Here is a sample of a Chart of Accounts you can start with when setting up your small business bookkeeping.
If you are going to use Quickbooks, or some other basic accounting software, the software has sample Chart of Accounts you can choose from based on your business.
**Business Checking Account
**Business Savings Account
**Undeposited Funds (this is a QuickBooks account – part of the deposit posting process)
**Furniture & Fixtures
**Buildings & Improvements
**Accumulated Depreciation (leave for your CPA)
**Notes Receivable (money paid out to owners, etc.)
**Credit Cards Payable
**Payroll Taxes Payable (FICA/Federal Withholding, State & Local Withholding)
**Sales Tax Payable
**Note Payable – Vehicle Loan
**Note Payable – Mortgage Loan
**Note Payable – Owner
For a Sole Proprietor:
**Capital (the owners equity in the business)
***Contributions (sub-account for additional money put into the business)
***Draws (sub-account for money taken out of the business)
For a Partnership:
**Capital – Owner 1
***Contributions – Owner 1
***Draws – Owner 1
**Capital – Owner 2
***Contributions – Owner 2
***Contributions – Owner 2
For a C-Corporation:
**Capital Stock (actual stock issued to the owners)
**Retained Earnings (accumulation of the business profit or loss from year to year)
**Dividends (moneys taken out of the business and dispersed to owners)
For an S-Corporation:
**Distributions – Owner 1 (same as dividends above, but separated out by owner)
**Distributions – Owner 2
(what accounts you have here will be determined by your type of business) - - - for this example, let’s assume you run a repair shop - - -
**Parts / Products Sold
**Outside Services / Subcontractors
**Bank Service Charges
**Dues & Subscriptions
**Federal Unemployment Taxes
**FICA Expense (employer’s portion of social security tax)
**Insurance (you could set up sub-accounts for auto, business, health, life, etc.)
**Licenses & Permits
**Meals & Entertainment
**Professional Services (accountant, attorney, consultants)
**Repairs & Maintenance
**Salaries - Office
**Salaries – Officers or Owners
**State Unemployment Taxes
**Workers Compensation (if your state has this fund)
**Other Income (depends on your situation)
This sample chart of accounts is a starting point of some of the most common general ledger accounts that I've seen used in various small business bookkeeping systems.
Feel free to add or subtract accounts depending on your type of business activity. As you move along in your business, it will become obvious if you need a new account.
Need some help setting up a simple bookkeeping system? Want to save money by doing it yourself?
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