Reporting and Operations

Chart of Accounts

Size of Organization: 

A well-developed chart of accounts is essential for:

  • Tracking the activity of the organization
  • Presenting information periodically in a meaningful fashion to the organization
  • Sorting activity by various functions, grants and programs

Most charts of accounts are developed using the following schematic:

1xxx    Assets
10xx    Cash
11xx    Accounts Receivable

2xxx    Liabilities
20xx    Accounts Payable
21xx    Accrued Expenses
25xx    Deferred Revenue

3xxx    Net Assets

4xxx    Revenue

5xxx    Expenses

The use of subaccounts allows the organization the flexibility to present information in a number of ways.  The subaccounts are a second set of numbers that, when combined with the account number, allow for sorting.  For example, a printing bill may be for envelopes for the office and a brochure for a conference.  Printing is an expense, so the full account numbers might be:

5350-2500    Printing, Conference
5350-9000    Printing, General and Administrative

Expense coded to the conference are assigned to subaccount 2500.  All of the expenses coded to that subaccount would then be accumulated for the year and a statement of activities (income statement) could be printed showing the results of the conference.

For QuickBooks, this is accomplished by using “classes.”

Additional levels of subaccounts can be added for grants and other subsets of any particular subaccount.