Creating your Chart of Accounts
  • 14 Apr 2023
  • 4 Minutes To Read
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Creating your Chart of Accounts

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  • PDF

Article Summary

The Chart of Accounts (CoA) is the basis of your organization's accounting. Here you will have all the accounts you need to keep track of the transactions taking place in your organization. The CoA also makes sure that transactions are organized logically in the general ledger (GL); so you can always access these accounts and identify if the books are unbalanced.

The Chart of Accounts view with All, Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Income, and the Expenses tabs

You can create the CoA manually, or you can migrate an existing chart of accounts using an Excel template and our migration tool. For more information on this method, see our article on importing your data from excel.

Chart of Accounts Structure

The CoA is structured around two different types of GL accounts, called header and detail accounts.

Detail accounts store the transaction balances. Whereas header accounts are used to group detail accounts into categories and have no transactions associated to them. For instance, Current Assets could be a header account and Bank Account would be one of its detail accounts.

The GL Code of the accounts will determine which detail accounts are nested under which header accounts, and the overall position of a GL account in the CoA.

Basic GL code principles

  • The digits of the GL code dictate the GL account hierarchy within the CoA.
  • The first digit shows the initial hierarchy and position, the second the second level of hierarchy and so on.
  • Header accounts sum up every other GL account starting with their same hierarchy level.
If a header account isIt will sum up detail/header accounts with codes
Please be Aware
The example above assumes that all header accounts are set to ignore trailing zeroes. See the ignore trailing zeros section for more details on this option.

An example of GL code rules in a Chart of Accounts with a four-tier structure is given below. Header accounts are in orange:

10000  Assets
11000  Fixed Assets
11001  Cars
11002  Furniture
12000  Short Term Assets
12100  Cash
12101  Cash Branch 1
12102  Cash Branch 2
12200  Bank
12201  Bank 1
12205  Bank 2

Adding a new account

To add a new account to your CoA:

  1. On the main menu, go to Accounting > Chart of Accounts.
  2. On the right-hand side of the screen, select Add a New Account.

Chart of Accounts tab - Income Tab - Add a New Account button.

  1. Fill in the following information:
  • Account Name: Enter the name you want to have associated to the new account. The name should be short but clear so that other users know exactly which account it refers to.
  • GL Code: The general ledger code number for the account. This determines the position of the account in the heirarchy of the CoA.
  • Type: Choose whether the new account is an Asset, Liability, Income, Expense, or Equity.
  • Usage: Choose whether this will be a header or a detail account in your financial reports. Header accounts are used to organise and group any detail accounts under them for reporting purposes.
  • Currency: When the Accounting in Multicurrency feature is enabled, you can select the currency of the account.
  • Allow Manual Journal Entries: When enabled, you can manually add new journal entries to this account from the Journal Entries tab. This option is only available for detail accounts.
  • Ignore Trailing Zeros in Reports Calculations: See the ignore trailing zeros section for more details on this option. This option is only available for header accounts.
  • Description: You can add any additional information you want to have associated to the new account.
  1. After you've entered the information above, select Create and the new account will be added to your CoA.

The 'Adding a General Ledger account' dialog box

Ignore Trailing Zeros

By default Ignore Trailing Zeros will be enabled, meaning that if you had a header account with the GL Code 9900, balances from any detail accounts starting with 99, for example 99023, 9945, or 990067 would be included when calculating totals for this Header Account.

If the option is disabled, then the trailing zeros would not be ignored when matching to detail accounts so only the balance of the account 990067 would be summed up for this header.

With Ignore Trailing Zeros enabled for header account

Header account 9900 sums all accounts starting with 99.

GL CodeAccount Name
9900trailing zeros asset header(41,000.00)
990067trailing zeros detail 3(16,000.00)
99023trailing zeros detail 1(12,000.00)
9945trailing zeros detail 2(13,000.00)
TOTAL ASSETS(41,000.00)

With Ignore Trailing Zeros disabled for header account

Header account 9900 only sums accounts starting with 9900.

GL CodeAccount Name
9900trailing zeros asset header(16,000.00)
990067trailing zeros detail 3(16,000.00)
99023trailing zeros detail 1(12,000.00)
9945trailing zeros detail 2(13,000.00)
TOTAL ASSETS(16,000.00)

Depending on how your Chart of Accounts is structured, you can decide which option works best for you when setting up your general ledger accounts.

Editing Accounts

You can edit an existing account at any time. You can change the name, description and code of the GL accounts. To do so, click on the icon next to the account you want to edit, make the changes, and click Save to save your changes.

The changes will be reflected in all transactions which occurred before and after editing the account.

Edit GL Accounts - pencil button found on each row.

Please Note
You cannot change the accounts' Usage or Type, meaning you won't be able to turn a Header account into a Detail account, an Asset into a Liability, or vice-versa.

Deleting accounts

You can delete an existing GL account by clicking the red minus sign next to it.
Delete GL Accounts - minus button found on each row

Please be Aware
You can only delete accounts which have never been used. This means accounts that have not been linked to any product and have no manual journal entries entered for them.

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