Explanation of the Topic...
Chart of Accounts
|Part 1||Introduction to Chart of Accounts, Sample Chart of Accounts for a Large Corporation|
|Part 2||Sample Chart of Accounts for a Small Company, At Least Two Accounts for Every Transaction|
A chart of accounts is a listing of the names of the accounts that a company has identified and made available for recording transactions in its general ledger. A company has the flexibility to tailor its chart of accounts to best suit its needs, including adding accounts as needed.
Within the chart of accounts you will find that the accounts are typically listed in the following order:
|Balance sheet accounts||
|Income statement accounts||
Within the categories of operating revenues and operating expenses, accounts might be further organized by business function (such as producing, selling, administrative, financing) and/or by company divisions, product lines, etc.
A company's organization chart can serve as the outline for its accounting chart of accounts. For example, if a company divides its business into ten departments (production, marketing, human resources, etc.), each department will likely be accountable for its own expenses (salaries, supplies, phone, etc.). Each department will have its own phone expense account, its own salaries expense, etc.
A chart of accounts will likely be as large and as complex as the company itself. An international corporation with several divisions may need thousands of accounts, whereas a small local retailer may need as few as one hundred accounts.
Each account in the chart of accounts is typically assigned a name and a unique number by which it can be identified. (Software for some small businesses may not require account numbers.) Account numbers are often five or more digits in length with each digit representing a division of the company, the department, the type of account, etc.
As you will see, the first digit might signify if the account is an asset, liability, etc. For example, if the first digit is a "1" it is an asset. If the first digit is a "5" it is an operating expense.
A gap between account numbers allows for adding accounts in the future. The following is a partial listing of a sample chart of accounts.
Get access to all of our accounting exams (1,660 questions) when you join AccountingCoach Pro.
13 videos (2 hours total) taken from our Bookkeeping Basics Seminar.
These videos are only available in our new AccountingCoach Pro members area.
300 questions with answers
This exam is only available in our new AccountingCoach Pro members area.
Join our Newsletter
Receive our free 19-page accounting cheat sheet. Plus, stay up to date with the latest questions answered.
AccountingCoach.com is designed to help people without an accounting background easily understand accounting concepts at no cost.
By investing thousands of hours, we have created clear and concise accounting information for both business people and students of all ages.
We understand how difficult accounting can be. That's why each accounting topic includes a clear explanation, reinforcing quizzes, Q&A, puzzles, dictionary of terms, etc.