Nonprofit Chart of Accounts Template

chart of account template

One entry shows the source of money, the other entry shows the money’s destination. You can make life much easier for your controller when you group EBITDA and non-recurring or one-off items like acquisition expenses, integration expenses, and others. This way, looking at normalized accounts doesn’t feel like a mighty chore when, for example, converting from a GAAP income statement to a management income statement. Once you have an adequate system in place, then it’s not a problem to tweak your COA by adjusting account categories when needed. We suggest proceeding with caution with your adjustments, however, as you want to make sure you are consistent and logical. For example, if you have unneeded categories in your COA, it’s usually not a good idea to eliminate them mid-period due to possible orphaned data in your financial statements.

Each transaction is organized by category to provide a clear breakdown of what was earned and spent. It’s safe to assume larger companies will typically have more transactions and accompanying GL accounts than smaller ones. Thus, a five-digit numbering system – rather than three or four-digits – gives a large company more room to break out detailed accounts. These could include accounts like COGS, depreciation on fixed assets, sales returns, common stock, and others that small business owners might not need, at least in such detail. When it’s time to either set up a new COA or improve an existing one, it’s important to remember the running theme you’ve seen up to this point – organization. Classifying your different types of transactions into set categories is the backbone of an effective COA and, thus, general ledger and financial statements.

General Ledger Chart of Accounts in DOC

It is generally up to each accountant, controller, or CFO to design the chart of accounts template, unless certain standard general layouts are regulated by law. The structure of the chart of accounts template should assist in consistent posting of all transaction. Make sure your chart of accounts is as clean as possible as your company prepares for high growth with this flexible template. While every CoA is a bespoke structure, this template nails down the basic best practices so you don’t have to start from scratch. The numbering system depends on the complexity of the business and the amount of detail required from its financial reporting system. However, there’s no hard rule for how to pick a numbering system and how the accounts should be numbered.

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Chart of accounts example.

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While there’s no one-size-fits-all for closing the books, this template provides a strong foundation as well as the flexibility to customize it to your organization’s needs. Here is a sample format to give you an idea of what a typical chart of accounts looks like. However, note that different charts of account formats will likely have slightly different accounts and different codes.

How to import chart of accounts to Reviso

Without this standardized approach, you’re essentially performing the same effort twice, routing transactions across different accounts between the entities. Suffice it to say, repetitive work is slower, more inefficient, and less reliable, all traits working directly against what your chart of accounts is supposed to accomplish in the first place. These accounts equate to the equity value remaining in your business after deducting your liabilities from your assets. In short, this is a way to measure how valuable your organization is to its owners. For example, additional information like company and cost center lists flesh out simple transactional data, providing more nuanced insights that your leadership will undoubtedly benefit from. We’ll go into greater detail in a bit but, for the time being, just remember that you have a large degree of flexibility when it comes to building your COA and tailoring it to your specific needs.

What is a simple chart of accounts?

A chart of accounts is a list of account names used to label transactions and keep tabs on a company's finances. Think of it as the filing cabinet for your small business's accounting system. It organizes transactions into groups, which helps track money coming in and out of the company.

All of those financial transactions generating operating revenue for your company fall into the P&L (income statement) category. Just remember, this only includes revenues stemming from the core functions of your business, not items falling outside of your main activities. Granted, by the time they hit your financial reports, you’re probably grouping them in a line item anyway.

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The cost of goods sold, or COGS, is the cost of acquiring and preparing items for sale. In a restaurant chart of accounts, the COGS section will include the same accounts as the revenue section. That way you can eyeball the COGS and revenue for specific item types. Current assets are liquid assets that are either cash https://turbo-tax.org/inheritance-taxes/ or expected to be converted to cash within a year. In the context of bars and restaurants, this is checking accounts, savings accounts, food inventory, bar inventory, accounts receivable, short-term investments, and more. The five basic charts of accounts are assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses.

Can I create my own chart of accounts in QuickBooks?

Go to Bookkeeping and select Chart of accounts (Take me there). Select New. Select the appropriate account type from the Account Type dropdown menu. Select the appropriate Detail Type from the dropdown menu.

One reason you need to keep your finances as organized as possible is to remain compliant with state and federal regulations. For more information on how to use this template, check out our SaaS Chart of Accounts blog. Imagine someone plops you down into the middle of a massive city and asks you to find a particular address.


In conclusion, the standard chart of account is useful for analyzing past transactions and using historical data to forecast future trends. You can use the following example of chart of accounts to set up the general ledger of most companies. In addition, you may customize your COA to your industry by adding to the Inventory, Revenue and Cost of Goods Sold sections to the sample chart of accounts. Each account in the chart of accounts is assigned a unique account number or code, making it easier to identify and track transactions.

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How do I create a chart of accounts?

  1. Use the Main Account Types. The main account types help you organize your unique business by category.
  2. Create Your Business's Accounts. When you create the accounts for your business, think about the type of business you run.
  3. Assign Account Numbers.
  4. Keep Your Chart of Accounts Organized.

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