Column break interpreted as page breaks in page numbering

I have a document where I make use of multiple columns for layout purposes, but Save as DAISY XML and "Automatic" page numbering, it adds a page number after the end of every column and page regardless of whether I have a manual column/page break.

In text:
Birston, William, 96 (end of column, but not a manual column break)
Bishop, Charles A., 45, 46, 48, 50,
...
Camp, Greg, 81
(end of page with manual page break)

in daisy xml:
<p>Birston, William, 96</p>
<p></p><pagenum page="normal" id="page229">229</pagenum><p>Bishop, Charles A., 45, 46, 48, 50, </p>
...
<p>Camp, Greg, 81 </p>
<p></p><pagenum page="normal" id="page230">230</pagenum><p></p>

Office 2010 on Windows 7
DAISY plugin version: 2.5.5.1

It is better to arrange text in one column as per desired reading order. If the columns are connected, it may be formatted as a table instead. Note that column layout may not be easy to read in different DAISY players with different screen sizes and that too when the user wants to increase font size.

See the Text formatting instructions for Save as DAISY for more.

Replacing columns with tables is not a good solution, because tables should only be used for tabular data, not for layout.

While I understand that columns are not ideal, it saves a lot of time when editing the .docx version if I can use the built-in MS Word page numbering in the header to reflect the print page number before exporting. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to fit things like the index on one page without using multiple columns.

I guess what I'm really asking is what does the converter do/look for?

When using the Automatic page number option, how is a "new" page determined? Does it not look at instances of when the Page number field appear? Or does it simply look for any kind (section/page/column) break?

You can use Custom page numbering to insert page breaks at any point in the word document. This way there is no need to adjust the text to fit MS Word page.

Just type page number 1,2,... where you want the page break and apply Page Number (DAISY) style on it. You will get this in the styles list after clicking the Import button in Accessibility toolbar. Also make sure you choose "Custom pages" in Settings before translating.

This should help you retain the column layout.