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SAMPLE CHART OF ACCOUNTS!
Please also refer to 'Notable Observations' at the bottom of this page for information about the basic architecture of this chart of accounts. This Chart of accounts is designed for a C-Corporation. We may add Templates for S-Corps and LLCs if there are enough requests for them.
Q: If cash is a Debit Balance on my books, why does the bank call (a positive cash balance) a Credit Balance?
A: Your positive bank balance is a liability to the bank - A Credit Balance. It's just a matter of perspective.
Cash is a Debit Balance On your books (an Asset); but your check-book balance is Credit on the bank's books (a Liability: A Loan Payable).
Q: How many accounts and sub-accounts should I have?
A: You should have at least 10 to 20 fewer accounts than you are willing to keep track of! This is important to note.
Categories and sub-categories can provide useful information about your books and records, but only if they are used properly. If your staff is not going to be consistant about how things are coded, than your sophisticated chart of accounts has put things in much worse shape than if you had kept things simple.
Don't design a structure that no one is willing to follow. Too much detail is counter-productive, miss-informative, expensive, and hard to trouble-shoot. To be fair though; too little detail means you have lost an opportunity to provide useful analytical information to the users of your financial statements.
Our recommendation: Err on the side of keeping things simple.
Notable Observations about the Chart of Accounts: Account Number 4100 - Reimbursible Expenses: Amounts billed to reimburse the company for expenses incurred on behalf of clients, etc.. A markup could be included with this. A mark-up of 20% is typical for most industries. Account Number 4900 - Reimbursible Expenses: These are Expenses incurred on behalf of the client: Expenses that are expected to be reimbursed. 4901 - Reimbursible Expenses - Meals and Entertainment: Meals and Entertainment are separated for tax purposes. This Makes things easier at year-end! Easier = Less expensive. Operating Expenses: Everything in this category is listed in alphabetical order for quick reference, and to keep things simple. 6121 - Capitalized Purchases - Contra Account: Using this contra account is an effective way to capitalize an asset without losing track of total expenditures by category. I hope that make sense! 6951 - Travel - Meals and Entertainment: Meals and Entertainment are separated for tax purposes. Your tax accountant needs this information at year end, so it will save time if you segregate it for her/him.
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