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Chart of Accounts setup

Last post 08-11-2009 2:02 PM by Steve Crabtree. 5 replies.
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  • 07-08-2009 3:15 PM

    Chart of Accounts setup

    I'm interested to see how other organizations set up their chart of accounts.  I'm fairly new to this position and inherited a COA the size of Texas (I'm in Ohio!).  We want to capture income/expense by department.  We have appoximately 15 departments and the COA is set up so each account (e.g., Printing) appears 15 times...once for each department.  It's crazy, but I can't find a better solution.  Any suggestions? 

    Shari Gibbs

    Finance Manager

    Cleveland Animal Protective League

  • 07-09-2009 10:53 AM In reply to

    • Netta Kowalski
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • User Since: 2007
    • Posts 28
    • Organization: Evangelical Children's Home
    • Products:  Blackbaud NetCommunity, The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge

    Re: Chart of Accounts setup

    Hi Juanita

    When I got to ECH 2-1/2 years ago, I inherited the same COA structure.  In just the last couple of months, I started to tackle this issue to streamline our COA.  We had an account structure of xx-xxxxxx-xx where the first two digits are the fund, the middle six (?!?) digits are what I call the "core number" and the last two digits were always 00.  (I have no idea why they added the last two digits and made them all zeroes originally, but in my case, this ended up working to my advantage.  Here's how I've changed the COA to capture costs by department:

     1)  I assigned a two digit department code to each functional department, which I had to set up in a table under Configuration

    2)  I then went through every account number (expenses only in my case) and changed the last two digits to the department code that corresponded to the existing account number.  This allowed me not to lose detail segregation before I changed the core number

    3)  Finally, I went to Account Codes under Configuration and changed expense account core numbers so that each occurrence of an expense description (such as Electricity or Office Supplies) has the same core number.  For example, any time I came across an account number whose description was Supplies-Office, I assigned the core number of 508000 to it.  This resulted in having a much smaller number of core account numbers to maintain plus makes it easier for us accountant types to memorize the chart of accounts ...  Smile

    I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions, let me know.  You can call me at 314-506-7347 or email at dkowalski@echmail.org if you'd like.

     Netta  

    Netta
  • 07-09-2009 10:54 AM In reply to

    • Netta Kowalski
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • User Since: 2007
    • Posts 28
    • Organization: Evangelical Children's Home
    • Products:  Blackbaud NetCommunity, The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge

    Re: Chart of Accounts setup

    Whoops - sorry!  I just realized I was writing a response to Shari, not Juanita...  Tongue Tied

    Netta
  • 07-16-2009 1:59 PM In reply to

    • Josh Grabia
    • Not Ranked
    • User Since: 2007
    • Posts 16
    • Organization: Blackbaud, Inc.
    • Products:  Accounting for Nonprofits, The Financial Edge

    Re: Chart of Accounts setup

    HI Juanita,

    It sounds like the COA is setup correctly to track Revenues/Expenses by department.  You would typically want to do this by using an additional segment in the account structure.  You don't have to have the account exist in every department.  In the example you gave, if the only departments that order print suppies are business office and admin, that account doesn't have to exist in the other 13 departments.  You can delete them if activity has never been recorded.  You can also run reports and chose to exclude accounts with no activity.  This should decrease the length of your reports substantially.

    Hope this helps!

  • 08-05-2009 11:51 AM In reply to

    • Jennifer Palawasta
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • User Since: 2004
    • Posts 345
    • Products:  Accounting for Nonprofits, Admissions and Registrar's Office 6, Blackbaud Student Information System, The Education Edge, The Financial Edge, Blackbaud FundWare

    Re: Chart of Accounts setup

    Hey Juanita,

    Josh had some great suggestions for handling your COA.  I wanted to let you know you can also review Chart of Accounts from other organizations in the FE Shared Client Documents forum.  This will let you see how other FE users set up their accounts and give you some ideas to help you with yours.  Once you get your COA squared away, feel free to post it on the Shared Client Documents forum to help other organizations.  

    I hope this helps.

  • 08-11-2009 2:02 PM In reply to

    • Steve Crabtree
    • Not Ranked
    • User Since: 2006
    • Posts 4
    • Organization: Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
    • Products:  Blackbaud NetCommunity, The Financial Edge, The Raiser's Edge

    Re: Chart of Accounts setup

    Shari,

    We've based our Chart of Accounts on the "Unified Chart of Accounts," created by the California Society of CPAs and a couple of other groups, which makes the CoA compatible with the IRS Form 990, OMB Circular A-122, and various other reporting requirements.  We use a three segmented account structure: fund code - account code - project code.

     The fund codes are 01 - unrestricted, 02 - temporarily restricted, and 03 - permenantly restricted.

     The account codes are standard general ledger account codes but based on the UCoA as mentioned, see attached.

    The project codes are for each office, project or grant.  Each has attributes, one attribute being the department code.  FYI, other attributes include the IRS Form 990 line number, the revenue source type for the activity (dues, assessments, Federal or private grant, endowment, meeting registration fee, etc.)

     Using your example for Printing, in our system the accounting structure would be 1-6050-1400 where 1400 is my department code.  For printing for a different office, e.g. Office of the President, the transaction would be coded 1-6050-1000.

     We also use transaction codes to differeniate by functional expenses.

     Contact me if you have questions or would like more information.

    Steve C

     

     

    Steve C.
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