Chart of Accounts: An Overview For SMBs Examples

Chart of Accounts: An Overview For SMBs Examples

chart of accounts example

The first digit of the number signifies if it is an asset, liability, etc. For example, if the first digit is a “1” it is an asset, if the first digit is a “3” it is a revenue account, etc. The company decided to include a column to indicate whether a debit or credit will increase the amount in the account. This sample chart of accounts also includes a column containing a description of each account in order to assist in the selection of the most appropriate account. As a business, you can decide to structure your chart of accounts so that revenue and expenses are categorized according to business function, product line, or company division.

You can use four-digit codes—assets (1000 to 1999) and liability accounts (2000 to 2999). You’ll want to consider a business expense tracker to record and manage your expense accounts. It can also come in handy and save you money with business tax deductions. Every time you do this, you credit the cash asset account because that cash is no longer in the business.

Standard Chart of Accounts

Secondly, it is essential to carry out the numbering, as it can help us pick any account based on its number. For example, a cash account is usually numbered as 1001, so this method may help an accountant in identifying the cash account details and save plenty of time. The chart of accounts refers to the directory of every account made in the general ledger in an accounting system.

There, the chart of accounts is created automatically for you, using a default CoA structure that works just fine for many businesses. “I don’t think I’ve ever looked at that,” he told me as we looked over his accounts. I could see the light bulbs going on as I showed him how his sales invoice lines were all configured to flow to a single sales account in his chart of accounts. With such a simplistic accounting structure, his financials were unable to provide detail about his five distinct revenue streams. Wrapping your mind around double-entry accounting, the accounting system facilitated by a chart of accounts, can take some time. Once you have it down, however, maintaining a chart of accounts, with its redundant system of debits offset by credits, can help ensure that your records are accurate.


Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs[/box]
If you want to take your company and yourself to the next level, then click here to learn more about the premier financial leadership development platform. This content is presented “as is,” and is not intended to provide tax, legal or financial advice. Plus, having all of your data organized properly shows a good knowledge of financial health and best practices, which puts investors at ease that you’re confident and competent at managing money. A good COA helps you understand how your finances are organized and allows you to keep records clean. At first glance, the chart of accounts may seem comparatively unuseful.

  • As you can see, each account is listed numerically in financial statement order with the number in the first column and the name or description in the second column.
  • A chart of accounts is a list of accounts organized hierarchically by type.
  • The first digit in the account number refers to which of the five major account categories an individual account belongs to—“1” for asset accounts, “2” for liability accounts, “3” for equity accounts, etc.
  • Additionally, the chart encourages consistency which is beneficial for companies when comparing their financial reports from different years.
  • Note that business type likely influences a CoA less than ownership structure, business size, payment collection methods and policies, and cash management strategies.
  • As the identification process of the accounts is simple, it is easier to analyze and control the costs of a company.

Share this post