The chart of accounts is a listing of the general ledger accounts to which amounts can be posted. The chart of accounts is a helpful tool for identifying the best account for recording a transaction.

In some accounting software the chart of accounts may be the means to open new general ledger accounts and to control their position in the financial statements.

Usually the chart of accounts begins with the balance sheet accounts followed by the income statement accounts. The accounts will usually be in the same order as they are presented on the two financial statements.