Accounting Chart Of Accounts
How To Set Up The COA

Welcome to my Accounting Chart of Accounts page on how to set-up the COA.

Accounting Chart of Accounts

Learn how to set up a chart of accounts in Quickbooks. QuickBooks accounting software is one of the most user friendly, forgiving accounting software programs available. It is especially so when setting up the accounting chart of accounts. QuickBooks makes it easy.



Step 1: Set Up The Company

QuickBooks walks you through this process step by step. When given the option to choose an industry during the company set up process, choose the one that fits your company or the closest available. This will provide a relevant framework from which to build the individual company's chart of accounts.



Step 2: Note Accounts Needed

Divide company accounts into the following categories and subcategories on paper. It also helps to give each account a unique name at this point.

  1. Assets
  2. Liabilities
  3. Revenues
  4. Expenses
  5. Equity
  6. Other
  7. Suspense

The "other" account is for those revenues and expenses that do not relate directly to the business of the company. These would include income from interest on notes receivable, or gain or loss on the sale of company assets. The "suspense" account will hold any items that you are not sure how to record until you can determine how they should be reported.




Step 3: Set Up Account Numbers

This is an easy but necessary step. To number accounts, first select the company you are going to be working in.

From there go to edit> preferences> accounting>company preferences>use account numbers.

QuickBooks accounting software automatically sets number ranges for the various types of accounts.




Step 4: Review, Edit, Delete

Now you find yourself with a basic framework for a Chart of Accounts that you need to personalize to your company, and a list of accounts that need to be included in order to be specific to your company. Compare the list you made in step 2 to the Chart of Accounts automatically generated by the program during the company set up process. Delete, edit, and add accounts as necessary to ensure the chart includes all of the accounts on your list.

To delete an account, click on the account in the chart of accounts, and then choose delete. To change the name, simply click on edit instead of delete and type in the new name. To add a new account, choose the "new" option rather than the "delete" or "edit" options.




Step 5: Grouping and Sub Accounts

For income tax return purposes, certain accounts can be grouped, such as electricity, water, and gas under "Utilities." For management purposes, more detail is needed. QuickBooks accounting software allows for the use of sub-accounts for just this reason. To create sub-accounts, go to company>chart of accounts> highlight the sub-account> select account> edit account>choose the "sub account of" option> then select the desired parent account. Reports will show either parent account totals only, or they can show more detail that include parent account totals as well as each sub –account and its respective total.

Setting up a Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks does not have to be overwhelming. It may take a little time, but following these steps will ensure you get the best start and get it done as quickly as possible.



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