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Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting

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# 1.3 Rounding

For most business and commercial purposes the degree of precision necessary when calculating is quite limited. While engineering can require accuracy to thousandths of a centimetre, for most other purposes tenths will do. When dealing with cash, the minimum legal tender in the UK is one penny, or £00.01, so unless there is a very special reason for doing otherwise, it is sufficient to calculate pounds to the second decimal place only.

However, if we use the calculator to divide £10 by 3, we obtain £3.3333333. Because it is usually only the first two decimal places we are concerned about, we forget the rest and write the result to the nearest penny of £3.33.

This is a typical example of rounding, where we only look at the parts of the calculation significant for the purposes in hand.

Consider the following examples of rounding to two decimal places:

• 1.344 rounds to 1.34
• 2.546 rounds to 2.55
• 3.208 rounds to 3.21
• 4.722 rounds to 4.72
• 5.5555 rounds to 5.56
• 6.9966 rounds to 7.00
• 7.7754 rounds to 7.78

Rule of rounding

If the digit to round is below 5, round down. If the digit to round is 5 or above, round up.

## Activity 4

Round the following numbers to two decimal places:

(a) 0.5678

(a) 0.57

(b) 3.9953

(b) 4.00

(c) 107.356427

(c) 107.36

## Activity 5

Round the same numbers as above to three decimal places:

(a) 0.5678

(a) 0.568

(b) 3.9953

(b) 3.995

(c) 107.356427

(c) 107.356