8 Fun Activities That Also Build Bookkeeping Skills
Practicing the skills that make a good bookkeeper doesn’t have to be a chore. In this post, we’ll go over some fun activities that build bookkeeping skills while providing entertainment or other benefits.
What Makes a Good Bookkeeper?
I have a whole other post answering this question. But in short, being a good bookkeeper requires:
- Critical thinking
- A strategic mindset
- A good memory
- Scrappiness and resourcefulness
- Communication skills
- Detail-oriented thought processes
- Organizational skills
- Ability to segment information
These 9 skills guided the 8 fun activities I selected for this post. A few other skills are good for a bookkeeper to have (technology prowess, for example), but they’re best achieved through direct study and not involved with this post.
Fun Activities that Build Bookkeeping Skills
When playing a strategy-based board game, you can almost feel your brain getting a workout. Executing a plan to perfection takes every one of your mental faculties, as there are a lot of good games out there that don’t involve mostly luck as Monopoly or Uno do.
Board games will help you develop critical thinking, attention to detail, communication skills, organizational tactics, and most of the other skills you need as a bookkeeper while providing an evening of family-friendly entertainment.
Take a look at this article from Canada’s CPA Board for some suggestions of the best games for accountants and bookkeepers. As a bonus, the article includes suggestions for bookkeeper-friendly video games!
Budgeting for Fun
Whenever you get the opportunity to budget or deal with money for a fun activity, please take it. If you and some friends are planning a vacation, for instance, you should jump at the chance to draw up a plan for how much you will spend and what you will spend on. Be as specific as possible, going so far as to pick out individual restaurants, hotels, and attractions you will visit and researching how realistic it is to budget for them.
Budgeting for fun activities is a practical way to precisely practice what you will be doing on the job. But since it is focused on leisure and not work, you will have more motivation to do it and will want to practice instead of feeling like it’s a chore.
Cooking With What You Have
Every now and then, check out what foods and other ingredients you’ve got in the house and think up something to cook with those things. I’m not talking about just whipping up some scrambled eggs, either; the more complex the meal is, the better. The finished product should ideally be something that makes other diners say, “wow, where’d you learn to make this?”
You’ll probably need to get creative in your ingredients, using combinations of what you have in innovative ways as “substitutions” for other ingredients you wish you had. This is the main reason why the exercise is good for accounting skills. By forcing you out of the box, the culinary adventure will make you be resourceful and think strategically.
Keeping a Journal
Keeping a journal has tons of positive mental effects, like making you less stressed and more mindful. It also helps bookkeeping skills by making you organize information and test your memory.
As a bookkeeper, you should try to make your journal as specific as possible. That way, the journaling process will improve attention to detail and memorization skills, two critical parts of the bookkeeping skillset. Make sure to write down events in exact chronological order to improve organizational skills and focus on the events’ correlation and causation.
"Where's the Income Stream?"
One thing that accountants know well is that every service takes in money somehow. So get into the habit of asking yourself, “where’s the income stream?” whenever you encounter or hear about any service where the answer isn’t apparent.
For example, you see a free site online that offers credit advice, and it’s not immediately apparent why the site is providing value “for free.” Ask yourself, “where’s the income stream?”
Doing this will make you more detail-oriented and give you ideas for revenue streams you can suggest to your bookkeeping clients.
There are some great web games out there that help with bookkeeping skills. They gamify the requisite skills, so practicing them becomes a fun activity.
The site Bean Counters is a good place to start for bookkeeping web games.
Help Kids Organize a Business
If you have kids or even if you know any kids with any entrepreneurial spark in them, encourage them to start a micro-business (such as a lemonade stand) with your help. Your goal here isn’t to control the “business,” but analyze the financials to provide real advice to the kids.
Dealing with such a low-stakes business is a fun way of practicing financial advising without the stress that comes with real businesses. You’ll be willing to take risks in the business, and you may even uncover tactics to try out on a higher level.
As a bonus, you’ll be helping some members of the younger generation get into entrepreneurship!
Escape rooms are essentially themed rooms (or series of rooms, more often) that contain puzzles the people locked in have to solve one by one in order to “escape.” The puzzles are usually collaborative and force you to pay attention to small details in the clues you’re given.
Some people are made for bookkeeping but never get into it because they are afraid the learning process will be too dull or strenuous. If this sounds like you, I implore you to immediately try out some of these fun activities to start developing your bookkeeping brain!
Do you have bookkeeping experience and want to suggest more fun activities that help you work out your bookkeeping skills? If so, let me know on the Bookkeeper’s Facebook!
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