Sample Chart of Accounts

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.


***Current Assets

**Petty Cash

**Business Checking Account

**Business Savings Account

**Accounts Receivable


**Undeposited Funds (this is a QuickBooks account – part of the deposit posting process)

Fixed Assets


**Furniture & Fixtures

**Buildings & Improvements


**Accumulated Depreciation (leave for your CPA)

Other Assets

**Notes Receivable (money paid out to owners, etc.)


Current Liabilities

**Accounts Payable

**Credit Cards Payable

**Payroll Taxes Payable (FICA/Federal Withholding, State & Local Withholding)

**Sales Tax Payable

Long Term Liablities

**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:

**Capital Stock

**Retained Earnings

**Distributions – Owner 1 (same as dividends above, but separated out by owner)

**Distributions – Owner 2

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(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

**Sales Returns

Cost of Goods Sold



**Outside Services / Subcontractors

**Shop Supplies

**Small Tools



**Automobile Expense

**Bank Service Charges

**Computer Expenses



**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.)

**Interest Expense

**Licenses & Permits

**Meals & Entertainment

**Office Expenses


**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

**Interest Income

**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.

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Find out more about setting up a Cash Disbursements Journal here.

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