Sample Chart of Accounts

This is included as Appendix A-4 in Not-for-Profit Accounting: A Very Practical Manual for Bookkeepers, Accountants and Finance Directors of Small Nonprofits. If you have downloaded the book, read Chapters 2 and 19, and keep them handy to refer to as you take a look at this chart of accounts.  The chart of natural accounts below is a framework for you to start with.Modify it to suit your organization.  Be sure to leave plenty of room in the numbering sequence, just as you see here.  In accounting software with the capacity for four segments, they indicate the natural account, the function/program, the grant, the level of restriction.  Using the accounts below, the whole account number for a temporarily restricted grant (#51) awarded to program #1 by a foundation is: 4100-01-51-2.

Natural Accounts
Financial Statement Titles Account Titles Account Numbers
Cash and Cash Equivalents Operating checking 1000
Savings/Money Market 1010
Savings: Restricted grants 1020
Program svc fees receivable: clients/tenants/etc 1100
Program svc fees receivable: government contracts 1110
Payroll advances 1120
Grants receivable 1130
Allowance for uncollectible receivables 1190
Prepaid Expenses
Prepaid insurance 1200
Mutual fund #1 1300
Common stock 1310
Property, Furniture & Equipment
Land 1300
Buildings 1310
Building improvements 1320
Furniture 1330
Equipment 1340
Software 1350
Accumulated depreciation 1390
Notes Receivable
Note receivable #1 1410
Note receivable #2 1420
Note receivable #3 1430
Other Assets
Rent deposit 1900
Accounts Payable
Accounts payable 2000
Payroll, Payroll Taxes
Payroll payable 2100
& Withholding
FICA & Hosp. payable 2110
Fed. W/H payable 2120
State W/H payable 2130
Accrued Expenses Accrued fees 2200
Accrued interest 2210
Other Current Liabilities
Accrued vacation 2300
Deferred revenue 2310
Current portion of long-term debt 2320
Refundable advances 2330
Long-Term Liabilities
Notes payable 2400
Capital lease 2410
Mortgage payable 2420
Net Assets
Unrestricted net assets 3000
Temporarily restricted net assets 3100
Permanently restricted net assets 3200
Revenue & Support
Contributions – individuals 4000
Contributions – foundations 4100
Contributions – corporations 4200
Grants – government 4300
Transfers to/from temp. restricted fund 4400
In-kind contributions
In-kind contributions – goods 4500
In-kind contributions – services 4600
Program service fees
Program service fees 4700
Special events
Special event #1 – net 5400
Special event #2 – net 5410
Investment income
Dividends and interest 5600
Realized gain/loss on sale 5610
Other revenue & support
Miscellaneous revenue 5900
Miscellaneous support 5910
Salaries & wages
Salaries & wages 6000
Payroll taxes
FICA & Medicare 6100
State unemployment 6110
Health insurance 6120
Dental insurance 6130
Workers compensation insurance 6140
Retirement contribution 6150
Accounting/bookkeeping Accounting/bookkeeping 7000
Auditing Auditing 7010
Miscellaneous Bank fees 7020
Books & publications Books & publications 7030
Depreciation Depreciation 7040
Dues & subscriptions Dues & subscriptions 7050
Equipment lease Equipment lease 7060
Donated goods In-kind expense – goods 7070
Donated services In-kind expense – services 7080
Insurance Insurance 7090
Interest Interest 7100
IT support IT support 7110
Legal fees Legal fees 7120
Licenses and fees Licenses and fees 7130
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous 7140
Office supplies Office supplies 7150
Postage Postage 7160
Printing Printing 7170
Rent Rent 7180
Repair & maintenance Repair & maintenance 7190
Staff training Staff training 7200
Telephone Telephone 7210
Travel & mileage Travel & mileage 7220
Utilities Utilities 7230
Program (Function) Numbers

The function segment should be long enough to represent the programs you have, with some flexibility for change.  Usually two digits are enough.  Use the first one to indicate the function and reserve the second one for sub-programs or changes to the original program.  This approach gives you nine major function numbers.  Two to three of them will be needed for Admin & General and Fundraising; if yours is a membership organization, you’ll need one for Membership Development, too.

If you’re a small organization and you think you have more than six or seven programs, take another look at your mission statement and the literature you prepare for public distribution.  Based on what you read there, make a list of your programs.  When you think generally about your organization’s functions, you are likely to find that it has three or four.In QuickBooks, use the class and sub-class designations for your programs/functions and subprograms.  You can use words rather than numbers to describe your classes, but sticking with numbers can make relationships between programs and subprograms more apparent.
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