move to from the Xero numerical field you're in.
Its one of those things that most people won't realise just how handy it is until it is added as a feature.

Kenny Frisby  

@Philip and @Kenny. All our fighting was worth it, see what's coming?
Coming Soon
Partner Edition - better management of organisations; grouping, favourites
New and improved (NZ) GST return
Inbuilt calculator for numeric data entry
Purchase orders
Payment summaries revamp (AU)
New SGC rate (AU)

Michael Mori  

I guess we have to wait and see what the Inbuilt calculator does, but I really hope it auto calculates when entering split transactions and offers the available remaining balance

Graham Hyman  


MYOB have a feature where you can use a CALCULATOR in a $$ field. Can XERO do this? So frustrating to keep opening my on-line calculator for doing additions in invoices or 'spend money' wher the $$ amounts need to be broken down as a % for business use and % to private use.

Pllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeaaaaaassssseeeee ADD this feature!!

Maximum Business Solutions  

Hi everyone - we are releasing a sneak peek of our new built-in calculator on Monday (19th August). Won't be everywhere initially, only on the Manual Journals screen so that we can get your feedback first before pushing this update out further.

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)  

coolio ...

Gayle Buchanan  

I will be excited when it's in all of the functions. :)

Lesleigh Richardson  

Hi Tokes. If it works like the one in QBooks or MYOB, then it will be fine. Really looking forward to seeing this feature as is every other Xero bookkeeper I am sure. A great time saver.

Michael Mori  

Just looked at the new calculator feature in Manual Journals. It looks great. It is simple and does the basic four operations. No need for exponentials or logs. If I need to do an Internal Rate of Return calculation I would probably use a spreadsheet anyway. The only issue I think that we need to address is whether you use BODMAS or left to right evaluation. As an ex-Maths teacher I do prefer your BODMAS but will it confuse our 'simple' users? Perhaps you might allow users to press the '=' to evaluate part of formulae. E.g.

Enter 1+2
Press = and the cell changes to 3 with the insertion pointer after the 3 so you can continue:
Enter *4 (3*4 is showing in the cell now)
Tab or '=' and you get the result of 12.

If client enters 1+2*4 they get 9 and they may be expecting to get 12.

David Gray  

thanks David .. you are a wiz

Gayle Buchanan  

I just tried it too and the cell wouldn't change unless I tabbed out of it or hit enter, hence, have to go back to do further calculations. Not really something I need in Manual Journals......but I guess it's a start!! look forward to 'MYOB' version in other areas,


Maximum Business Solutions  

Tokes, thanks for putting this beta up in the manual journals, gives us time and space to check it out before releasing - appreciate that

Gayle Buchanan  

I agree with removing BODMAS and just using left to right calculation. As mentioned in earlier posts this is a simple calculator for book-keepers not a scientific calculator for mathematicians.
I really struggle to think of (or remember from Quickbooks) times when BODMAS would be applicable.

The idea of using the = key is also good. Would actually be essential if you're going to stick with BODMAS as sometimes some things will need to be added or subtracted before multiplying or dividing and then BODMAS would screw it up or time would be wasted adding brackets.

Kenny Frisby  

I would also recommend that when a calculation in a numerical field begins it opens up a box which shows each number on a separate line rather than left to right across. This would make it easier to double check entered figures

Kenny Frisby  

Great start! Love that if my calculation result is a negative figure I'm automatically bumped to the other column (eg negative debit becomes a credit). I agree that BODMAS is overkill. Would love to see a solution where - + / * keyboard commands pops up a simple calculator in the same way the drop down arrow pops up a calendar window on date fields in Xero.

Colleen Stromei  

Xero > please keep the calculator basic....just roll it out in every number field in Xero. I have tried the one in the manual journals and it does all I would ever expect it to. It even works with brackets, which is great!

Good job......lets make this topic done, so we can use our votes elsewhere!! Thanks!!

Chris Tinta  

I think that using the BODMAS method is essential - as others have pointed out it's a basic rule we all learn in high school. Surely most bookkeepers (and users of excel) would get it!
I agree it 's a great feature

Cathy Paul  

While you're at it - any chance of accepting a negative in the amount fields everywhere? I'm doing an expense claim that includes a miscellaneous credit but I can't record it because I can't enter a negative. Works fine in invoices so not sure why it was excluded from Expense Claims.


Just set the status of this to "Complete" which as @Chris says will free up one of your a votes to use elsewhere... we've implemented this across all the main grid screens and are committed to rolling this out further to other places where it makes sense. Cheers.

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)  

Nice one, thanks.

Philip Duncan  

A built in calculator is a must have

Bill Alldritt  

Hi Bill, we released the Inbuilt Calculator on the 30th of September 2013. It can be used in the value fields of Invoices, Bills, Spend/Receive Money’s, and Manual Journals. If you’d like it elsewhere, please create a new Feature Request. Thanks.

Matt O (Community Manager)