Review your chart of accounts

The Chart of Accounts is a list of all categories used by your business.

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Categories are listed on your balance sheet and other management reports you use to analyse the health of your business. Each category has a unique category code, although it doesn’t matter which number you use, as it’s the category type you choose when creating a new category that determines where it appears on your reports.

Accounting Start uses a standard layout, including control accounts. Control accounts are special nominal accounts used when recording transactions to ensure that items such as your VAT are recorded correctly in your accounts. While suitable for most small businesses, you can customize the standard layout as needed for your business. Except for control accounts, you can edit all categories.

Accessing the Chart of Accounts

  • Click More, then click Settings then click Chart of Accounts.

From here, you can:

  • View details or edit your existing categories, or create new categories.
  • Filter the list by categories included or excluded from the Chart of Accounts or by category type.
  • Search for categories by the category code or category name.
  • View which categories are control accounts. These are marked with an asterisk.
  • Export your Chart of Accounts

When you add a bank account (from Banking), Accounting automatically creates a category code for it with account type-appropriate settings. However, you can edit the bank account to use a different code, as needed.

To create a new category

  1. Go to More, then click Settings then click Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click New Category and then complete the following information:
Included in Chart Leave this check box selected.
Category Name * Enter the name for this account as you want it to appear on the ledger.
Display Name * If you want a different name to the ledger name to appear when posting transactions and on your reports, enter it here.
Category Code * Enter the code you want to use for the new category.

If you want to keep similar codes together, the default code ranges for each category are as follows:
Assets = 0001 – 1999
Liabilities = 2000 – 2999
Capital = 3000 – 3999
Income = 4000 – 4999
Expenditure – Direct expenses = 5000 – 5999
Expenditure – Overheads = 6000 – 9999
Type *  Choose the category type for the category.

The category determines where the account appears on your management reports. If you’re not sure which category to choose, you should check with your accountant.
Group The category group is determined by the category you choose and you cannot change it.
VAT Rate Choose a default VAT rate. If required, you can change the VAT rate when entering transactions.
Visibility The areas of Accounting in which the category is available for use are automatically selected. If necessary, you select more relevant check boxes.

Note: All categories are visible for journals and reports.

* These details are compulsory.

  1. Click Save.

To edit an existing category

You cannot change the category name or category of control accounts (indicated by an asterisk) or exclude them from the Chart of Accounts.
  1. Go to More, then click Settings then click Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click the category you want to edit. To quickly find a category, enter the name or code in the Search field.
  3. Make the necessary changes.
If you change the type, Accounting does not update any transactions posted to the category with the new type. However, it will change where they are listed in reports. For example, you change the type of category 5000 Cost of Sales – Goods from Direct Expenses to Overheads. When viewing your Profit & Loss report, account 5000 will be listed under Overheads and will include the transactions posted when the type was Direct Expenses.
  1. Click Save.

To exclude a category from your Chart of Accounts

While you cannot delete a category, provided it isn’t a control account, you can exclude it from the Chart of Accounts. If you exclude a category, it is unavailable for selection when posting transactions.

  1. Go to More, then click Settings then click Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click the required category and then clear the Included in Chart check box.
  3. Click Save.

If you want to include the category again later, simply edit the category and select the Included in Chart box.

To save or print the Chart of Accounts list

  1. Click Reporting, then click Chart of Accounts under Advanced Reports.
  2. By default, the report shows a list of all categories. To view a list of categories for only one type click the Type drop-down list and then select it.
  3. Optionally, click Export to save the report as a comma-separated value (CSV) or portable document format (PDF) file. The report saves to the Accounting downloads folder.

If you exported the report to a CSV file, your web browser may prompt you to choose a folder to export it to instead of automatically using the downloads folder. Also, if you exported it as a PDF file, your web browser may automatically open the report in a new window. You can then download or print the report from the PDF window.