Chart of accounts


Chart of accounts
Accountancy
Key concepts
Accountant · Accounting period · Bookkeeping · Cash and accrual basis · Cash flow management · Chart of accounts · Journal  · Special journals · Constant Item Purchasing Power Accounting · Cost of goods sold · Credit terms · Debits and credits · Double-entry system · Mark-to-market accounting · FIFO & LIFO · GAAP / IFRS · General ledger · Goodwill · Historical cost · Matching principle · Revenue recognition · Trial balance
Fields of accounting
Cost · Financial · Forensic · Fund · Management · Tax
Financial statements
Statement of financial position · Statement of cash flows · Statement of changes in equity · Statement of comprehensive income · Notes · MD&A · XBRL
Auditing
Auditor's report · Financial audit · GAAS / ISA · Internal audit · Sarbanes–Oxley Act
Accounting qualifications
CA · CPA · CCA · CGA · CMA · CAT · CFA  · CIIA  · ACCA  · CIA  · CTP · ICAEW · CIMA  · IPA  · ICAN
This box: view · talk · edit


A chart of accounts (COA) is a created list of the accounts used by a business entity to define each class of items for which money or the equivalent is spent or received. It is used to organize the finances of the entity and to segregate expenditures, revenue, assets and liabilities in order to give interested parties a better understanding of the financial health of the entity.

The list can be numerical, alphabetic, or alpha-numeric. The structure and headings of accounts should assist in consistent posting of transactions. Each nominal ledger account is unique to allow its ledger to be located. The list is typically arranged in the order of the customary appearance of accounts in the financial statements, profit and loss accounts followed by balance sheet accounts.

Contents

Nomenclature, classification and codification

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.

Example

Simple Chart of Accounts

Group headings - Sales, Cost of Goods Sold, Direct Expenses, Administration Expenses, Selling Expenses, Distribution Expenses, Establishment Expenses, Financial Expenses

Within each of these headings will be the individual nominal ledger accounts that make up the chart of accounts. Establishment expenses may consist of rent, rates, repairs

Balance Sheet Accounts


Asset Accounts ----

Cash, Bank Accounts, Accounts Receivable (Debtors), Prepaid Expenses, Inventory (Stock on Hand), Land, Buildings, Vehicles & Equipment, Investments & Stocks, Accumulated Depreciation and Other Assets


Liability Accounts ----

Accounts Payable (Creditors), Credit Cards, Tax Payable, Employment Expenses Payable, Bank Loans,


Stockholders' Equity Accounts ----

Common Stock (Share Capital), Retained Earnings (Revenue Reserves), Drawings

Profit & Loss accounts


Revenue Accounts ----

Sales Revenue, Sales Returns & Allowances, Sales Discounts, Interest Income,


Cost of Goods Sold Accounts----

Purchases and sales Expense All sales Expense Purchase Returns & Allowances


Expense Accounts ----

Advertising Expense, Bank Fees, Depreciation Expense, Payroll Expense, Payroll Tax Expense, Rent Expense, Income Tax Expense, Office Expense, Utilities Expense

Trial Balance

The trial balance is a list of the active general ledger accounts with debit and credit balances. A balanced trial balance does not guarantee that there are no errors in the nominal ledger entries.

Types of accounts

  1. Asset accounts: represent the different types of economic resources owned by a business, common examples of Asset accounts are cash, cash in bank, building, inventory, prepaid rent, goodwill, accounts receivable[citation needed]
  2. Liability accounts: represent the different types of economic obligations by a business, such as accounts payable, bank loan, bonds payable, accrued interest.[citation needed]
  3. Equity accounts: represent the residual equity of a business (after deducting from Assets all the liabilities) including Retained Earnings and Appropriations.[citation needed]
  4. Revenue accounts or income: represent the company's gross earnings and common examples include Sales, Service revenue and Interest Income.[citation needed]
  5. Expense accounts: represent the company's expenditures to enable itself to operate. Common examples are electricity and water, rentals, depreciation, doubtful accounts, interest, insurance.[citation needed]
  6. Contra-accounts: Some balance sheet items have corresponding contra accounts, with negative balances, that offset them. Examples are accumulated depreciation against equipment, and allowance for bad debts against long-term notes receivable.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • chart of accounts — A complete list of a businesss expense and income accounts in a ledger. The list is arranged either by category (asset, liability, revenue, expense) or in the order of the appearance in the financial statements. Category: Business, LLCs &… …   Law dictionary

  • chart of accounts — sąskaitų planas statusas T sritis Gynyba apibrėžtis Struktūrinis sąrašas sąskaitų, kurios naudojamos buhalterinės apskaitos informacijai rinkti, skirstyti ir laikyti. atitikmenys: angl. chart of accounts šaltinis NATO mokymų ir pratybų… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • chart of accounts — A sequentially numbered list of *general ledger *accounts. In some countries, charts of accounts are set by legislation, and are intended to facilitate *taxation procedures and the gathering of national economic statistics: The French *plan… …   Auditor's dictionary

  • chart of accounts — A detailed listing of all the accounts used by an organization, showing classifications and subclassifications. For example, each letter or number in an account code will indicate a feature, such as transaction type and the department responsible …   Accounting dictionary

  • Chart of accounts —   Refer instead to Account model tables …   International financial encyclopaedia

  • chart of accounts — a list of account names arranged systematically and usually coded numerically or alphabetically or both to form the general framework of the accounting system of a specific business and to establish a scheme of account classification …   Useful english dictionary

  • Accounts payable — Accountancy Key concepts Accountant · Accounting period · Bookkeeping · Cash and accrual basis · Cash flow management · Chart of accounts  …   Wikipedia

  • Chart (disambiguation) — For information about charts in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Charts. A chart is a graphical representation of data. Chart may also refer to: A specific type of map, for example: Aeronautical chart, a representation of airspace and ground features… …   Wikipedia

  • Control chart — One of the Seven Basic Tools of Quality First described by Walter A. Shewhart …   Wikipedia

  • pie chart — noun a circular chart divided into triangular areas proportional to the percentages of the whole • Hypernyms: ↑chart * * * noun Etymology: pie (II) : a circle divided by several radii into sectors showing by their relative areas the relative… …   Useful english dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.