Looking for a better source of accounting supplies? While the local stationary shop or big box office supply store down the street has its appeal, it may not have the specialized supplies your company needs such as highly secure MICR checks. Use these tips to choose the best accounting supply company for your specific needs.
Assess Your Accounting Supply Needs
Before you start searching for a supplies company, you’ll need to have a firm idea about your specific needs. After all, if you need a specific type or brand of supplies, it won’t do you much good to set up a contract with a company that isn’t an authorized partner for those supplies.
Take a walk through your office with a clipboard and make a list of your accounting supply needs such as: laser printer cartridges, blank check stock, blank forms, calculator/adding machine paper, blank labels, ledger sheets, payroll sheets, security printers, accounting software, MICR toner, and so on. Make sure to write down brand names, model numbers, part numbers, and other pertinent information.
In addition to physically looking for accounting supplies you might need, use your accounting software to look at past purchases as you may order supplies for branch offices. Use your accounting software to determine what you’ve been paying in the past for your supplies. This will help you determine which company offers the best value as well.
Determine Who Sells Those Supplies
Once you have an inventory of your accounting supply requirements, start researching companies. For example, if you need a source for MICR check printing, search for companies that offer MICR checks and toner compatible with your MICR printer.
Determine Service Levels
Next, do you have any unusual service requirements? For example, if you will be placing high volume orders, write that down as not all supply companies will be able to accommodate bulk purchasing. Need overnight or same day delivery? Write that down. Need personalized service, net 30 billing, or a dedicated account rep?
Determine Which Accounting Supplies Companies Can Deliver Those Service Levels
By now, you have already identified accounting supply companies that offer the products you need. Now it’s time to narrow the field down to those who offer the service levels you need. You may need to speak with an account representative to get answers at this point. Use this conversation to get information as well as gauge the company’s professionalism and enthusiasm. Is the supply company easy to reach when you call or are you immediately routed to voicemail. Is the representative knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly?
Only after you’ve narrowed down your list to companies with the products and service levels you require should you bring price into the equation. Use your list to compare each of your top company’s prices on your most frequently ordered supplies.
By doing these steps, you should be able to select a supply company that has the right products, at the right service levels, at a fair price.