As every accountant and bookkeeper knows, the financial success of every business starts with correctly setting up the Chart of Accounts in QuickBooks®. When it comes to managing your finances, the Chart of Accounts acts as the backbone for all your clients’ processes and procedures, no matter the industry—but how to set it up varies from business to business. Even though they may have overlapping fixed expenses, variable expenses, or revenues, construction, real estate development, flips, rentals, brokers, property management, and even syndication all have their unique needs. Whether your client is a new or existing business, they should have a Chart of Accounts that reflects their specific accounting needs.
Before you go any further, assess your clients needs:
- Are they struggling with setting their QuickBooks Chart of Accounts?
- Do they want to have accurate reports in just a few clicks?
- Do they need to reconcile their QuickBooks files?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you are in the right place to get started!
The best way to ensure you are using the right settings for your client’s industry is to create a new company file and let QuickBooks automatically create the Chart of Accounts for you. Whether you are working with an existing list or creating a new company file, you will see that you can add, edit, or delete accounts from a company file to better meet your client’s individual needs. For now, though, let’s start from the beginning:
QuickBooks Desktop: Start with Create a new company button, or click File and then New Company on the Menu Bar. If your client is a new user, it is best to use the Express Start option and choose the predefined industry closest to what the company does. This ensures that they are set up with a default list of accounts.
QuickBooks Online: As soon as your client logs in to the app, it will prompt them to define their business, taking them step by step to create chart of accounts, setup, and those magically features they should use.
Before you dive head over heels into industry specific chart of accounts you (and your clients) should learn the following:
- Understand the basics: The most frequently used 25 Accounting Terms.
- Analyze your reports: Learn the reports that will you know where your business will stand financially.
- Get your sanity back with these free apps.
Customize Your Company’s Accounts
Every business has its own way of operating, and these operating procedures are often reflected in the Chart of Accounts. That’s why it is so important that you help your clients edit the Chart of Accounts beyond the defaults that QuickBooks provides. For a detailed explanation of the Chart of Accounts for each industry and how you can make them fit your company better, click on the links below:
- Accounting and Bookkeeping
- Advertising and Public Relations
- Agriculture, Ranching, and Farming
- Art, Writing, and Photography
- Automotive Sales and Repair
- Church and Religious Organizations
- Construction General Contractors
- Construction Trades such as Plumbers, Electricians, HVAC
- Design, Architecture and Engineering
- Financial Services other than Bookkeeping and Accounting
- General Product-based Business
- General Service-based Business
- Hair Salons, Beauty Salons, and Barber Shops
- Information Technology
- Insurance Agency and Brokers
- Lawn Care and Landscaping
- Legal Services
- Lodging, such as Hotels and Motels
- Manufacturer Representatives and Agents
- Medical, Dental, and Health Services
- Property Management and Home Associations
- Rental Residential for Real Estate Investors
- Repair and Maintenance
- Restaurants, Caterers, and Bars
- Retail Shops and Online Commerce
- Sales: Independent Agents
- Transportation, Trucking, and Delivery
- Wholesale Distribution and Sales
- Vacation Rental for Property Management