You've never done sales or done a great deal of straight numeric entry.
I'm a programmer, Jim, not an accountant.
Besides just being faster in normal use
That's just the thing -- typing the numbers on the top row is faster (assuming you actually type rather than hunt and peck). Typing "7" takes the same amount of time as typing "b"; typing "$" takes the same amount of time as typing "M". Typing "1,241,760" takes the same just about amount of time as typing "keyboards".
I could see it if you were re-typing long columns of numbers, like accountants used to have to do when they were entering data that came to them on paper, but I was under the distinct impression that such primitive times were just about over now, and that each number was now put in just once, when the purchase order line items are initially filled in, and that subsequent operations (such as removing the money from the fund, printing the number on the check, listing expenditures on the budget report, and so forth) would be handled automatically by the accounting software. I realise that accounting software is 15 years behind word processing software in terms of standardization, featurefulness, and user interface, but nevertheless, typing things twice was done away in the late 70s for computer geeks and in the late 80s for everyone else, so it ought to be thoroughly gone now for accountants as well, I should hope. Do they really have to re-type in long columns of pre-existing numbers? Ugh.