Not many years ago, accountant supply lists involved items such as ledgers, stamps with inkpads, and a very large cup of sharp pencils. Today, accountant supply lists are much different.
First and foremost, the most important accountant supply to purchase is a computer. This is a given in nearly every existing business in the United States today, and choosing a computer can be complicated and confusing due to the many options that are available. If you don’t have a computer that you can use for your accounting business, visit your local accountant supply store, office supply store, or computer dealer.
Shop around at a minimum of three places, and ask a sales representative to demonstrate the different features, as well as review features on memory. Bring a note book to write down the different types of computers you’ve seen, as well as the pros and cons of each different computer. If you have a relative or close friend who knows computers, share your findings in order to make the most educated purchase that is best for your business.
After purchasing a computer, or if you already have a computer suitable for your accounting office, the obvious next accountant supply that will be needed is a good accounting software package. Rather than choosing accounting software by brand, though, choose software that is right for your particular business.
Out-of-the-box accounting software is most suitable for small and medium-sized businesses that have standard accountant supply needs. If your business needs unique data reports, make sure the accounting software you choose offers customizable reports. If you run a service-related business, check to be sure the accounting software includes features such as a time and billing module. When choosing your software, ask a few pertinent questions to make sure the package is right for your accounting business.
– Does the accounting software allow you to print or electronically send cheques, purchase orders, and invoices?
– Does it have internet connectivity so you can bank online?
– Is it integrated with other software that you often use, such as 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 of your needs, now and in the future?
– Does it work easily with tax forms and configurations?
If you anticipate your business to grow and include other staff accountants, consider these additional questions as well.
– Is the accounting software networkable?
– How easy or expensive is it to move from one user to multi-users?
– With some accounting software, adding new users is just a matter of buying the appropriate number of user licenses; with others, you have to purchase multiple copies of the accounting software program, which is much more expensive.
Some software accountant supply packages, such as Peachtree by Sage, offer areas of accounting software specialty as well, such as accounting for construction, accounting for distribution, accounting for manufacturing, and accounting for nonprofit organizations. Therefore, as with a computer purchase, get several opinions from various sources in order to make the most educated purchase for your accounting businesss.
Once a computer system and software package is installed, filling an accountant supply cabinet is the next item a self employed accountant should choose to complete. Before spending your hard earned dollars, though, carefully research the items that you will need the most and those items that you will need immediately in your particular accounting specialty.
A few basic items for your effectively equipping your office, which are available at most any accountant supply or office supply store, are as follows:
– Client tax guide organizers
– Presentation materials and client folders
– Accounting forms
– Filing cabinet with file folders
– Accounting reference materials
– Telephone with headset
– Desk top calculator and adding machine
Some items that will be needed in your accountant supply cabinet can be purchased at an accountant supply or office supply store, but could also be obtained at no charge through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or ordered at irs.gov.
– W2 and 1099 tax forms
– Federal and State envelopes
– Federal and State income tax forms for the current tax year
Basic office supplies that should be included on your accountant supply list are:
– Pencils and an electric pencil sharpener
– Paper clips
– Rubber bands
– Desk organizers and baskets for organizing paperwork to be kept on your desk
– Envelopes of various sizes
– Postage meter if you do or plan on doing a lot of daily mailings on a very regular basis
– Self inking stamps – one with your business mailing address and one for stamping bank deposits
– Letterhead and envelopes with your business name printed on them
– Business cards
Additionally, consider a unique accountant supply that could be of great benefit to you and your clients — a subscription to a tax update newsletter, or another resource that will keep you regularly informed of tax updates, and can help you remain updated on the latest changes in taxes and tax laws.