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Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

The Vast Chart of Accounts.PNG

 

Do I really need all these accounts? 

The answer – maybe.

 

If you peek at your Chart of Accounts, you might be surprised by the number of accounts you access on a daily basis. We normally don’t see this in QuickBooks, since most account management is done for you behind the scenes. But the truth is, it takes a veritable village of accounts to accurately track all your business transactions. 

 

After adding a few dozen accounts in QuickBooks, you may wonder if they’re all necessary. (We know categorizing them all is certainly complicated, as Stacy Kildal [QBO Show host and ProAdvisor] hinted at in her recent Twitter post -- but we’ll save that topic for another article).  

 

Question is, how many accounts do you actually need?

 

The short answer - you need enough to be legally compliant for tax purposes and enough to know precisely how much money you owe, are owed and have on hand. There’s no simple answer. It truly depends on the needs of your business. You may only need a few accounts to track the right data… or a few dozen.

 


 Four Principles of QuickBooks Account Management

 

There’s also plenty of guidance to navigate you through this conundrum. David O’Brien and Trevor Matheson from Real World Training offer four simple guidelines to follow that can help you keep the number of accounts under control. These guidelines are particularly useful for first-time QuickBooks Online users, but you can use them any time you’re stumped by a tricky transaction that may, or may not, require creating yet another account.

Real World Accounting 1.PNG

Strange as it sounds, it’s a good thing if you’re still feeling intimidated – it means you’re aware and want to do things right - and Real World’s guidelines will help you feel more confident and do it right.

 

David and Trevor emphasize: 

     1. Keep things simple

     2. Remember, less is more

     3. Make sure you can easily explain the categorization for any transaction

 


 

Now it’s your turn

 

How many accounts are in your Chart of Accounts? Which ones do you think are absolutely necessary for every QuickBooks user? 

 

 

 

Learn More

Real World lives up to its namesake, offering hands-on accounting and the QuickBooks classes as well as comprehensive self-paced courses using real-world examples.

7 Comments
Contributor

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

Hi,

 

That is a nice write up. When we setup books for our clients we usually use the following method to keep the Chart of Accounts simple -

 

Balance Sheet Accounts

               Asset Accounts

               Liability Accounts

               Equity Accounts (for sole proprietorship and partnerships)

               Equity Accounts (for corporations)

Profit & Loss Accounts

              Revenue Accounts

              Expense Accounts

 

Super Contributor

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

Hi,

 

When we set up COA for our clients we use a standard template that we have built in excel and import it. We have one for coffee shops, contactors, online retailers and so on. This ensures that we have just enough accounts, but not too many to make things a little crowded! 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Emily

Senior Member

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

I recoomend this spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1IDzzpG0CnHkzPiqXUeSuOTehI2he8vaaNX2DTzEkNj4

 

Contains a list of all the default accounts available in QuickBooks Desktop accross all industries and all company structures

Established Member

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

The question of how many accounts should be included in your chart of accounts is a hot button with me.  All to often I see clients with a long, long chart of accounts. I explain that it is the skeleton that reports use it is not intended to show details of their business. Memorized reports, classes, etc. can show all the detail they need.

 

Your financials will look professional if you trim down the chart of accounts.

 

Cherilyn Collins

@SMallBizQBPro


@JamesOngwrote:

The Vast Chart of Accounts.PNG

 

Do I really need all these accounts? 

The answer – maybe.

 

If you peek at your Chart of Accounts, you might be surprised by the number of accounts you access on a daily basis. We normally don’t see this in QuickBooks, since most account management is done for you behind the scenes. But the truth is, it takes a veritable village of accounts to accurately track all your business transactions. 

 

After adding a few dozen accounts in QuickBooks, you may wonder if they’re all necessary. (We know categorizing them all is certainly complicated, as Stacy Kildal [QBO Show host and ProAdvisor] hinted at in her recent Twitter post -- but we’ll save that topic for another article).  

 

Question is, how many accounts do you actually need?

 

The short answer - you need enough to be legally compliant for tax purposes and enough to know precisely how much money you owe, are owed and have on hand. There’s no simple answer. It truly depends on the needs of your business. You may only need a few accounts to track the right data… or a few dozen.

 


 Four Principles of QuickBooks Account Management

 

There’s also plenty of guidance to navigate you through this conundrum. David O’Brien and Trevor Matheson from Real World Training offer four simple guidelines to follow that can help you keep the number of accounts under control. These guidelines are particularly useful for first-time QuickBooks Online users, but you can use them any time you’re stumped by a tricky transaction that may, or may not, require creating yet another account.

Real World Accounting 1.PNG

Strange as it sounds, it’s a good thing if you’re still feeling intimidated – it means you’re aware and want to do things right - and Real World’s guidelines will help you feel more confident and do it right.

 

David and Trevor emphasize: 

     1. Keep things simple

     2. Remember, less is more

     3. Make sure you can easily explain the categorization for any transaction

 


 

Now it’s your turn

 

How many accounts are in your Chart of Accounts? Which ones do you think are absolutely necessary for every QuickBooks user? 

 

 

 

Learn More

Real World lives up to its namesake, offering hands-on accounting and the QuickBooks classes as well as comprehensive self-paced courses using real-world examples.



@JamesOngwrote:

The Vast Chart of Accounts.PNG

 

Do I really need all these accounts? 

The answer – maybe.

 

If you peek at your Chart of Accounts, you might be surprised by the number of accounts you access on a daily basis. We normally don’t see this in QuickBooks, since most account management is done for you behind the scenes. But the truth is, it takes a veritable village of accounts to accurately track all your business transactions. 

 

After adding a few dozen accounts in QuickBooks, you may wonder if they’re all necessary. (We know categorizing them all is certainly complicated, as Stacy Kildal [QBO Show host and ProAdvisor] hinted at in her recent Twitter post -- but we’ll save that topic for another article).  

 

Question is, how many accounts do you actually need?

 

The short answer - you need enough to be legally compliant for tax purposes and enough to know precisely how much money you owe, are owed and have on hand. There’s no simple answer. It truly depends on the needs of your business. You may only need a few accounts to track the right data… or a few dozen.

 


 Four Principles of QuickBooks Account Management

 

There’s also plenty of guidance to navigate you through this conundrum. David O’Brien and Trevor Matheson from Real World Training offer four simple guidelines to follow that can help you keep the number of accounts under control. These guidelines are particularly useful for first-time QuickBooks Online users, but you can use them any time you’re stumped by a tricky transaction that may, or may not, require creating yet another account.

Real World Accounting 1.PNG

Strange as it sounds, it’s a good thing if you’re still feeling intimidated – it means you’re aware and want to do things right - and Real World’s guidelines will help you feel more confident and do it right.

 

David and Trevor emphasize: 

     1. Keep things simple

     2. Remember, less is more

     3. Make sure you can easily explain the categorization for any transaction

 


 

Now it’s your turn

 

How many accounts are in your Chart of Accounts? Which ones do you think are absolutely necessary for every QuickBooks user? 

 

 

 

 


 

Community Product Host

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

Hey @Cherilyn, thank you for your thoughtful perspective. Have you seen our article we did with Rhonda Rosand? I’m sure you two would agree on many things Smiley Happy.

 

“Rhonda Rosand Says - Keep Your Chart Of Accounts Simple!”

Community Product Host

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

Hector @hectorgarciacpa

 

Thank you for sharing the document. Any essential accounts you think everyone should have but are often overlooked?

 

 

Occasional Visitor

Re: Real World - Accounting: How Many Accounts Do You Actually Need?

I am gratiful for this article. it puts things in prospective.