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This chapter is from the book

CPA Tip: Creating a Chart of Accounts

With a new company, one of the first tasks you must accomplish is creating a chart of accounts. If you don't know where to begin, you can start by searching the Internet for sample charts of accounts. Here are some sites that contain sample account lists that might help you design your own chart of accounts:

  • Linton, Shafer & Company, P.A., Sample Chart of Accounts:

  • http://www.lscpa.com/Resources/Start_Up/sampleCOA.htm
  • Department of Health & Human Services (not-for-profit organizations):

  • http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/ooc/fnp/man/FNPc7.pdf
  • American Society of Association Executives, Standard Chart of Accounts for Small Associations:

  • http://www.asaenet.org/article/1,1694,51259,00.html

Another approach to creating a new chart of accounts is to contact other companies that perform the same type of business as yours and ask to see a sample of their chart of accounts.

You can always contact an accounting professional—not a bad idea anyway when starting a new business—and ask for pointers on which accounts to include in your chart of accounts.

The most important thing to remember is that the chart of accounts is not written in stone. You can add accounts later, remove accounts you no longer need, or combine similar accounts into one.

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