The ideal office setup for maximum productivity
The ideal office setup for maximum productivity Vertical

Ideal office setup for maximum productivity

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In accounting and bookkeeping, productivity is not just a goal–it’s a necessity. Whether you’re crunching numbers, balancing a ledger, or analyzing financial data for clients, having the right office setup can make all the difference. With the rise of remote work and technology, the options for optimizing your workspace are more abundant than ever.

While each person has their own preferences on the ideal office, I wanted to share my experiences, and some things to consider when looking to make your office comfortable and productive.

Embrace remote work

Like it or not, remote work is here to stay. Liberated from the confines of working in traditional office spaces—with communication platforms and cloud-based software—clients and teams can seamlessly connect from anywhere in the world! To make the most of remote work, you should do the following:

  • Invest in a reliable computer and high-speed internet connection.
  • For security reasons, obtain a VPN if you are working anywhere else besides the office or home. We use Avast SecureLine VPN, installed by our outsourced IT company (more on this later).
  • Set up a dedicated workspace at home that is free from distractions.
  • Use collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom for communication with colleagues and clients.
  • Establish a clear schedule and routine to maintain structure, discipline, and boundaries while working remotely.

Optimize your office setup

Whether you’re working from home or in a traditional office setting, the layout and design of your workspace can impact your productivity. Consider the following tips:

  • Invest in ergonomic furniture, such as an adjustable desk and chair, to minimize strain and maximize comfort during long hours of work.
  • Arrange your workspace to minimize clutter and distractions, keeping essential tools and documents easily accessible.
  • Incorporate natural lighting and greenery into your office design to enhance mood and concentration.


When deciding between towers and laptops, consider your mobility requirements. Laptops offer portability, allowing you to work on the go. Towers, on the other hand, often provide more power and can be upgraded, making them more suitable for long-term use in comparison. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific scenario.

So what should you look for in a good computer?

I see this question all of the time in the accounting community. My father was in the computer industry, so having grown up around computers, I’ve picked up a thing or two. First, don’t buy a computer for today; make sure you buy your computer for tomorrow. As system requirements change, computers get outdated quickly, so make sure you purchase one that will last several years. You’ll want to make sure you have the highest quality CPU possible, an SSD hard drive with at least 1TB of space, and the most RAM available to run multiple programs with ease.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your computer every three years, and at the very least, every five years. As technology demands change, computers quickly become obsolete. Plus, if you buy a computer that costs more than $2,500, the IRS requires it to be depreciated or expensed over five years. So by the time that tax deduction is gone, you’re past due for a new computer.

Where should you buy a computer? Best Buy? Amazon? Somewhere else? While I would purchase from Amazon before Best Buy, only because I know what I am looking for and shop around for deals, I actually prefer to contact the manufacturer directly—Dell, Lenovo, and others—to set up a business account and call a salesperson. The reason I do this is because it’s their job to sell you the right product, not just sell you.

If you articulate your needs, they will make sure you get what you need. They are authorized to offer you discounts compared to the prices you see on their website, and as an added bonus, will usually provide extended warranties and support you normally would have to pay for if you check out online yourself. If they don’t offer this, make sure to ask; even new computers can have issues. I’ve used the next day support that has helped my business stay up and running.

Computer monitors

After going from one monitor to two, it’s hard to go back. Eventually, I went to three monitors–and then four. While you might use a laptop, you’ll still want to purchase a docking station that will allow you to run multiple monitors simultaneously.

If you’re not used to using multiple monitors, you’ll wonder why you never have before and will find a use for every one you own. For myself, I have one screen for communications, another for what I’m working on, and the third for referencing source documents or research. So why do I have a fourth monitor? I have this facing the client seating area so I can share my screen as a visual guide when discussing items together.

Office chairs

There is no substitute for a great chair and no one-size-fits-all solution. Since you’re going to be sitting for most of your work day, I highly recommend investing in a quality chair that is comfortable.

Because I have chronic lower back pain, I’ve tried tons of different brands and styles with lots of functions. My last purchase was a Pursuit Ergonomic Chair by UPLIFT Desk, and after several years, I’m still very happy with it. What I love most about this chair is that it allows me to recline just like a reclining chair that relieves pressure on my lower back. Although it has less cushion on the seat, it has been very comfortable, even when working extended hours. This might not be the best choice for everyone, so do your research, take your time, and spend the money. You’ll thank me later.

Office desks

Almost any office desk can get the job done, but this is another personal decision. There are various types of office desks designed to cater to different needs and preferences. If you meet with clients, you might want to consider looking at an executive desk, which is typically larger and more stylish, or perhaps an L-shaped model that provides more workspace and allows for better organization of materials.

The desk I currently use—after going through several over the years—is an L-Shaped standing desk from UPLIFT Desk. I love having the ability to adjust the height when I’m tired of sitting all day long. My only regret about this desk is that I did not pay for the solid wood version, which was significantly more expensive. There are several other brands available on the market that I could have gone with; this just happened to be what I decided years ago and I would say I’m still satisfied with my decision.

Leverage software solutions

We rely heavily on software to streamline processes, manage finances, and analyze data effectively. While this can also be a personal choice depending upon your needs, here are some essential software solutions to consider:

  • Google or Office 365–which one is better? This debate has been going on for years and will most likely continue. Ultimately, we actually use both of them for different reasons. Office 365 allows us to easily create shared mailboxes to help with two-factor authentication codes, while Google Drive is an amazing productivity tool to store documents, as long as you are on the paid version to be compliant with security.
  • Accounting software–Of course, our favorite accounting software is QuickBooks Online. It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve made, allowing us to spend more time with our clients helping them improve their businesses.
  • Tax software—There are several popular tax preparation software programs with different features and support. Are you looking for something in the cloud? Do you have team members who need access? Take a look at the options and talk with your peers. You’ll find something that works best for you.
  • Scheduling software—If you use the right software, there’s no need to hire an admin when you’re just starting out. Once scheduling became an issue, we decided to use Calendly to allow clients to self schedule, and stop back and forth emails on what time works for both people. Plus, it also integrates with Zoom.
  • Online meeting software—Which one should you use? We use Zoom since it’s one of the most common choices people are familiar with. However, if you’re a Google user, you might just stick with Google Meet. Does your scheduling software integrate with your online meeting software? 
  • Managing workKarbon and are our go-to software for keeping track of work, make sure we meet deadlines, and ensure our processes are consistent. Another industry favorite is Asana and Financial Cents. Test drive a few different ones before you make a decision.

There is no one-size fits all solution and software that does it all … and does a great job at everything. What is your pain point and problem you are trying to solve? There is always a tradeoff between choices, so find what does the job the best for your needs and see if any integrations exist to help bridge the gap between other software programs. You can usually find a balance and workarounds to make things flow smoothly. Eliminating duplicate efforts saves time and money.

Prioritize cybersecurity

Since our industry deals with sensitive financial data, protecting client information and safeguarding confidentiality is extremely important. Here’s a checklist:

  • Implement security measures, such as firewalls, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Regularly update software and systems to patch vulnerabilities and mitigate security risks.
  • Educate yourself and your team about cybersecurity best practices, including safe browsing habits, password hygiene, and identify phishing attempts.

It’s extremely important to understand that bookkeepers are required to follow IRS and FTC security guidelines, even if they do not offer tax preparation services. If you do not have a PTIN, you are not required to design a written information security plan (WISP). If you do offer tax preparation services then you are required to have a WISP.

You can learn more about WISP requirements by visiting for a free IRS WISP template.

While much of this you can do yourself, it’s always better to hire a professional, just like clients should hire us to help with their accounting needs. That’s why we decided to use Tech 4 Accountants. They manage all of the security needs, so it’s one less thing we have to worry about. You can make an appointment to discuss pricing, perform a risk assessment, or discuss their full service WISP using this link.

Cultivate healthy habits

Maintaining productivity requires more than just a well-equipped office setup; it also requires organization and taking care of yourself. 

Prioritize organization by:

  • Using consistent file naming conventions (how you name your files).
  • Implementing a folder structure to easily navigate to the documents you need. As my friend Seth David at Nerd Enterprises always says, you should be able to find anything you need in under five minutes.
  • Keep a clean office area to help reduce stress and free your mind to focus on what needs to be done.

Prioritize yourself by:

  • Taking regular breaks to stretch, hydrate, and rest your eyes to prevent burnout.
  • Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine to boost energy levels and reduce stress.
  • Set boundaries between work and personal life to avoid overworking, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Creating the ideal office setup for maximum productivity as an accountant or bookkeeper involves embracing remote work, optimizing your workspace, leveraging software solutions, prioritizing cybersecurity, and cultivating healthy habits. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance efficiency, effectiveness, and overall job satisfaction in your practice.

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