As described in another article, ManagePLUS
for QuickBooks lets you optionally enter
quantities in the Memo field of your transactions.
But in addition to entering numbers, you also have the option of
entering algebraic expressions. We're not talking Calculus
here...but more like the high school math that you thought you'd
never need again!
Using an algebraic expression sometimes lets you store more
information in a transaction than would be possible by just entering
Suppose you market small square bales of hay, usually selling
small quantities (i.e., a pickup truck load) priced by the bale and
larger quantities priced by the ton. However, you record all hay
quantities in tons, to have a common quantity unit for all hay
sales. So when selling by the bale, you estimate the weight per bale
as a way to estimate the tonnage sold.
In the following QuickBooks deposit, the first deposit item is
for a load of hay sold by the bale and the second is for a load sold
by the ton. (The Memo field is highlighted in green.)
The first deposit item uses an algebraic expression to record the
sale of 50 bales of hay at an (estimated) weight of 55 pounds per
bale). We could have just as easily entered the correct
tonnage as a number (50 * 55 / 2000 = 1.375 tons). But using an
algebraic expression is easy, and if we later look through a list of
hay sales transactions we could easily tally the average number of
bales being sold in small-quantity loads.
Algebraic Expression Ground Rules
(Here's the part about that high school algebra you thought
you'd never need again.)
Here are the mathematical operations allowed in ManagePLUS,
grouped by order of their mathematical precedence. (When operations
from different groups are encountered in an expression, operations
from groups listed higher in the table are performed before
those listed lower in the table.)
NOTE #1: ( ) Parentheses may be used to control the
order of operation, and may be nested to any level. Using
parentheses is always a good idea if you're unsure about the order
of operations in an expression.
NOTE #2: ALWAYS enclose a factorial operation in
parentheses. For example (5!)*3 not 5!*3.
Farm Business Expression Examples
You'll seldom need to use complicated expressions. Here are a few
typical examples of mathematical expressions of quantities you may
encounter in farm business transactions.
Bushels of corn on a truck load: (48000-17350)/56
Pounds of gross weight minus pounds of tare weight, divided by
pounds per bushel.
(Parentheses are necessary, to make the subtraction be performed
before the division.)
Units of Phosphate in 10.75 tons of 5-20-35 dry fertilizer:
Tons of fertilizer divided by 2000 pounds per ton (to calculate
pounds), times 0.20 units per pound.
Mathematical Precedence Example
Most users won't need to enter very complicated expressions. But
in case you do, here's an example using three different levels of
mathematical precedence from the table above.
In this expression 3^2 is evaluated first since the ^ operator
has the highest precedence. The result is 9. The expression is then
simplified to 1+2*9. 2*9 is evaluated next, again, in order of
higher precedence. The result, 18, is then substituted in the
expression to obtain 1+18. Finally, 1+18 is evaluated to 19 which is
the final result.
Here's a similar example, but with the order of operation
controlled by parentheses:
(1+2)*3^2 ...would be evaluated as:
1+2 = 3
3*9 = 27
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