Recently I decided that I wanted to look into starting my own home based business. My husband was supportive of the idea but thought that we should beginning by contacting an accounting service. I told him that I did not think it was necessary to involve an accounting service immediately, I did not even know what kinds of business opportunities were available. He felt very strongly that if I was going to do this I should start out right.
I spoke to some of the local business owners to see who they used for their accounting service. They all agreed that it was helpful to have a local provider for your accounting service so that if questions come up they can be answered quickly. Also when it comes to tax time you do not want to be a long distance from your accounting service in case you have to provide additional receipts or other information. I contacted a local accountant and made an appointment to meet with him.
At the meeting I explained that I was looking at starting a home based business. I told him that at this time I did not know what that was going to be, but I was starting with my conversation with him. He told me that an accounting service could do a variety of tasks, depending on what the business is and what tasks I would be comfortable and knowledgeable about doing on my own. He said that if I was going to have employees I would need to have a tax identification number, which he could get for me. He said that with his accounting service he does all the bill paying and accounts receivable for some of the local business owners and for others he only does their taxes, again it depends on skill and comfort level of the individual. He advised me to keep every receipt from expenses as I started my business so that I would have it for tax time. He gave me some good ideas on how to organize my business files so that they were be the most helpful to me right from the beginning of the business, rather than trying to organize things down the road.
I am still in the very beginning stages of getting started with my home business, but the accounting service meeting helped me with great ideas of how to organize the paperwork from the start. Plus I know that I have a great resource at my disposal for my accounting questions.