Laptops

5 Best Laptops For Accounting: Reviews For Students & Pros

Accounting is a highly demanding profession, requires skill, intense focus, and a computer to run the math. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that, but without the right tools, an accountant isn't going to be very productive.

This article aims to show you the best laptops for accounting, whether you are an accounting student learning the ins and outs, or a seasoned professional looking for that leg up.

Image

Model

Operating System

Processor

RAM

Screen Size

Battery Life

Weight

Check Price

HP Pavilion Laptop, 15.6' Full HD IPS...

Windows 10

Intel Core i5

12GB

15.6 inches

10 hours

4.08Lbs.

Lenovo Flex 5 15.6-Inch 2-in-1 Laptop, (Intel...

Windows 10

Intel Core i5

8GB

15.6 inches

10 hours

4.4Lbs.

MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-614 15.6' Gaming Laptop,...

Windows 10

Intel Core i5

8GB

15.6 inches

7 hours

4.1Lbs.

Lenovo Thinkpad E590 15.6' HD Business Laptop...

Windows 10 Pro

Intel Core i5

16GB

15.6 inches

8 hours

4.7Lbs.

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...

MacOS

Intel Core i7

16GB

16 inches

11 hours

4.3Lbs.


Understanding Accounting & Benefits Of The Right Tools

It doesn't matter if you report your findings to the business CEO, a tax firm, regulators, or oversight agencies, the books need to be in order. As the accountant, it is your job to make sure all the records are kept, and the reports are spotless.

While technology has come a long way for accounting, the tools are only as good as the person using them. With the right laptop, though, a great accountant can become an excellent accountant. That is why having the right laptop for the job is crucial.


Recommended Laptop Specs for Accounting: A Buyer’s Guide

Before you head out and just buy the most expensive laptop you can find, you should know that price isn't always an indicator of quality. For accounting, the computer must be strong in certain areas and can be more forgiving in others. Let’s find out more about what you should be looking for in your next laptop.

Processing Power/Clock Speed

While accounting may not be as glamorous at all times as they make it out to be on TV, and you probably don’t work for a secret cartel trying to launder money through the Ozarks, you still need a powerful machine that can keep up with all the programs and software you use.

The Intel i-series processors will offer you the best speeds and multiple cores to process a lot of numbers. The AMD counterpart will also do the job. You should look for a quad-core i5 (8th generation) Intel or and AMD Ryzen at a minimum. The Intel i7 and i9 or AMD Ryzen 2 are even better.

RAM

RAM is a tricky situation, you need enough to power the processor and not allow the software to bog down the machine, but having too much can raise the cost without warrant. As a minimum requirement, you should seek to have a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM.

16 is preferred, while 32GB or more may just be overkill. That is unless you like to play World of Warcraft on your lunch break.

Graphics Card/GPU

Unlike gaming machines and laptops designed for heavy online use, the graphics can go either way. Accounting software isn’t full of intense graphics, but you still want to be able to see the various cells and numbers clearly from all angles.

Saving money by going with an integrated GPU like the Intel Iris or HE is a decent enough choice. If you want a little more power, you can get a dedicated graphics card like the Nvidia GeForce 1050.

Storage Space/Hard Drive

Unlike laptops for podcasts or even the best laptops for seniors, you don't need a massive hard drive for storage. There won't be a lot of videos and gigabytes worth of pictures of grandkids on your office computer. However, you do want enough space to install all the needed software and save the documents and spreadsheets you need for your reports.

Having a solid state drive (SSD) will provide you more speed and better access to your files. A storage capacity of at least 256GB is recommended. To save money and time, you should go with an SSD over a standard HDD, unless you find a model that offers both together.

Display/Resolution

Your graphics card (mentioned above) will dictate the high end of your resolution capabilities. Even though you have a top of the line GPU, though, if your display can only produce 720p HD resolution, you won’t see things in ultra high-def.

Look for a laptop that offers you 1080p resolution (either FHD, QHD, or UHD) for the best mix of performance, visual clarity, and cost-effectiveness. One thing to stay away from, though, is touch screens.

For the software you are using, you will need a full, dedicated keyboard (see below) which touch screen 2-in1 or tablets don’t offer without significant upgrades or add-on purchases.

Battery Life

The battery life will also be an important decision making factor. You will want a battery that can support high-performance software and external devices (extra monitors, projectors, etc.) without having to worry if the battery will die half-way through a presentation. At a minimum, try to get a battery that has an expected life of at least 6 hours.

Tactile Keyboard

Because accounting has numerous needs for macros, function keys, and other keyboard short cuts (either programmed or included), a tactile keyboard is needed. This is the main reason a touch screen computer isn't ideal.

Even with Bluetooth keyboards becoming widely popular, most of them still can't be programmed for specific key combinations, and the ones that can are quite limited. Make sure your new laptop has a fully dedicated, tactile keyboard.

Extra Features

There are a lot of additional features that most occupations can do with or without. However, accountants will need various things that many consider as extras. HDMI and UBS 3.0 ports, for example, aren’t just nice to have but are a necessity.

You should also look for multiple instances of these ports as well as firewire, DVI+, or VGA monitor connections and others. It also won't hurt to ensure your new laptop has the latest, updated Operating System, is compact and lightweight, and if you can find a bundle with a mouse or carrying case, even better.

Price & Warranty

Finally, the price will be a deciding factor as well. As I mentioned earlier, just because the price tag is high doesn’t make it the best model for you. Staying within your budget, especially for students, is crucial.

If you look hard enough, you can find an affordable laptop that meets all of your needs and doesn’t break the beak. Luckily for you, that list is just below, so you don’t have very far to go.

Before you jump ahead, though, don’t forget about the warranty. Most laptops will come with a 12-month limited warranty. However, a lot of retailers like Amazon will allow you to extend that warranty for up to 3 or 4 more years for a lower cost than buying the protection separately.


5 Best Laptops For Accounting Reviewed

Without further ado, I present to you the 5 best laptops for accounting, reviewed and compared for students and professionals alike.

1. HP Pavilion 15

On Sale Today
HP Pavilion Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS...
  • 15.6" Full HD IPS BrightView Micro-edge...
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 1.00GHz...
  • 12GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run...
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 (Data Transfer Up to...

Best Laptop For Accounting (Top Pick!)

Operating System

Windows 10

Processor

Intel Core i7

RAM

12GB

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Battery Life

8.5 hours

Weight

4.23Lbs.

The best laptop for accounting, easily our top pick, is the HP Pavilion 15. This full-sized laptop has everything you need and a boost in the areas you use the most. You won’t turn any heads with eye-catching lights or sounds, but it is a professional’s computer with a professional edge.

The Intel i5 processor has a turbo speed of 3.6GHz that works well with the 12GB of RAM so you can run multiple accounts, programs, and software simultaneously without any lag or flickering.

What you won't get is impressive graphics. The integrated Intel Iris GPU isn't the best on the market, but it will produce full HD at 1080p so you won’t have to worry about blurry numbers or weird-angle viewing.

With 10 hours of battery life, your projects are safe, and your presentations can see completion without having to worry if there is a charger nearby. However, if you ever do need to recharge at a critical time, the HP quick charge will have the battery back to 50% charge in under 45 minutes.

Good
  • Fast and effective CPU
  • Easy setup and install of any software
  • Windows 10 Pro – 64bit preinstalled
  • Simultaneous program abilities
Bad
  • Graphics are sub-par
  • No SSD installed (HDD only)

2. Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex 5 15.6-Inch 2-in-1 Laptop, (Intel...
  • STUNNING FHD DISPLAY: Laptop has a Full HD...
  • FINGERPRINT READER: Log in to your Flex 5...
  • POWERFUL PROCESSOR: Equipped with the latest...
  • TOUCHSCREEN LAPTOP: Turn thoughts into action...

Best Laptop For Accounting Students/Major

Operating System

Windows 10

Processor

Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Battery Life

10 hours

Weight

4.4Lbs.

If you are looking for a laptop that has near-instant boot times, security features for logins and online purchases, then you can stop looking. The Lenovo Flex 5 is the best laptop for accounting students. Never mind that it is a 2-in-1 with power to spare.

This is a touch screen monitor, but we can overlook that. You get a full keyboard, though you won't get a number pad. For the accountant, you will need to purchase a wireless or Bluetooth number pad.

With the bad out of the way, let’s look at what this thing offers you. The presentation aspects of this Lenovo are incredible. Using it in laptop mode, you can connect an external projector to show off your presentations.

You can even get cozy and put it in perch mode, so only the screen is visible. This is ideal when showing clients their financial history at your desk. With 256GB SSD hard drive, you won't have to wait for anything. The fingerprint scanner also gives you added security when using it to log into the computer.

What's more, with Windows 10, you can use the fingerprint scanner to make online purchases with the added security features. The 8GB of RAM will help the speedy SSD perform at top quality and performance at all times.

Also Recommended: Best Lenovo Laptops for Students

Good
  • Lightning-fast boot time
  • Fingerprint scanner for added security
  • Amazing 10-hour battery life
Bad
  • No number pad
  • Touch screen can get annoying

3. MSI GF63 Thin

On Sale Today
MSI GF63 Thin 9SC-614 15.6" Gaming Laptop,...
  • Display: 15. 6 inches FHD (1920 x 1080),...
  • Processor: intel core i5-9300h 2. 4 - 4. 1ghz
  • Graphics: NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 [max-q] 4g...
  • Memory: 8gb (8g x 1) ddr4 2666mhz, 2 sockets;...

Best Gaming Laptop For Accounting Use

Operating System

Windows 10

Processor

Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Battery Life

7 hours

Weight

4.1Lbs.

The MSI GF63 is a thin and powerful machine. This is arguably the best gaming laptop for accounting use. What makes it so special is that it is designed for gaming out of the box, but thanks to the MSI Dragon Center, you can optimize the settings for your needs.

You can turn down the graphics accelerator and under-clock the CPU to bring more power to the RAM and 6-core processor for computations and software use. Doing so will take you a few minutes to get into and figure out. However, once done, this could be the most responsive and powerful accounting laptop on the market.

You also get the GeForce 1060 for amazing graphics, which can make your presentations pop. With the full-sized 15-inch monitor display, you may not even need an external projector or monitor, though the ports and connections are there should you need them.

With the GF63, you won't fall behind in work. The keys are responsive with low travel, and your typing will actually improve, making you one of the most studious and accelerated accountants around. It sounds like a win to me.

Also Recommended: Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptops

Good
  • Full 1080p HD screen
  • Low bezel for maximum screen size
  • Quiet operation
  • Dragon center to optimize settings
Bad
  • Lower battery life than most others on the list
  • No dedicated number pad

4. Lenovo ThinkPad E590

Lenovo Thinkpad E590 15.6" HD Business Laptop...
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM; Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe...
  • 15.6-Inch Anti-Glare (1366x768) Display with...
  • Whiskey Lake-U CPU: Intel Quad Core i5-8265U...
  • Intel 9260 11ac, 2x2 + BT5.0 Combo | HD...

Best Laptop For Chartered Accountants

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro

Processor

Intel Core i5

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Battery Life

8 hours

Weight

4.7Lbs.

If you are a Chartered Accountant (CA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the best laptop is the Lenovo ThinkPad E590. Not only will this business-first laptop keep you updated and current with all software and the Operating System, but it provides you the right amount of power where you need it most.

The ThinkPad comes with a business-minded security system. Your programs, files, and system are protected beyond the standard Windows 10 security features. You can rest assured that your system won’t be compromised (note: security measures on your part are still needed, this is not a guarantee)

With 16GB of RAM, you can run more programs and software instances while doing other tasks without experiencing any lag. The Whiskey-Lake Core i5 CPU will offer 4 courses and 8 threads to keep the laptop performing at a high-output for up to 8 hours per charge.

Your accounting business and the accounting professionals you have in your employ will get the most out of this laptop without sacrificing durability or the sleek design that keeps the laptop a favorite among all professionals.

Finally, you have a laptop that understands you are business first and doesn’t try to lure you in with gaming specs and other non-essentials. The Lenovo ThinkPad is all business, and it shows. You won't regret this purchase.

Good
  • Sleek, business style
  • 16GB RAM preinstalled
  • Huge SSD storage capacity
  • Enough ports for all external devices
Bad
  • CPU can lag if not in turbo mode
  • Higher cost than some others on the list.

5. New Apple MacBook Pro

On Sale Today
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6...

Best Apple Laptop For Accounting Work

Operating System

MacOS

Processor

Intel Core i7

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

16 inches

Battery Life

11 hours

Weight

4.3Lbs.

If you prefer to have a Mac do your heavy lifting, the best Apple laptop for accounting work is the New Apple MacBook Pro. This 16-inch monster gives you enough storage and power to run your entire business (if you wanted).

The base model is more than enough for most cases and comes with 16GB of RAM and the 6-core Intel i7. You can upgrade the 8-core i9, and this laptop will also hold up to 32GB of RAM, making it one of the fastest, most capable laptops on the market.

When it comes to storage, the base price gives you 512GB SSD storage, which is plenty for most users. However, if you need more, you can get more. The New Apple MacBook can hold up to 8TB (yes, Terabytes) SSD storage. So you won’t need to upgrade for a few years, at least.

The downside, as with most Mac computers, is the price and the functionality to communicate with Windows machines. While both of these are improving, you will find that some software programs and some features within those programs aren’t compatible with Windows machines.

If you have Windows at work and this Mac at home, you will need to pay closer attention to your outputs and exporting of files.

Good
  • Upgradable Mac
  • More RAM and Storage than any other (capable)
  • 11 hour battery life is best in class.
Bad
  • Higher cost versus Windows PC
  • May not be compatible with all accounting programs

Essential Accounting Software & Systems

As an accountant (or student of accounting), you will come across a wide variety of software programs designed to help you in various ways. Below is a brief listing of that software so you can ensure your new laptop meets the minimum system requirements for running them.

  • NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP solution that helps you track inventory, resources, and financial records. The big draw is that it is a CRM flexible enough to fit a variety of businesses.
  • QuickBooks is an accounting software that can be installed locally or as a cloud service. It is geared towards small and medium business to help keep financial records and taxes in easy to manage files.
  • Zoho Office Suite is like Google Docs on steroids. Based out of India, this cloud-based collaborative software allows documents, presentations, spreadsheets, databases, wikis, note-taking, and much more.
  • Xero is a big name in the small business world. Based out of New Zealand, this product is similar to Quickbooks without the local installation methods.
  • Sage 50cloud is a product of Sage 50, and depending on your region, the name can be different. However, the basis is the same. You can control the accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses with relative ease using the products here.
  • FreshBooks is an online-only (cloud-based) accounting software aimed directly at small businesses. For startups and entrepreneurs, it is an affordable answer to the bigger names.

MacOS Vs. Windows for Excel & Other Accounting Software

You will notice I didn’t add Excel to the group above. Excel is one of those programs that goes without saying. Using a spreadsheet program is almost a built-in requirement for accounting. There are three major branches of Excel and Excel-like programs that I wanted to cover here specifically.

Excel for Windows is a part of the Microsoft Office suite of products and is the de facto spreadsheet software. Macs have come a long way, though, and Excel on Mac has only some slight noticeable differences. However, if you run a Windows PC at work and a MacOS computer at home, you need to know the differences.

  • Keyboard shortcuts. Because the Mac and Windows keyboards are different, there are various keyboard shortcuts you need to learn. Ctrl vs. Cmd is just one example. Page up and Page down is another.
  • Pivot Charts. Pivot and PowerPivot charts are essentially static screenshots when opened in Mac. There is zero interaction, and the information won't change even if the source pivot table is updated.
  • VBA. Excel on the Mac is highly limited when it comes to VBA. You won’t find the properties window on the Mac version, for example. And if you plan to import or export accounts to and from a Mac, it won’t happen.

Google Sheets is the newcomer to the arena and is catching up quickly. However, I only mention it now as a heads up. Google Sheets is part of the Google Docs software group. It is entirely cloud-based, and for this (as well as collaboration), is it superior to Excel.

That is the only case, though. Excel has far more functions, interactions, graph and table attributes, and the ability to run thousands of cells quickly. Google Sheets is decent enough for small sheets with a limited number of cells and functions. Too many, though, and it drastically slows to a crawl.

Google will get there eventually and will rival Excel as the go-to spreadsheet program, but for the next few years, at least, Excel is still the reigning champion.


Laptop Maintenance & Troubleshooting For Accountants

Maintaining your laptop starts with cleaning. You will need to ensure the keyboard stays clear of dust, debris, and pieces from your lunch. A can of air and electronic approved wipes are ideal. You should also make sure your screen is cleaned, too.

General maintenance then extends to the battery and airflow vents. You need to clean out the fan shrouds and vent ports from dust build-up to keep the circulation going so the laptop stays cool. Keeping the battery charged is also ideal, though you should allow it to drain entirely at least once a month to maintain the charge level and life expectancy.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Which processor is best for accounting?

The best processor for accounting is one that has multiple cores (at least 4) and enough processing speed to run multiple programs at once. The Intel i5 or i7 (9th generation or newer) will be ideal. If you prefer AMD, the AMD Ryzen is also a good bet.

Where is the best place to purchase these recommended laptops and accessories?

Amazon will have the biggest selection for your laptop needs. You can find the exact model you want, with the hardware and storage you need. You can also get model compatible accessories like laptop bags and mice at the same time.

What laptop reviewed works best with QuickBooks?

All of the reviewed laptops work well with all accounting software, which is the main reason they have made this list.

However, Quickbooks is a more resource-intensive program than some of the others you will use. For this reason, I can highly recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad E590, which is designed for business professionals and puts the system resources where you need it most.

What are the best accessories an accountant can buy to assist them with their work?

You will use your laptop a lot, and it may be wise to invest in a few accessories that can make your time at the keyboard easier. For example, you may find a wireless number pad is easier to use than the number keys on the keyboard.

There is also a Bluetooth version. You may want to invest in a wireless mouse, as well, since the trackpads can be challenging to use easily when typing fast. And of course, you need an ergonomic solution for your writs, too.


Conclusion

The best laptop for accounting is going to be a laptop that is durable, responsive, and speedy. While there are a lot of options out there, I hope the list here has given you an idea of what you need to perform at your best.

If you are still unsure, I urge you to take a closer look at the top pick, the HP Pavilion 15. This laptop will give you years of satisfaction, and when the time is needed, it can easily be upgraded to any new standards that are in use.