Accountants know better than most people how big of a difference a good laptop makes to their job.
Speed is a priority when it comes to laptops for accounting - you’ll want one that can handle a lot of data, do calculations fast, and operate QuickBooks or Excel with utmost efficiency.
You’ll also want to focus on aspects such as display quality and size, as well as keyboard ergonomics. Staring at a screen for hours a day can result in headaches and eye strain which you want to avoid, while a good keyboard can help accommodate fast typing.
I’ve scoured the internet to find the top 5 best laptops for accounting, but before we delve into those, it’s worth considering the most important characteristics to look out for...
Ideally, you’ll want a laptop with a 15” Full HD display. Sure, there are many compact designs on the market that provide great portability, but for accounting, you want the maximum amount of screen space possible.
This means you’ll be able to easily view more rows and columns on your spreadsheet, reducing the need for continual scrolling and drop-down menus.
A large, ergonomic keyboard - ideally with dedicated F keys and a numerical keyboard - is the sweet spot. It’s worth noting that it’s virtually impossible to find a 13” laptop with a numerical keyboard, but you can always buy an external one if you’re looking for a compact laptop. If you don’t need something super portable, 15” laptops already have numerical keyboards installed, so these are your best bet.
You shouldn’t focus too much on CPU. At the end of the day, any modern processor released within the past 5 years should be able to tackle your tasks with ease. The faster the clock speed the better, though, ideally between 3.4 to 4GHz.
Decent RAM is essential for accounting purposes, as the bigger the RAM, the faster your computer will handle calculations on massive spreadsheets and documents. However, you don’t need a huge amount of RAM - 16 GB is great, 8GB is perfect.
So, let’s get started...
OUR TOP PICK
The Acer Aspire 5 has been a frontrunner budget laptop for a while now, so if you’re looking for a quality, affordable laptop the Aspire 5 definitely provides bang for your buck.
It has a 15.6" FHD IPS display with a narrow-bezel design to maximize screen space, and it also comes with Acer’s handy BlueLightShield technology to protect your eyes when you’re spending hours scrolling through figures.
The backlit keyboard provides greater ease of use in dim lighting, while the built-in fingerprint reader provides easy, secure access with just one touch.
With 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD the Aspire 5 will handle your calculations and spreadsheets with ease, while the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor offers a clock speed of up to 3.6GHz to optimize performance and speed.
The Aspire 5’s crowning glory has to be its slim, lightweight design which weighs in at just 3.97 lbs, and its aluminum top cover which provides excellent durability.
- 15.6" FHD IPS display to minimize scrolling
- BlueLightShield to reduce eyestrain
- Backlit keyboard with numerical keys
- 8GB RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD provides the perfect amount of storage
- Slim, lightweight design makes this laptop easily portable
- Those with big fingers may find the numeric keys a little thin
The ASUS Vivobook has a 17.3” HD+ display with an 85% screen-to-body ratio and a thin-bezel display to maximize screen size and minimize footprint.
It’s also installed with an anti-glare panel to reduce eyestrain, while the ErgoLift hinge design tilts the keyboard up for more comfortable typing, which means you’ll be able to enter data quickly and comfortably.
Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i5-826u processor and dual-storage including 128G SSD and 1TB HDD along with 8G RAM, this Vivobook offers the best of both worlds: extensive storage for all your long-term data needs, with a fast SSD to handle the operating system and run applications.
- 17.3” HD+ display to easily view spreadsheets with minimal scrolling
- Anti-glare panel reduces eye strain
- FN keys & numerical keyboard
- ErgoLift hinge to make typing easier and more comfortable
- Hybrid storage - SSD and HDD
- Core i5-826u processor with a clock speed of 3.9 GHz
- Data recoveries can be harder for hybrid systems - so this is something to bear in mind.
The Dell Inspiron 15 offers the best of both worlds: it has a full 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display integrated into a thin and lightweight design weighing just 2.67 lbs, so it’s ideal if you’re an accountancy student who carries their laptop everywhere.
It also has an anti-glare LED backlight for comfortable viewing, and a backlit keyboard for easy, comfortable typing any time of day.
The Inspiron 15 is equipped with an 802.11 AC wireless protocol to boost WIFI transfer speeds and range and ensure your internet is more reliable than ever.
With an 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor it can offer clock speeds of up to 4.7 GHz and you also have a choice of 8GB RAM or 16 GB.
The Inspiron also has a few other handy features like a fingerprint scanner for easy access to your laptop, and a lid-open sensor that turns your laptop on as soon as you open it.
- Thin, lightweight design is portable and easy to carry
- Full 15.6-inch FHD display with anti-glare backlight for comfortable viewing
- Backlit keyboard
- 802.11 AC wireless protocol to boost wifi transfer speeds
- ExpressCharge minimizes charging time
- 8/16 GB RAM/ 512GB SSD
- Superfast 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor
- This laptop can be prone to overheating
The Surface Pro 7 only has a 12.3” screen, so you won’t get a numerical keyboard with it. However, I let that slide because this laptop has a clean, elegant design, and it weighs just 1.1 lbs - so it’s perfect if you need a portable laptop that won’t compromise on quality.
It’s also great for students, as it has three modes: laptop mode, tablet, and studio mode. The touchscreen feature means you can use the tablet like a notebook, which is handy for taking notes during class.
The Surface Pro 7 may be small, but it packs a punch with a laptop-class 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. It’s faster than the Surface Pro 6 and has redefined what’s possible in a thin and compact computer.
The Surface Pro 7 has one of the best battery life on the market, offering up to 10.5 hours of power - ideal for working at cafes or around college.
While the Surface Pro may not be ideal for a full-time accountant who’s crunching numbers all day, it’s ideal for students who want versatility, reliability, and a portable laptop that isn’t lacking in the processor department.
- 3-in-1 design for ultimate versatility
- The touchscreen is handy for taking notes
- Powerful processor in a thin, lightweight design
- 10.5 hours of battery life
- Available in a choice of memory options depending on your needs
- 12.3” display so no numeric keyboard- though you could add an external one
- It’s expensive for a small laptop
The Lenovo Yoga has a 14” FHD display with IPS for wide viewing angles. It’s also touch-screen for maximum versatility and has a 360° flip-and-fold design so you can switch between laptop and tablet with ease.
It has an ultra-low-voltage platform, with a quad-core, eight-way processor to provide maximum high-efficiency power wherever you are. 8GB of substantial high-bandwidth RAM easily accommodates advanced multitasking, while 256GB SSD provides fast start-up times, quick data access, and minimal noise and heat production to save power.
It also comes with a range of other features to make your daily work routine easier: including a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, HD webcam, and superfast wireless connectivity.
All this comes wrapped up in a lightweight design that weighs 3.09 lbs and the affordable price point makes the Yoga great value for money.
- 360° flip-and-fold design is great for students
- 8GB high-bandwidth RAM for easy multitasking
- 256GB SSD for fast, efficient operation
- Backlit keyboard
- Fingerprint reader for easy access
- FHD, IPS display
- No numerical keyboard - so you’ll need to get an external one if this is important to you.
Best Laptops for Accounting Buying Guide
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best laptops on the market for accounting, you may be looking to narrow down your choice and find the best laptop for your needs.
Like we said earlier, a full HD 15” display is ideal for accounting as it maximizes screen space so you’ll do less scrolling, and you also get a full, numerical keyboard, which is vital for full-time accountants.
If you want a more compact laptop that offers greater portability and you’re willing to compromise on screen size, laptops that offer 3-in-1 designs can be ideal, and you can also get an external numerical keyboard if this is important for your work. Though generally, my advice would be to go for the biggest size display that you can.
We often don’t think too much about ergonomics when it comes to technology, but if you spend hours staring at a screen every day this is really important.
Ideally, you’ll want a display that offers a blue light blocking filter as this reduces eye strain, although it’s not the end of the world if your laptop doesn’t have this, as you can get apps that do a similar thing.
You should also consider how comfortable the keyboard is. The easier it is for you to type, the faster you’ll input data.
A full keyboard is handy for accountancy as you get the numerical keys too, but consider the width of these and any additional features like a tilted keyboard, as this makes typing more comfortable, particularly if you’ll be using your laptop for hours every day.
If you want your laptop to be portable - ie. if you’re a student and need to take it to class, or if you like to work in coffee shops or from home - then you’ll need to be willing to compromise on some of the other features.
This will mean opting for a display of around 12-14 inches rather than a full-sized display, which will mean missing out on a numerical keyboard.
You’ll also want to ensure you have good battery power, and that the laptop has a thin, lightweight design that’s ideally under 3lbs.
Everybody has different preferences when it comes to storage. The older HDD (Hard Disk Drive) offers greater storage capacity but is a lot slower than modern SSDs (Solid State Drive).
SSDs are faster and produce less noise and heat as they have no moving parts, though you’ll get less storage space with them. A hybrid drive offers the best of both worlds, but data recovery is tricky if one of the drives breaks down.
The RAM size of your computer will determine how well your device allows data items to be read or written. Most people don’t need much RAM, those who do usually use hefty video-editing or development software.
If you’re working with a lot of different databases, complex macros, or directly working with significant chunks of data, 8GB of RAM is a must.
Accounting apps like Sage 50, Peachtree, Microsoft Excel, Quatopro, Viscicalc, and Lotus can run fine off 4GB RAM, though bear in mind that if you multitask between these and other apps such as Spotify, YouTube, and browsing tabs then you’re better off opting for 8GB.
With accounting software, you won’t notice too much of a difference if you upgrade to 16GB, but you may wish to do so if your budget permits.
You shouldn’t worry too much about CPU, as most modern processors will be able to handle your accountancy apps. Any modern processor released within the last 5 years from the core family (i3, i5, or i7 ) will be able to deal with complex spreadsheets filled with macros.
Core i7 processors should be avoided if possible, though. They’ll simply drain your battery and you don’t need them. Also avoid 4th generation processors, as these are outdated and will struggle to handle big spreadsheets.
Atom, Pentium, and Celeron processors should be avoided as a general rule of thumb, as these are designed for Chromebooks and simple tasks like web surfing and word.
Versatility may or may not matter to you - it depends on where and how you want to use your laptop. 3-in-1 designs are ideal for anyone who wants to use their laptop for things other than crunching numbers, and if you’re a student, a laptop that can convert into a tablet and has a touchscreen is ideal for taking notes during class.
These versatile laptops usually come in a more lightweight design, which is also ideal if you want something you can carry around easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size laptop do I need for QuickBooks?
To use QuickBooks smoothly on your laptop, a processor with a minimum speed of 2.4 Hz and a RAM of at least 4 GB is required. A 1280×1024 display resolution is also recommended which is why most accountants use laptops with a 15-inch FHD display.
Can I use QuickBooks on Mac and PC?
You can use QB on Mac or a Windows PC, but QuickBooks recommends using Chrome as your browser regardless, or downloading the desktop app.
However, if more than one person needs to access QuickBooks at the same time, you would require an account with QBO Essentials or higher, as Simple Start only allows accommodates 1 user at a time.
Which laptop is best for accounting?
This ultimately comes down to personal preference, as it depends on how portable you want the laptop to be and the budget you’ve set for purchasing a new laptop.
Ultimately though, you’ll want to prioritize RAM - ensuring you have at least 8GB of RAM, preferably alongside an SSD rather than an HDD. Most modern processors will accommodate your accountancy software, so you don’t need to worry too much about this.
Students should aim to buy a laptop that is as portable as possible, such as the Lenovo Yoga or Surface Pro 7, whereas accountants can opt for a full-sized laptop with a full HD display such as Asus Vivobook or Acer Aspire 5.
A full-sized keyboard is preferred, but if you need to settle for a compact laptop that doesn’t accommodate this, you can always add an external numeric keypad.