An Accountant Supply List

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.

Computer

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.

Accounting Software

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.

Other Supplies

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:

– Pens

– Pencils and an electric pencil sharpener

– Paper clips

– Stapler

– 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.

Cost Accounting: The Missing Component of Supply Chain Management

One of the first questions I ask our Warehouse Management students is, “Do you know your operating costs?”, and our Production Planning Management students, “Do you know the cost to produce one of your items?” After five years of training, I can count on one hand how many students were able to answer these questions, which immediately tells me their company does not utilize cost accounting.

The reason students are unable to answer the question is their company only has what is called management and financial accounting in place. Management accounting focuses on historical and estimated data management needs to conduct ongoing operations and do long-range planning. The purpose of management accounting is to accumulate financial information for use in making economic decisions.

Financial accounting focuses on gathering historical financial information to be used in preparing financial statements that meet the needs of investors, creditors, and other external users of financial information. The statements include a balance sheet, income statement, retained earnings statement, and statement of cash flows. Although these financial statements are useful to management as well as to external users, additional reports, schedules, and analyses are required for management’s use in planning and controlling operations.

Management and financial accounting focus on the company’s operations as a whole and cannot provide the detail necessary to accurately determine product costs and pricing. At best all they can do is provide averages. In addition, cost accounting provides the detailed cost information management needs to control current operations and plan for the future. Management uses this information to decide how to allocate resources to the most efficient and profitable areas of the business.

Cost accounting enables management to properly allocate costs such as raw materials, labor, and other factory resources to the products actually using then instead averaging them over all products. Without cost accounting, expenses such as major investments in physical assets, developing the workforce, depreciation, taxes, insurance, utilities, machine maintenance and repair, materials handling, production setup, production scheduling selling and administrative expenses are usually lumped together to create an overhead rate which is added to a product as an overhead markup. The true cost of a product is never determined which means the company is charging too much for some products and not enough for others.

Principles of cost accounting have been developed to enable manufacturers to process the many different costs associated with manufacturing and to provide built-in control features. The information produced by a cost accounting system provides a basis for determining accurate product costs and selling prices, and it helps management to plan and control operations.

Determining Product Costs and Pricing

Cost accounting procedures provide the means to determine product costs that enable the preparation of meaningful financial statements and other reports needed to manage a business. The cost accounting information system must be designed to permit the determination of unit costs as well as total product costs. Unit cost information is also useful in making important marketing decisions such as determining the selling price of a product, meeting competition, bidding on contracts, and analyzing profitability.

Planning and Control

One of the most important aspects of cost accounting is the preparation of reports that management can use to plan and control operations. Planning is the process of establishing objectives or goals for the firm and determining the means by which they will be met. Effective planning is facilitated by clearly defined objectives of the manufacturing operation and a production plan that will assist and guide the company in reaching its objectives.

Cost accounting information enhances the planning process by providing historical costs that serve as a basis for future projections. Management can analyze the data to estimate future costs and operating results and to make decisions regarding the acquisition of additional facilities, any changes in marketing strategies, and the availability of capital.

Effective control is achieved by assigning responsibility for each detail of the production plan through the establishment of cost centers. All managers should know precisely what their responsibilities are in terms of efficiency, operations, production, and costs. The key to proper control involves the use of responsibility accounting and cost centers by periodically measuring and comparing results and taking necessary corrective action.

Cost Accounting: The Missing Component of Supply Chain Management

One of the first questions I ask our Warehouse Management students is, “Do you know your operating costs?”, and our Production Planning Management students, “Do you know the cost to produce one of your items?” After five years of training, I can count on one hand how many students were able to answer these questions, which immediately tells me their company does not utilize cost accounting.

The reason students are unable to answer the question is their company only has what is called management and financial accounting in place. Management accounting focuses on historical and estimated data management needs to conduct ongoing operations and do long-range planning. The purpose of management accounting is to accumulate financial information for use in making economic decisions.

Financial accounting focuses on gathering historical financial information to be used in preparing financial statements that meet the needs of investors, creditors, and other external users of financial information. The statements include a balance sheet, income statement, retained earnings statement, and statement of cash flows. Although these financial statements are useful to management as well as to external users, additional reports, schedules, and analyses are required for management’s use in planning and controlling operations.

Management and financial accounting focus on the company’s operations as a whole and cannot provide the detail necessary to accurately determine product costs and pricing. At best all they can do is provide averages. In addition, cost accounting provides the detailed cost information management needs to control current operations and plan for the future. Management uses this information to decide how to allocate resources to the most efficient and profitable areas of the business.

Cost accounting enables management to properly allocate costs such as raw materials, labor, and other factory resources to the products actually using then instead averaging them over all products. Without cost accounting, expenses such as major investments in physical assets, developing the workforce, depreciation, taxes, insurance, utilities, machine maintenance and repair, materials handling, production setup, production scheduling selling and administrative expenses are usually lumped together to create an overhead rate which is added to a product as an overhead markup. The true cost of a product is never determined which means the company is charging too much for some products and not enough for others.

Principles of cost accounting have been developed to enable manufacturers to process the many different costs associated with manufacturing and to provide built-in control features. The information produced by a cost accounting system provides a basis for determining accurate product costs and selling prices, and it helps management to plan and control operations.

Determining Product Costs and Pricing

Cost accounting procedures provide the means to determine product costs that enable the preparation of meaningful financial statements and other reports needed to manage a business. The cost accounting information system must be designed to permit the determination of unit costs as well as total product costs. Unit cost information is also useful in making important marketing decisions such as determining the selling price of a product, meeting competition, bidding on contracts, and analyzing profitability.

Planning and Control

One of the most important aspects of cost accounting is the preparation of reports that management can use to plan and control operations. Planning is the process of establishing objectives or goals for the firm and determining the means by which they will be met. Effective planning is facilitated by clearly defined objectives of the manufacturing operation and a production plan that will assist and guide the company in reaching its objectives.

Cost accounting information enhances the planning process by providing historical costs that serve as a basis for future projections. Management can analyze the data to estimate future costs and operating results and to make decisions regarding the acquisition of additional facilities, any changes in marketing strategies, and the availability of capital.

Effective control is achieved by assigning responsibility for each detail of the production plan through the establishment of cost centers. All managers should know precisely what their responsibilities are in terms of efficiency, operations, production, and costs. The key to proper control involves the use of responsibility accounting and cost centers by periodically measuring and comparing results and taking necessary corrective action.