Sample Chart of Accounts

What is a Chart of Accounts?

It is a list of all the accounts you will be using for your books.  An account is a place to hold like transactions together.  For example, the account called Cash is for all cash activities, the account called Sales is for all sale activity, and the account called Utilities Expense is for all phone, heat, and light cost activity.

An account can be one of 5 designations:

  1. Asset
  2. Liability
  3. Equity
  4. Revenue
  5. Expense

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 type.


Sample Chart of Accounts by Account Type



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

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 Liabilities

**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



(what accounts you have here will be determined by your type of business) – – – for this example, let’s assume you run a vehicle repair shop – – –



**Parts / Products Sold

**Sales Returns

Other Income

**Interest Income

**Other Income (depends on your situation)





Cost of Goods Sold



**Outside Services / Subcontractors

**Shop Supplies

**Small Tools


General Expenses


**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)



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 accounting systems.

Feel free to add or subtract accounts depending on your type of business activity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s