Setting up your tax preparation office means purchasing the right tools. The right equipment can help you finish your tasks efficiently and let your business processes work smoothly.
Of course, buying equipment is not cheap. You will have to invest in getting the right tools to ensure that you can provide the best service for your clients. Despite this, you need to purchase equipment that has good value and a good return on your investment.
When you’re starting out, you can’t buy all the equipment in just one-go. You need to prioritize the spending on your capital to make sure your business stays afloat.
If you can afford to get all the best and latest equipment in one-go, then that’s great. However, you also need to save enough money to get the business going. For example, you need to pay for your office rent, bills, other business fees, and marketing tools.
Find out what equipment and supplies you need to prioritize. Once done, set a budget so you can plan how much you can spend on the more pricey items. Don’t worry about the items on your “not priority list,” you can still get those once you get some revenue.
What Tools Should I Buy Right Away?
Tax Preparation Software
The first item on your priority list should be the core of your business. Getting tax preparation software is non-negotiable.
Although you can manually prepare taxes, using tax software gets things done quickly and accurately. You want to make sure that you can accommodate as many clients as possible, and still provide accurate outputs.
Another reason why you should invest in tax software is because of the IRS’ initiative on paperless filing. E-file as many returns as you need with your tax software. In some cases, like UltimateTax Online 1040 and UltimateTax PPR, you can even check the progress status of your e-Filed returns as soon as you’re done with it.
When it comes to tax software, it’s no question that it has to be the top on your list. Find out which software best fits you in terms of price, features, and reliability. You can check out a tax software comparison review to know more about them.
Laptop or Desktop
Of course, you can’t use your tax preparation software without a laptop or a desktop. Now, at the start of your business, you can use your personal device. However, consider getting a dedicated work laptop or desktop.
A dedicated work laptop or desktop ensures privacy and protection for your clients. It’s a reassurance that you won’t use the device (filled with their personal information) during your vacation or at home. This means there’s less chance that it could be stolen or accessed by unauthorized people.
Choosing between a laptop and a desktop also depends on your work style. Do you want to be more mobile when working? Do you want your device secured in one place and connected to a network? Most companies are now opting to get laptops because it’s more convenient and has a good value for your money.
Despite moving towards a paperless office, you would still need a reliable printer to conduct your business. Aside from printing a copy of your client’s returns, there are other items you need to print for your business. Here are some of them:
- Client’s supporting documents
- Payslip or pay stub
There’s a good volume of documents that tax professionals print on a daily basis.
A good tip when buying printers for business is to get one that’s a printer, scanner, and copier all-in-one. All these features and functions are necessary for your business.
An office cannot function without its supplies. Although it may seem like it’s a given, it’s still important to highlight that you need to purchase them.
If you’re on a tight budget, stick to the necessities only. That means paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, and folders. Other supplies that do not get used on a daily basis could be de-prioritized or bought only when needed.
Don’t worry, supplies costs are very minimal. A great tip to get the best value is to buy in bulk. Check out the nearest wholesale or bulk items shops to get good deals.
These are just some of the tools and equipment you need to start your tax preparation business. Read the Ultimate Guide for New Tax Preparers for recommendations on what laptop, printer, and tax software fit for your tax business. You can also find a list of recommended suppliers for your office supplies.
Aside from recommendations on your office tools, you can also get tips on how you can start and grow your tax preparation business.