It is often said that Romans (see below) had a terrible number system, which made computations a mess. I do believe this, but I'm suspicious of the claim that nobody had better ways to do computations until Fibonacci brought Eastern techniques to Europe.
This is even more suspicious when you think how big the Roman empire was and that it featured a lot of fiscal checks (such as census), infrastructural works (hence engineering and logistics) and, above all, economic activity (can you believe greedy merchants didn't think of better ways to make calculations?).
So, were arithmetical algorithms so inefficient before Arabic numerals were adopted in Western Europe?
EDIT 1: I use Romans as a proxy for "ancient Western Europe civilization". I suppose anything known to Europeans (e.g. Greeks) in the last centuries BC and first centuries AD was known to Romans as well. Also, I assume anything known before was inherited, i.e. if Egyptians/Babylonians/Etruscan had wonderful arithmetical techniques, I doubt they got lost in history, since these are the kind of things that tend to be spread (see merchants, see what happened with Arab-Indian numerals).
EDIT 2: I'm not asking about numerals, but about techniques of computation. From the comments, I see that the two things had disjoint developments indeed.