How to Set Up a Chart of Accounts

February 20, 2024
minutes to read
Ben Mensah
Table of Contents

The importance of knowing how to set up a well-structured Chart of Accounts in today's evolving business landscape cannot be overstated. While traditional methods of maintaining a Chart of Accounts can be tedious and error-prone, Thriday harnesses the power of AI to offer businesses a seamless, accurate, and efficient way to manage their financial records. In this in-depth guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about the Chart of Accounts to take control of your business's financial organisation today.

How to Set Up a Chart of Accounts

What Is a Chart of Accounts?

A chart of accounts (COA) is a financial organisational tool that provides a complete listing, by category, of every account in the general ledger of a business' operations. Think of it as the backbone of your financial records, crafted to ensure every transaction finds its rightful place. This list is not just a mere compilation of transactions but a holistic reflection of the organisation's financial structure, designed to help record transactions in the general ledger seamlessly.

The COA is structured around account types. Some typical groupings for your small business could be:

  • Assets: Assets encompass all valuable possessions or resources owned by the business, such as cash, investments, property, or equipment.
  • Liabilities: Liabilities refer to financial obligations and debts owed to external parties or creditors. These encompass loans, payables, or contractual commitments to repay resources in the future.
  • Income: Income comprises the money earned from various sources like sales, investments, or services. It contributes to your business' revenue and often serves as the primary inflow of funds.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): COGS embodies the direct expenses incurred in producing or procuring goods that a business sells. It includes costs for materials, labour, and overhead directly related to production.
  • Expenses: Expenses encompass all outflows of resources or funds required to run daily operations, covering salaries, rent, utilities, and other costs. They reduce an entity's income, affecting its profitability.

By organising transactions into specific groups, a proper COA ensures a systematic tracking of financial inflows and outflows. This structured approach facilitates the creation of the vital financial statements needed to help you understand and effectively manage your business’ health. Balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and tax documents can all easily be created from having an ordered and accurate chart of accounts.

We understand that this might sound like a lot of trouble and time you don't have as a sole trader or small business owner, so we built Thriday.

Thriday is the ultimate all-in-one financial management platform that automates every step of the accounting process for your small business, helping you to effortlessly stay on top of your finances in real-time. Seamlessly integrated with your business transaction accounts, Thriday leverages the power of AI to automatically create all your business' financial document needs, including a Chart of Accounts and more.

Learn more about the power of Automated Accounting here.

Thriday creates and manages the Chart of Accounts and other financial reports automatically to keep you updated in real-time

How to Set Up a Chart of Accounts in Thriday

Setting up a Chart of Accounts can be daunting for many small business owners. With various platforms, it often involves manually categorising transactions, figuring out the right categories, and building the chart from scratch. But not with Thriday!

Thriday is an all-in-one financial management platform designed to automate and eliminate financial admin for small business owners. Integrated directly with your business transaction accounts, all your transactions are automatically categorised with AI and used to accurately generate financial reports that stay updated in real-time to give you a bird ' s-eye view of your business's financial health whenever you need it.

With Thriday, there is no set-up or tedious categorisation, and definitely no more sacrificing your Sunday nights. Everything is done for you to let you focus on what you do best - running your business.

Find out how our happy customers use Thriday to streamline their financial management here.

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One of many happy small businesses using Thriday to eliminate financial admin

How does Thriday work?

  • Seamless Integration with Bank Accounts*: Thriday's user-friendly app has bank accounts built-in, meaning all your incoming or outgoing transactions are automatically synced with Thriday. No need for separate bank feeds or manual data entry.
  • AI-Powered Automation: Leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence, Thriday ensures that all transactions, irrespective of the industry, are categorised with utmost precision. This not only simplifies bookkeeping, but also ensures that your tax obligations are handled automatically.
  • Automated Analysis: With Thriday, the analysis of your income, expenses, and the generation of critical business reports is fully automated. Stay updated of your the financial health of your business in real-time without diving deep into manual tasks.
  • No More Manual Categorisation: Say goodbye to the days of reconciling receipts to transactions. Thriday's advanced AI system takes care of it all. Whether it's income or expenses, transactions are categorised without manual intervention.

Simply run your business as usual with your integrated Thriday business transaction accounts and the app does the rest - automatically reconciling transactions to calculate your financial reports so that you never have to worry about financial admin again!

Learn More about Thriday's built-in banking* here.

Thriday all-in-one financial management platform
Thriday is an all-in-one financial management platform designed to automate and eliminate financial admin for small business owners

How to Set Up a Chart of Accounts in Quickbooks

To set up a chart of accounts (COA) in QuickBooks, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the Chart of Accounts: Go to the Lists menu and select Chart of Accounts.
  • Add a new account: Click on the Account button and select New. Choose the appropriate account type from the dropdown menu and select the appropriate Detail Type from the dropdown menu.
  • Assign account numbers: Assign account numbers to business accounts. The account number is optional, but it can help you organise your accounts.
  • Create business account names: The account name is the given title of the business account you’re reporting on (i.e., bank fees, cash, taxes, etc.).
  • Save your new chart of accounts: Once you’ve added all of the necessary components, save your new chart of accounts.

You can add more accounts as you need to track other types of transactions. The COA is a list of all of your accounts in QuickBooks, and it helps you keep track of your business's accounts. It is essential to keep your chart of accounts organised to help you when it’s time to file your taxes.

Compare Thriday to Quickbooks here.

How to Set Up a Chart of Accounts in XERO

  • Login & Navigate: Begin by logging into your Xero account. Once in, head over to the 'Accounting' tab from the Dashboard and select 'Chart of Accounts'.
  • Add Accounts: Click on the 'Add Account' button, where you'll be presented with fields to enter the account's details.
  • Detailing the Account: Pick the account category, like Revenue, Expenses, Assets and give the account a clear name. You can also add a description for more clarity, though it's optional. Then, choose the right tax rate and fill out any other necessary fields.
  • Save & Continue: After filling in all the details, hit the 'Save' button.
  • Repeat for Additional Accounts: Continue the process for each account you want to add to your COA.

Periodically review your COA to ensure it still reflects your business's financial structure accurately and make adjustments as needed. Remember, setting up your COA correctly from the start is crucial for accurate financial reporting. If you're unsure about any aspect, consider consulting with an accountant or a Xero advisor.

Compare Thriday to XERO here.

How to Use Your Chart of Accounts

With Thriday’s state-of-the-art AI automated chart of accounts, you can unlock the full potential of streamlined financial management. Here are a number of ways to leverage the data in your financial reports:

  • Financial Organisation: A COA offers a systematic way to categorise and monitor all financial activities. This not only ensures every dollar is tracked but also provides a comprehensive view of your financial inflows and outflows.
  • Informed Decision Making: A well-structured COA allows for a transparent assessment of your business's financial health. This clarity is paramount when strategising, helping you channel resources into profitable areas and scale back on less lucrative ones.
  • Tax and Regulatory Compliance: Organising transactions in line with a COA ensures adherence to tax and regulatory standards, safeguarding against potential legal issues or penalties. With Thriday's automated chart of accounts and tax documents, navigating tax obligations becomes straightforward.
  • Stakeholder Confidence: Accurate financial data, stemming from a well-maintained COA, can enhance the trust of investors, partners, and lenders in your business, making them more inclined to invest or extend credit.
  • Future-Proofing Your Business: As your enterprise grows, so will the complexity of your financial transactions. A robust COA guarantees scalability, facilitating the addition of new accounts as your business landscape evolves.
  • Budgeting, Forecasting, and Growth Strategies: With Thriday's automated COA, setting budgets, making financial forecasts, and strategising for growth based on historical data becomes more efficient. Recognising areas for potential revenue increase or expense reduction becomes intuitive.
  • Ease During Tax Time: The integration of your COA with all your other transactions on Thriday's platform means all your financial data is consolidated in one place. Let Thriday make tax time less daunting and ensure you're always prepared if the ATO calls.

In the evolving landscape of business finance, the importance of a well-structured Chart of Accounts cannot be overstated. While traditional methods of maintaining a COA can be tedious and error-prone, Thriday harnesses the power of AI to offer businesses a seamless, accurate, and efficient way to manage their financial records.

But Thriday isn't just about automation; it's about empowerment. With its user-friendly interface and real-time financial insights, small business owners are equipped with the tools they need to drive growth, ensure compliance, and foster financial stability. Thriday is more than just a financial management platform; it's a partner in your business's journey towards success.

No more manual categorisations, uncertainty about your business's financial health and certainly no more Sunday nights spent reconciling accounts.

Embrace the future, embrace Thriday, and watch your business thrive in the world of automated financial management!

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360  AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank).  Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you.

Why waste time on financial admin when Thriday can do it for you?

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