What business tools do I need?

In this article, we take a look at essential business tools you will need to start your accounting and bookkeeping service.

Whether you have a computer or not, you ought to have a working electric typewriter, but nothing fancy. If you don’t have one right now, don’t despair. This Saturday, go to a garage sale or two, and you will surely find one for very little money. Make sure it works before you hand over the cash.

Why do you need a typewriter if you have a computer? Occasionally, you might be asked to fill out a preprinted form. Have you ever tried to fill out a form with a computer printer? It’s not that easy — so a typewriter will save you time.

We recommend you apply for a business telephone line. In most states it’s no longer required that you have a separate business line, but it is still advisable. There are two good reasons for a separate business number:

  1. Your company’s name will be placed in the yellow pages. This will provide you with credibility, and enable your clients to find you if they need to. By the way, this does not mean you should buy an ad in the yellow pages — that would be a waste of money. You’ll read more about advertising in another article.
  2. You’ll preserve your personal life. A separate number will allow you to screen your calls. For example, if you are just sitting down for dinner and the business line rings, let it transfer to the answering machine. On the other hand, if it is during business hours, and you are performing work for a client and a private call comes in, let the answering machine take the message. Also, if you have children at home, it’s a good idea to instruct them not to pick up the business line. You want to appear professional, and most businesses don’t have children answering their phones.

A fax machine can be very helpful to communicate with clients, as well as getting information to and from prospective clients. Just an inexpensive model will probably handle your needs. They can also often be used in a pinch as a copier.

As for copy machines, you can probably do without this for now. Most of us have a copy store within a mile of our home, where we can get these services when we need them. When you consider the cost of purchasing and maintaining these machines, the copy stores become a bargain.

For more infomation about getting started successfully with your own accounting and bookkeeping service, check out our courses.