Not too many years ago, accountant supply lists included items such as ledgers, stamps with ink pads, and a very large mug of sharp pencils. Nowadays, accountant delivery lists are very different.
First and foremost, the most important purchase for accountants is a computer. This is a given in almost every existing business in the United States these days, and choosing a computer can be complicated and confusing due to the many options available. If you don’t have a computer to use for your accounting business, visit your local bookkeeping supply store, office supply store, or computer retailer.
Look around at least three places and ask a sales rep to demonstrate the different features and review the storage capabilities. Bring a notebook to write down the different types of computers you saw and the pros and cons of each computer. If you have a relative or close friend who is computer savvy, share your insights to make the most informed purchase that’s best for your business.
After purchasing a computer or if you already have a computer suitable for your accounting office, the obvious next accounting equipment needed is a good accounting software package. However, rather than choosing accounting software by brand, choose software that is right for your particular business.
Out-of-the-box accounting software is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses that have standard bookkeeping needs. If your business requires unique data reports, make sure the accounting software you choose offers customizable reports. If you run a service-related business, make sure the accounting software includes features like a time and billing module. When choosing your software, ask a few relevant questions to ensure the package is right for your accounting business.
– Does the accounting software allow checks, purchase orders and invoices to be printed or sent electronically?
– Does it have an internet connection so you can bank online?
– Is it integrated with other software that you use frequently e.g. e.g. Microsoft Office?
– Is it able to convert data from other accounting programs or databases? In other words, will the accounting software be able to meet all your needs now and in the future?
– Does it work fine with tax forms and configurations?
If you expect your business to grow and include other accountants, consider these additional questions as well.
– Is the accounting software network-compatible?
– How easy or expensive is it to switch from one user to multiple users?
– With some accounting programs, adding new users is just a matter of purchasing the appropriate number of user licenses; others require you to purchase multiple copies of the accounting program, which is much more expensive.
Some software accountant delivery packages, such as B. Peachtree by Sage, also offer special areas for accounting software, e.g. B. Accounting for Construction, Accounting for Sales, Accounting for Manufacturing, and Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations. Therefore, as with any computer purchase, get multiple opinions from different sources to make the most informed purchase for your accounting business.
Once a computer system and software package are installed, filling an accountant’s supply closet is the next item for a self-employed accountant to complete. However, before you spend your hard-earned dollars, carefully research the items you need most and the items you need immediately in your particular accounting specialty.
A few basic items for effectively outfitting your office, which are readily available at almost any bookkeeping or office supply store, are as follows:
– Organizers of tax guides for clients
– Presentation materials and customer folders
– Billing forms
– File cabinet with files
– Accounting reference materials
– Telephone with headset
– Desktop calculator and adding machine
Some items needed in your accountant’s pantry can be purchased at an accountant or office supply store, but can also be obtained for free through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or ordered at irs.gov.
– Tax forms W2 and 1099
– Federal and state envelopes
– Federal and state income tax forms for the current tax year
Basic office supplies to include on your accountant supply list are:
– Pencils and an electric sharpener
– rubber bands
– Desk organizers and baskets to organize paperwork to keep on your desk
– Envelopes of various sizes
– Postage meter if you regularly send or plan to send a lot of mail
– Self-Inking Stamps – one with your business mailing address and one for stamping bank deposits
– Letterhead and envelopes with the company name printed on them
– Business cards
Also, consider a unique accountant offering that could be of great benefit to you and your clients – a subscription to a tax update newsletter or another resource that will provide you with regular tax updates and can help you stay current Changes in taxes and tax laws.