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Running a successful bookkeeping and accounting practice requires more than just perseverance, a laptop, and a steady supply of coffee. I’ll be honest, I’ve met very few (if any) bookkeepers and accountants that scaled their practice on those three things alone. For those who have – major kudos!
I, for one, needed a few more things to help me build our firm, Top Notch Bookkeeping Solutions, to where it is today. To build a successful practice, you absolutely need certain tools, supplies, and programs to help.
I get DMs, emails, and comments all the time asking which products I used for X, Y, and Z. Since there are so many different tools out there, I thought I would gather my favorites into a super-handy little resource for you!
Tech + Office Supplies
In addition to a laptop, I have quite a few other tech and office supplies that have been absolutely vital for running my bookkeeping and tax practice over the years. Here are the ones I use on the daily.
This microphone is high def and perfect for both my client Zoom calls and recording instructional videos for clients, my team, and myself. It’s been extremely reliable and produces clear audio recordings every time.
I can’t rave enough about my Macbook Pro. I switched from an Acer to a Mac and haven’t looked back! Yes, it’s definitely a higher ticket price but it’s slim and lightweight which makes it easier when I am on the go.
The Macbook Pro is a little more powerful than other models which makes it great for video and photo editing and they have fast processing speeds to be able to perform bookkeeping work easier. The 2020 version does have the new touch bar on the top which takes some getting used to, but I kind of love it. I use a Mac keyboard, mouse and second monitor to connect them all and have a 10-key keyboard (which isn’t included in a Mac).
We used Drake Tax Software at our firm and it was not compatible with Macs BUT I’ve heard of ways to install Windows onto a Mac in order to use Drake.
I used to have a small secondary monitor that I hooked up to my Mac but at one point I just needed the extra length. I took the plunge and purchased this Dell 49” secondary monitor which can showcase 4 open tabs on this one screen.
This is a pretty large screen and a bit pricey but honestly one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I love that it has a curved monitor and it’s easy on the eyes. Worth the investment!
When I’m at home, which is a lot of the time, I like to prop my laptop up on a stand and use a keyboard and mouse. For my keyboard, I use Apple’s Magic Keyboard with the numeric pad. I do run a bookkeeping business after all!
The Magic Keyboard has been awesome and it just looks amazing. I really have no complaints about it, plus there is a built-in rechargeable battery which is much better than using new batteries every time. I used to have to replace the batteries in an old portable keyboard and that got old real fast.
Also, switching back and forth between my MacBook Pro keyboard and the Magic Keyboard is a breeze because there isn’t much of a difference between the placement and feel keys.
Like my Magic Keyboard, Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 is completely rechargeable – which is definitely a bonus for me! I chose the Space Grey color instead of white for no particular reason. But I think it looks really nice and it has a natural hand placement.
Do you see an Apple trend here? I do love Apple, but the Airpods have been a game-changer for me. These bad boys use Bluetooth, meaning they are wireless and you can reach for your coffee on the other table without having your earphones ripped out of your ears. Yes, please!
I use these all the time for client calls, recording, listening to music, you name it. I love that I can move around without worrying about a cord getting caught somewhere.
Whenever I travel or am on the go, I always have my Apple iPad handy! It’s easier to whip out when you are waiting on a flight, in the doctor’s office, etc. I kind of hate working from my phone because the screen is so small, but an iPad is a great alternative.
I also use it to journal after I shut down my computer for the day. It helps keep that work-life balance in check since I inevitably end up doing work-related stuff when I am on the computer.
Adjustable desks are a MUST have, at least in my opinion. For one, sitting at a desk all day isn’t great for our posture or our physique. So it’s always nice to be able to stand up and work. I like taking client calls when I am standing at my desk. You’d be surprised how comfortable standing up gets after a while!
I use the Stand Steady adjustable standing desk because it’s…drum roll…adjustable! I can adjust it to go up and down to the exact height I need it. That way, when the day comes that I need to sit down and work (it does happen), a quick press of a button will do the trick.
On top of my adjustable standing desk, I have enough room for both my monitor and laptop. But I like to put my Mac on a laptop stand so it can be even with my dual screen monitor. This just makes for a more fluid motion as I move tabs and windows around from one screen to the next.
I chose the Macbook Laptop Stand since I knew it would fit, it was at the height I wanted and it keeps my Apple aesthetic game strong. I have had zero issues with this stand and it looks nice!
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Self Development/Business Development
I think every business owner should read self-development and business development books on their entrepreneurial journey. Knowledge is power and people should never stop learning, especially entrepreneurs! With that being said, here are four books that absolutely changed my practice and my life.
This book has been a game-changer for my business. It’s simple, it isn’t fancy and it gets straight to the point. It’s about Gino’s personal entrepreneurship journey but it’s also packed with tools and systems that every business owner can implement as they scale their business.
Inside Traction, Gino walks you through how to run and manage your business including how to build your team on a larger scale.
This book was a huge motivation for me as I started Workflow Queen. Inside Run Like Clockwork, Mike gives you actionable steps to set the right systems in place so you can step away from your business without worry. You’ll also learn how to evaluate your business to make sure it’s running efficiently and how to effectively offload tasks to others. Game changer.
There is so much wisdom in Mike’s words –hence, why he makes the list not once, but twice!
If you are struggling with your business finances or not sure where your money goes, you need this book! Mike walks you through how to manage your finances for your business so you can start making a profit from day one.
This book is the only one on the list that is more on the personal development side, but you can easily apply some of the lessons to your business, too. Essentially, Essentialism helps you rationally think about and break down all the activities you do in life, uncover which activity is most important and serves you best, so you can make massive progress in that direction. It really helps you acknowledge and apply that less is better.
Programs & Courses
I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again –knowledge is power. Learning should never stop because nobody knows everything! Whether it’s expanding your skillset or something totally different, investing in programs and courses is 100% worth it. I’ve taken tons of courses out there (even as a seasoned entrepreneur) and these three are my absolute favorite.
If you need a website or want to create an even better one, you need to make sure it’s working for you, not against you. Website That Wows provides a step-by-step process for creating a website that builds trust, fosters connections, and turns leads into clients. This course helped me up my website game with clear instructions and accessible actions that helped me turn my mess of a website into one that I was proud to show off.
If you use my special link here, you can get $300 off the program to help you get started!
If you want to become a bookkeeper and start a virtual bookkeeping business (and have no prior experience) this course is the bomb. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Not only does it teach you up-to-date bookkeeping skills for the modern era, but it walks you through how to set up efficient systems and most importantly, how to market and attract high-ticket and high-quality clients.
Fun fact, I saw a lot of success from Bookkeeper Launch to the point where the owner asked me to teach on their 4.0 version! If you hop into Bookkeeper Launch, you’ll see me featured in over 145+ videos on “how to do the bookkeeping.” This program changed my life and my success rate.
This mini-course was incredibly helpful when I needed to set up my onboarding systems as my bookkeeping + tax practice started to grow. Onboarding on Autopilot shows bookkeepers exactly how to set up and use Dubsado to help you easily onboard your bookkeeping clients. I can’t stress how easy this made the onboarding process because let’s be honest, Dubsado is not the most intuitive platform around.
This is another course by the Ambitious Bookkeeper that I absolutely love! The BBA helps you jump-start your bookkeeping business covering everything from your business structure to figuring out your ideal client. Plus, it shows you exactly how to apply everything you’ve learned and actually grow your practice.
Without the supplies, resources, and programs mentioned above, I would not have the business I have today. I can’t explain how invaluable some of these tools have been for me. Don’t worry if everything on this list doesn’t make sense for you. Maybe you use tools or programs that I haven’t mentioned. I just want this to be a resource for you and your business as you build out systems that will help you scale and grow your own bookkeeping business!
Let me know what you think or if there are any tools you love that I didn’t mention!