GL: General Ledger Chart of Accounts Numbering System-FAQs

Chart of Accounts Numbering

Your capital account structure depends on whether your company is organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Regulation S-X, Regulation S-K and Proxy statement In the U.S. the Securities and Exchange Commission prescribes and requires numerous quarterly and annual financial statement disclosures.

Every account in the general ledger chart of accounts is assigned a specific code, and this is what we call a chart of accounts numbering. This helps the account managers to locate accounts while making entries and preparing financial statements easily. The Chart of Accounts is one of those unknown parts of your accounting software we don’t even think about. When designing and constructing your chart of accounts, plan the structure and the accounts and sub-accounts needed by your specific company. Liability accounts are a record of all the debts your company owes.

How do I edit a chart of accounts in QuickBooks?

Doing this periodically keeps the number of accounts down to a manageable level. If a new account is being created to track transactions separately that once appeared in another account, you must move the transactions already in the books to the new account. Make sure to leave a lot of room between accounts to add new accounts. For Example, number your Cash in Checking account 1000 and your accounts Receivable account 1100. A Standard chart of accounts takes the above Main Categories and Sub Categories and breaks them down into a numerical system. Therefore, it forms the foundation of a company’s financial record keeping system.

Chart of Accounts Numbering

In addition to the universal general accounts that are prevalent in most entities, each entity will include certain accounts that are particular to its industry sector. The numbering system is used to make organization and recordkeeping easier. Such as Cash might be labeled 101, accounts receivable might be labeled 102, Prepaid Rent might be labeled 103, and so on.

What Is a Chart of Accounts (COA)?

Alternatively, if you’re using accounting software, it’ll know which accounts to credit and debit. With a chart of accounts numbering system, each account is allocated a code depending on the complexity of the business and the amount of detail required from its financial reporting system. The purpose of the numbering system is to group similar accounts together to provide an easy method of remembering and referring to an account when preparing journal entries. A chart of accounts is a list of all of your company’s accounts together in one place. Similar to a filing cabinet for your company’s accounting system, it’s used to organize transactions into groups. This is one of the many concepts discussed in our Accounting 101 article.

Chart of Accounts Numbering

For example, the cash account , may have the reference number 101. If you use a digital bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, reference numbers will be assigned automatically.

Use account numbers in your chart of accounts in QuickBooks Online

A good chart of accounts makes sure financial reports are accurate with large non-cash entries, and separate accounts can be helpful in segregating these entries. The department code is typically a two-digit code that identifies a specific department such as accounting, marketing or production within the company. For example, companies in the United States must have certain accounts in place to comply with the tax reporting requirements of the IRS . One of the IRS stipulations is that expenses like travel and entertainment should be tracked in individual accounts. If you acquire another company, a key task is shifting the acquiree’s chart of accounts into the parent company’s chart of accounts, so that you can present consolidated financial results.

Is a ledger in chronological order?

Ledger entries appear in the order of accounts compared to the journal's chronological order.

They know (especially the entry-level providers) most people would struggle to set up a quality chart of accounts. To fix that, they automate the setup part and build a pre-fabricated chart of accounts into the software. “I don’t think Chart of Accounts Numbering 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.


For example, Meals Expense might be a standalone account or it might be spread across the categories the meals relate to, such as Marketing, Conferences, or Travel. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.

Chart of Accounts Numbering

Revenue accounts include all kinds of payments that a company receives by performing its regular business activities. It does nothave any income that a business earns from other means like any windfall gain. The revenue account includes sales discounts, interest income, etc. There are several other types of accounts too, which differ from business to business. The chart of accounts is an organized list of accounts or “buckets” in which to record accounting transactions. Without a chart of accounts, it would be impossible to see at a glance what accounts are available to record a transaction into. An effective chart of accounts structure directly or indirectly drives virtually all financial reporting.

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For example, your business account titled “Equipment” would be labeled as an asset account, and the “Utilities” account would be labeled as an expense account. The income statement is another essential part of the chart of accounts.It shows a company’s revenues and expenditures which are further broken down into several sub-categories. Indirect costs are overhead expenses that relate directly to sales yet cannot be traced directly to a specific product or job. Examples include factory supervisor wages, incidental supplies (e.g., tape, glue, screws), machinery repairs, shop building insurance, etc. Expenses such as tax preparation fees, marketing, and legal expenses would not be considered indirect costs, but rather operating or general/admin expenses.

A division will usually have various departments such as accounting, production, engineering, and so on. In order to identify the departments in a division, an account manager can use two to three-digit codes. Essentially, if you placed the statements of financial position and performance on top of each other, you would come up with the chart of accounts. While the concepts discussed herein are intended to help business owners understand general accounting concepts, always speak with a CPA regarding your particular financial situation.

Branch accounting is a system in which separate accounts are maintained for each operating unit of a corporate entity or organization. Working capital, or net working capital , is a measure of a company’s liquidity, operational efficiency, and short-term financial health. Janet Berry-Johnson is a CPA with 10 years of experience in public accounting and writes about income taxes and small business accounting.

  • Unlike category codes 09/01–09/20, these category codes are 10-characters.
  • Examples of liabilities include bank loans, mortgages, accounts payable, deferred revenues, accrued expenses, and so on.
  • Also, it’s important to periodically look through the chart and consolidate duplicate accounts.
  • In order to identify the departments in a division, an account manager can use two to three-digit codes.
  • For instance, if you find that an account code starts with 100, you can automatically conclude that this account belongs to the ‘assets’ category.

His month-end income statement could get no more detailed than that one account. At a glance, he had no idea which revenue streams were contributing to that bulk monthly number. NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date.

Accounts are the specific “bins” that hold accounting transactions. Accounting teams tend to focus on doing things the “right way” rather than asking the readers of the financial statements what they want to see. Set up your chart to have enough accounts to record transactions properly, but don’t go over board.

Think of a computer hardware company that receives a constant stream of desktops, laptops, and printers. If their warehouse is well-organized, an arriving shipment of Dell laptops will be routed to a specific bin in the Dell section of the laptop area of the warehouse. That way, when a customer orders a Dell laptop, the warehouse workers can quickly and easily retrieve it. Not enough thought has gone into Chart of Accounts Numbering developing the chart of accounts, which is the foundation of financial reporting. That is equivalent to building a house on dirt instead of concrete. Month end financial statements simply summarize and group the balances that are in the individual accounts at month end. A cash flow statement is a financial statement that provides aggregate data regarding all cash inflows and outflows a company receives.

If you are importing account data and must map CSV fields to NetSuite fields, see Importing CSV Files with the Import Assistant. For information on how to change these numbers or add numbers to other accounts, see Adding or Changing Account Numbers.

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