The best keyboards for accountants are also some of the most affordable. When looking at keyboards for accounting and increasing productivity there are a number of features that you should consider. We’ll break down what features you should prioritize when purchasing your next keyboard.
Keyboards are often overlooked when people are setting up a home office for improved productivity. Many IT departments also treat keyboards as an afterthought and issue employees keyboards that feel like they’ve been handed down from generation to generation of office employee.
Let’s take a look at what makes a great keyboard, and what considerations you should have in mind.
We’ll also highlight our recommendations for best copmuter keyboards for accountants
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Pop! Automation Pick for Best Keyboard for Accountants
Most people will be familiar with Lenovo as the company behind ThinkPad laptops. They’re a staple in the business and accounting world and for good reason. Lenovo’s business-oriented products are no non-sense tools for getting work done.
Why we like the Lenovo Preferred Pro Keyboard:
- Full Sized Keyboard with 10-key and full-sized function keys
- Affordable Pricing
- No non-sense design aesthetic ready to work
- Wired with USB-A means you will never run out of battery when typing.
Keep reading to learn more about why we prioritize the features that we do and they key features you should consider.
Best Wireless USB Keyboard and Mouse Combo
This wireless keyboard and mouse combo from EDJO is a great value, and even comes in a variety of different colors to spice things up on your desk. The wireless USB receiver plug into a standard USB-A port on a laptop or computer and connects to both the mouse and keyboard.
The USB receiver can be stored inside of the keyboard if you’re traveling with it, and the mouse has adjustable DPI to control mouse sensitivity.
Why we like the EDJO 2.4G Full-Sized Keyboard and Mouse Combo
- Full Sized Keyboard with 10-key and full-sized function keys
- Affordable keyboard and mouse combo
- USB receivers plug in to any laptop and don’t require any setup.
- A single USB receiver works for both the keyboard and mouse.
Best Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard
The Logitech MX series of peripherals are designed with professionals in mind. The Logitech MX Keys S wireless keyboard has some great functionality worth considering. Rather than take AA or AAA batters, this keyboard has a built-in battery and is rechargeable by USB-C.
Why we like the Logitech MX Keys S Wireless Rechargeable Bluetooth Keyboard
- The aluminum chassis provides a solid build quality and feel
- Rechargeable with USB-C
- Easily switch between 3 connected devices
- Comes with software to build custom quick key actions
- Sleek extra portable design
While we generally prefer full-sized wired keyboards, this wireless Bluetooth keyboard from Logitech packs a lot of features to make it stand out in the crowd.
At times, we also like packing a full-size keyboard when traveling with a laptop. The slim design of the Logitech makes it easy to place into a backpack or messenger bag to avoid the need to work off of a small laptop keyboard when traveling.
Best Mechanical Keyboard for Accountants
Mechanical keyboards have taken off in popularity over the last several years. They’re widely used in gaming circles and are coveted for their tactile response, helping typists and gamers confirm when a key has been pressed which allows them to improve speed and accuracy.
The only drawback to mechanical keyboards is the higher price compared to the other more affordable options on this list.
Why we like the Logitech MX Mechanical Keyboard
- Full Sized Keyboard with 10-key and full-sized function keys
- One of the best tactile experiences in typing
- Lacks wild and crazy colors of most gaming keyboards
- A series tool for a series typist
Many people may find the price tag to be a big turn off for a keyboard. However, this style of keyboard has risen in popularity for a reason.
Must have Keyboard Features for Accountants
Accountants, and analysts have slightly different use cases than most business professionals. A significant amount of time is spent entering data into Accounting Systems, ERP’s, manipulating data in Microsoft Excel, and other business intelligence tools such as Power BI.
A good keyboard can improve the experience and help you increase your productivity. The following are items that we would prioritize when selecting a new keyboard.
- Full-Sized Keyboards – Larger keyboards give users more space to type on and reduce the chance for errors. They also make it easier to use productivity boosting keyboard shortcuts.
- 10-Key – Almost all Full-Sized Keyboards will also have a 10-key for quickly typing in numbers and perofrming calculations.
- Large Function Keys – Anyone who uses Excel throughout the day will press F4 fairly often to lock in a cell reference. Many accounting systems also have shortcut keys assigned to the Function row. Keyboards with large function keys are easier to interact with.
- Full-Size Arrow Keys – Arrow keys are essential for quickly navigating around Excel workbooks and other data analysis software using keyboard shortcuts. Larger arrows that are traditionally placed make it easier to be more productive.
Now let’s look at some additional considerations that come down to personal preference of the individual typist.
Should You Buy a Wireless Keyboard or a Wired Keyboard?
Users who infrequently travel with their keyboard and work at a single workstation or desk of a home office will be best served with a wired keyboard. They’re easy to plugin, require zero thought, and you never have to worry about a battery running out of power at the wrong time.
If you’re always on the road or moving between different desks a wireless keyboard can be very convenient. The technology has improved to the point where establishing connections requires little effort and many Bluetooth keyboards will notify you when your batter is running low.
It’s also hard to argue with the pleasing aesthetic of a desk in a home office where there are no visible cords between the computer, mouse, and keyboard.
If you do decide to purchase a wireless keyboard there are two different connection types you should be familiar with.
Wireless USB Transmitter Keyboards
Wireless USB transmitter keyboards are the traditional “plug-and-play” devices that have been around for years. These keyboards connect to your computer via a small USB receiver that is plugged into an open USB port. They are particularly popular in professional settings due to their reliability. These keyboards are usually straightforward in terms of features, focusing on functionality over frills.
The primary drawback of USB transmitter keyboards is that the receiver will take up a USB port which is increasingly becoming an issue as laptops get smaller, thinner, and have less open ports for peripherals.
Wireless Bluetooth Keyboards
Bluetooth keyboards connect to your computer, tablet, or even your phone via Bluetooth technology. They offer great flexibility and are often more portable than other types. If you’ve ever used a wireless headset or portable speaker it’s likely that it was using Bluetooth to establish the wireless connection.
For accountants who are always on the move, meeting clients or working in different locations, a Bluetooth keyboard can be a godsend. It offers the ultimate in portability and can easily connect to multiple devices.
The drawbacks of Bluetooth keyboards are often the higher price than other keyboard connection types, and they can use batteries faster than a USB transmitter keyboard. The benefit is that they don’t require a USB port of any kind to be connected to a device.
Should You Consider a Gaming Keyboard for Productivity?
Gaming keyboards typically have a number of features that are generally not required for accounting tasks, such as customizable RGB lighting and programmable macro keys. Where they excel is that they are designed for low latency, excellent tactile feedback which means you will likely make less errors while typing.
Gaming keyboards are typically full-size and come with a 10-key.
The biggest drawback is that these specialty keyboards come with higher price tags for features that likely won’t be utilized and you may not be taken seriously in the board room if you pull out a bright flashing rainbow colored keyboard prior to a presentation.
Mechanical vs Non-Mechanical Keyboards
Mechanical keyboards use individual mechanical switches for each key, offering tactile feedback. This can make typing more satisfying and even faster for some.
The most common non-mechanical keyboard type is a membrane keyboard. They are generally quieter and less expensive but offer less tactile feedback. Membrane keyboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Over the years they picked up a reputation for being poor quality and issues were compounded when it was trendy to offer extra slim multi-media keyboards that gave typists very little feedback to even know when a button was fully pressed.
Mechanical keyboards can also be noisy, which might be a concern in a shared office space or working from home in close proximity to others. Non-mechanical keyboards are usually more affordable and quieter but may not offer the same typing experience.
Portable 10-key Keyboards for Laptops
Many modern laptops lack a full 10-key number pad. For accountants, who frequently work with numbers, this can be a significant drawback. Portable 10-key keyboards solve this problem elegantly. These are external number pads can be connected to your laptop, offering the full 10-key experience that’s crucial for number-heavy tasks in accounting. We especially like the Rottay Portable Mechanical 10-key USB Keyboard.
With an ergonomic design, and high tactile response it’s perfect for hammering out lots of data entry and calculations in a short period of time. While we are typically not a fan of backlighting we think it could strike a bit of fear into those who are about to be audited when they see it coming out and being fired up to do some reconciliations.
Additional Specifications of a Keyboard to Be Aware Of
When choosing a keyboard, especially for a profession as detail-oriented as accounting, it’s not enough to simply decide between wireless and wired, or mechanical and non-mechanical. There are a host of other features and specifications that can significantly impact your work experience. Here are some to consider:
Key Rollover & Anti-Ghosting
Key rollover refers to how many keys can be pressed at the same time without ‘dropping’ any pressed keys. Anti-ghosting ensures that when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously, ‘phantom’ keystrokes won’t be sent.
Backlit keyboards have keys that are illuminated for better visibility in low light conditions. Working late hours is not uncommon in the accounting world. A backlit keyboard can ease eye strain and reduce the risk of errors during those late-night sessions.
We also think that overdone backlighting like you see with gaming keyboards may make it harder to be taken seriously.
Some keyboards come with programmable keys known as ‘Macro Keys.’ These keys can be customized to perform a series of actions with a single press. Macro keys can be programmed to execute repetitive tasks quickly, like inserting commonly used Excel functions or even executing a series of commands or Excel Macros.
Built-in Touchpad or Trackball
Some keyboards come with a built-in touchpad or trackball to act as a mouse substitute. They’re designed for more mobility, but we have never found one that we actually enjoyed using. Our recommendation is to purchase a full-sized keyboard with a 10-key and a portable wireless mouse to compliment it.
Accountants, analysts and finance professionals should look at keyboards as a productivity tool. Look for one that is full sized, has a 10-key and full-sized function buttons. Luckily, a number of reputable brands make keyboards targeted at business users that are relatively inexpensive.
High-end keyboards add a number of features such as low-latency, better tactile feedback for higher productivity and faster typing. People that are able to take advantage of these features will already have to be excellent typists capable of a high WPM or 10-key speed.
Deciding between a wired and wireless keyboard is a personal choice and often comes down to aesthetics, how portable the keyboard needs to be and whether you have to constantly switch between different computers.
At the end of the day, remember that the only three components you use to interact with a computer is a keyboard, mouse and monitor. With the number of hours spent working with these tools it’s worth it to find one that’s a good fit for you.
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