Basic GAAP chart of accounts

Release notes

This chart of accounts includes general US GAAP compatible classifications and sub-classifications.

The FASB does not publish a "US GAAP chart of accounts".

Companies may use any chart of accounts provided it is consistent with published recognition guidance (link: asc.fasb.org).

This chart has been designed to be consistent with this guidance.

While users may delete unnecessary / add additional sub-accounts, they are advised to keep its general structure intact.

Prior to use, users are advised to add additional, specific accounts.

For example, a company with petty cash and two bank accounts, would add:

Assets 1
Cash And Investments 1.1
Cash And Cash Equivalents 1.1.1
Petty Cash 1.1.1.1
Cash in bank 1.1.1.2
Cash in bank, account one 1.1.1.2.1
Cash in bank, account two 1.1.1.2.2
--- ---

A company with customers (i.e. customer # 123, customer # 234, customer number # 345), would add:

Assets 1
--- ---
Receivables 1.2
Accounts, Notes And Loans
1.2.1
Accounts receivable 1.2.1.1
Customer 123 1.2.1.1.123
Customer 234 1.2.1.1.234
Customer 345 1.2.1.1.345
--- ---

In addition to permanent accounts, temporary accounts for individual receivables (i.e invoice # 00321, invoice # 00332, invoice # 00358), may also be added:

Assets 1
--- ---
Receivables 1.2
Accounts, Notes And Loans
1.2.1
Accounts receivable 1.2.1.1
Customer 123 1.2.1.1.123
Invoice 00321 1.2.1.1.123-00321
Invoice 00321 1.2.1.1.123-00332
Invoice 00321 1.2.1.1.123-00358
--- ---

This chart does not make a current/non-current distinction.

As the current / non-current status of an item is a disclosure rather than recognition issue, incorporating the current / non-current distinction into the account structure not only adds unnecessary complexity, but can lead to unnecessary item reclassification.

For example, a company can acquire an available-for-sale financial instrument with the intention of holding it for less than 12 months then, during the holding period, change its intention.

Nevertheless, as some companies prefer a chart of accounts that makes this distinction, a current / non-current chart of accounts is available to subscribers.

Important: this chart includes expenses classified by both nature and function.

US GAAP does not permit nature of expense, income statment reporting.

Nevertheless, a nature based account structure yields superior operational results.

For example, when accounts are initially organized by function, the result will resemble:

Expenses Classified By Function 5.1
Cost Of Revenue 5.1.1
Cost Of Goods Sold 5.1.1.1
--- ---
Emloyee benefits (a.k.a. wages and salaries) 5.1.1.1.1
Wages 5.1.1.1.1.1
Salaries 5.1.1.1.1.2
--- ---
Cost Of Services Rendered 5.1.1.2
--- ---
Emloyee benefits 5.1.1.2.1
Wages 5.1.1.2.1.1
Salaries 5.1.1.2.1.2
--- ---
Selling, General, Administrative 5.1.2
Selling and Marketing 5.1.2.1
--- ---
Emloyee benefits 5.1.2.1.1
Salaries 5.1.2.1.1.2
Commissions 5.1.2.1.1.3
--- ---

When accounts are initially organized by nature, the result can resemble:

  Account   Department
--- ---   ---
Expenses Classified By Nature 5.2    
Employee Benefits 5.2.2    
Production department 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.1
Service department 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.2
Sales department 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.1
Administrative department 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.2
--- ---    

Also note, while it would be possible to add a digit for country of domicile, subsidiary, segment, reporting unit etc., in practice it is more practical for each such entity to maintain separate accounts, which are then consolidated:

  Country   Account   Department
---     ---    
Employee Benefits - US 1 - 5.2.2    
Production department - US 1 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.1
Service department - US 1 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.2
Sales department - US 1 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.1
Administrative department - US 1 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.2
---     ---    
Employee Benefits - France 2 - 5.2.2    
Production department - France 2 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.1
Service department - France 2 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.1.2
Sales department - France 2 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.1
Administrative department - France 2 - 5.2.2 - 5.1.2.2
---     ---    

 

Account Account # Balance Depth Line #
Assets 1 Dr 0 1
Cash and Cash Equivalents 1.1 Dr 1 2
Cash In Bank and On Hand 1.1.1 Dr 2 3
Cash Equivalents 1.1.2 Dr 2 4
Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents 1.1.3 Dr 2 5
Other Cash Items 1.1.4 Dr 2 6
Investments and Financial Instruments 1.2 Dr 1 7
Investments 1.2.1 Dr 2 8
Related Party Investments 1.2.2 Dr 2 9
Derivatives and  Securities 1.2.3 Dr 2 10
Other Investments 1.2.4 Dr 2 11
Receivables 1.3 Dr 1 12
Trade Accounts Receivable 1.3.1 Dr 2 13
Unbilled Receivables 1.3.2 Dr 2 14
Related Party Receivables 1.3.3 Dr 2 15
Other Receivables 1.3.4 Dr 2 16
Inventory 1.4 Dr 1 17
Raw Material and Supplies 1.4.1 Dr 2 18
Work In Process 1.4.2 Dr 2 19
Finished Goods 1.4.3 Dr 2 20
Merchandise 1.4.4 Dr 2 21
Inventory Valuation Reserve 1.4.5 (Cr) 2 22
Inventory LIFO Reserve 1.4.6 (Cr) 2 23
Other Inventory 1.4.7 Dr 2 24
Accrued Assets 1.5 Dr 1 25
Prepaid Expense 1.5.1 Dr 2 26
Accrued Revenue 1.5.2 Dr 2 27
Nontrade Receivables 1.5.3 Dr 2 28
Accrued Tax Assets 1.5.4 Dr 2 29
Other Accrued Assets 1.5.5 Dr 2 30
Property, Plant and Equipment 1.6 Dr 1 31
Land and Land Improvements 1.6.1 Dr 2 32
Buildings, Structures and Leasehold Improvements 1.6.2 Dr 2 33
Machinery and Equipment 1.6.3 Dr 2 34
Furniture and Fixtures 1.6.4 Dr 2 35
Leased (right to use) Assets Classified as PP&E 1.6.5 Dr 2 36
Lease Assets (assets held for lease) 1.6.6 Dr 2 37
Other  Property, Plant and Equipment 1.6.7 Dr 2 38
Acquisitions In Progress 1.6.8 Dr 2 39
Intangible Assets Excluding Goodwill 1.7 Dr 1 40
Intellectual Property 1.7.1 Dr 2 41
Computer Software 1.7.2 Dr 2 42
Trade and Distribution Assets 1.7.3 Dr 2 43
Contracts and Rights 1.7.4 Dr 2 44
Leased (right to use) Assets 1.7.5 Dr 2 45
Other Intangible Assets 1.7.6 Dr 2 46
Acquisitions In Progress (stand alone asset) 1.7.7 Dr 2 47
Acquisitions In Progress (business combination) 1.7.8 Dr 2 48
Goodwill 1.8 Dr 1 49
Other Assets 1.9 Dr 1 50
Contracts and Contract Assets 1.9.1 Dr 2 51
Deferred Costs 1.9.2 Dr 2 52
Assets Held for Disposal 1.9.3 Dr 2 53
Miscellaneous Assets 1.9.4 Dr 2 54
Liabilities 2 (Cr) 0 55
Payables 2.1 (Cr) 1 56
Trade Accounts Payable 2.1.1 (Cr) 2 57
Trade Notes Payable 2.1.2 (Cr) 2 58
Related Party Payables 2.1.3 (Cr) 2 59
Other  Payables 2.1.4 (Cr) 2 60
Accrued Liabilities 2.2 (Cr) 1 61
Deferred (unearned) Revenue 2.2.1 (Cr) 2 62
Accrued Liabilities 2.2.2 (Cr) 2 63
Unbilled Payables 2.2.3 (Cr) 2 64
Employment-Related Liabilities 2.2.4 (Cr) 2 65
Accrued Tax Liability 2.2.5 (Cr) 2 66
Interest and Dividends Payable 2.2.6 (Cr) 2 67
Other Accrued Liabilities 2.2.7 (Cr) 2 68
Debts 2.3 (Cr) 1 69
Notes and Loans 2.3.1 (Cr) 2 70
Debenture Bonds 2.3.2 (Cr) 2 71
Derivative Instruments and Other Securities 2.3.3 (Cr) 2 72
Related Party Loans and Notes 2.3.4 (Cr) 2 73
Other Intercompany Debts 2.3.5 (Cr) 2 74
Other Debts 2.3.6 (Cr) 2 75
Liabilities Other than Debt 2.4 (Cr) 1 76
Finance Lease Obligations 2.4.1 (Cr) 2 77
Operating  Lease Obligations 2.4.2 (Cr) 2 78
Contracts and Contract Liabilities 2.4.3 (Cr) 2 79
Deferred Tax Liability 2.4.4 (Cr) 2 80
Liability for Uncertainty In Income Taxes 2.4.5 (Cr) 2 81
Provisions (contingent liabilities) 2.4.6 (Cr) 2 82
Asset Retirement Obligations 2.4.7 (Cr) 2 83
Accumulated Deferred Investment Tax Credit 2.4.8 (Cr) 2 84
Other Liabilities Other Than Debt 2.4.9 (Cr) 2 85
Other Liabilities 2.5 (Cr) 1 86
Equity 3 (Cr) 0 87
 Owners, Partners, Stockholders Equity 3.1 (Cr) 1 88
Common Equity, Stock 3.1.1 (Cr) 2 89
Preferred Equity, Stock 3.1.2 (Cr) 2 90
Retained Earnings 3.2 Dr / (Cr) 1 91
Appropriated 3.2.1 (Cr) 2 92
Unappropriated 3.2.2 (Cr) 2 93
Retained Earnings Deficit 3.2.3 Dr 2 94
Suspense Account 3.2.4 Dr / (Cr) 2 95
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) 3.3 Dr / (Cr) 1 96
Foreign Currency Translation Adjustment 3.3.1 Dr / (Cr) 2 97
Debt Securities, Available-For-Sale, Adjustment 3.3.2 Dr / (Cr) 2 98
Other Than Temporary Impairment, Net Credit Loss, Debt Securities 3.3.3 (Cr) 2 99
Derivatives, Cash Flow Hedge, Cumulative Gain (Loss) 3.3.4 Dr / (Cr) 2 100
Defined Benefit Plan, Adjustment 3.3.5 Dr / (Cr) 2 101
Financial Liability, Fair Value Option, Adjustment 3.3.6 Dr / (Cr) 2 102
Other Equity 3.4 Dr / (Cr) 1 103
Treasury Stock 3.4.1 Dr 2 104
Unearned ESOP Shares 3.4.2 Dr 2 105
Outstanding Warrants and Rights  3.4.3 (Cr) 2 106
Deferred Employee Stock Ownership Plan 3.4.4 (Cr) 2 107
Receivable From Officers, Directors For Issuance Of Capital Stock 3.4.5 Dr 2 108
Receivable From Shareholders Or Affiliates For Issuance Of Capital Stock 3.4.6 Dr 2 109
Stock Subscriptions Receivable 3.4.7 Dr 2 110
Deferred Compensation Equity 3.4.8 Dr 2 111
Other  Capital 3.4.9 (Cr) 2 112
Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling (minority) Interest 3.5 (Cr) 1 113
Revenue 4 (Cr) 0 114
Goods and Services (contracts) 4.1 (Cr) 1 115
Goods (point of time) 4.1.1 (Cr) 2 116
Services (over time) 4.1.2 (Cr) 2 117
Adjustments 4.1.3 Dr 2 118
Related Party Revenue 4.2 (Cr) 1 119
Intercompany Revenue 4.2.1 (Cr) 2 120
Sales to Officers 4.2.2 (Cr) 2 121
Sales to Other Related Parties 4.2.3 (Cr) 2 122
Other Operating Income 4.3 (Cr) 1 123
Expenses 5 Dr 0 124
Classified By Function 5.1 Dr 1 125
Cost Of Sales 5.1.1 Dr 2 126
Cost Of Goods Sold 5.1.1.1 Dr 3 127
Cost Of Services Rendered 5.1.1.2 Dr 3 128
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses 5.1.2 Dr 2 129
Sales and Marketing 5.1.2.1 Dr 3 130
General and Administrative Expenses 5.1.2.2 Dr 3 131
Other Operating Expenses 5.1.3 Dr 2 132
Classified By Nature 5.2 Dr 1 133
Merchandise, Material, Supplies and Utilities 5.2.1 Dr 2 134
Employee Related Expenses 5.2.2 Dr 2 135
Services 5.2.3 Dr 2 136
Rent, Depreciation, Amortization and Depletion 5.2.4 Dr 2 137
Other Operating Expenses 5.2.5 Dr 2 138
Related Party Expenses 5.3 (Cr) 1 139
Intercompany Expenses 5.3.1 (Cr) 2 140
Purchases from Officers 5.3.2 (Cr) 2 141
Purchases from Other Related Parties 5.3.3 (Cr) 2 142
Nonoperating Income and Expense 6 Dr / (Cr) 0 143
Interest Income 6.1 (Cr) 1 144
Interest Income, Unrelated Party 6.1.1 (Cr) 2 145
Interest Income, Related Party 6.1.2 (Cr) 2 146
Interest Income, Other 6.1.3 (Cr) 2 147
Interest Expense 6.2 Dr 1 148
Interest Expense, Unrelated Party 6.2.1 Dr 2 149
Amortization Of Debt Issuance Costs 6.2.2 Dr 2 150
Finance Lease, Interest Expense 6.2.3 Dr 2 151
Interest Expense, Related Party 6.2.4 Dr 2 152
Interest Expense, Other 6.2.5 Dr 2 153
Investment Income 6.3 (Cr) 1 154
Royalty Income, Nonoperating 6.3.1 (Cr) 2 155
Rental Income, Nonoperating 6.3.2 (Cr) 2 156
Other Investment Income 6.3.3 (Cr) 2 157
Gains and Losses 6.4 Dr / (Cr) 1 158
Foreign Currency Transaction Gain (Loss) 6.4.1 Dr / (Cr) 2 159
Gain (Loss) On Contract Termination 6.4.2 Dr / (Cr) 2 160
Gain (Loss) On Condemnation 6.4.3 Dr / (Cr) 2 161
Loss From Catastrophes 6.4.4 Dr 2 162
Gain (Loss) On Extinguishment Of Debt 6.4.5 Dr / (Cr) 2 163
Impairment Loss 6.4.6 Dr 2 164
Other Gains and Losses 6.4.7 Dr / (Cr) 2 165
Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments 6.5 Dr / (Cr) 1 166
Other Nonoperating Income (Expense) 6.6 Dr / (Cr) 1 167
Taxes Other Than Income 7 Dr 0 168
Property (Real Estate) Tax 7.1 Dr 1 169
Highway Taxes 7.2 Dr 1 170
Customs Fees and Duties (Not Classified as Sales of Excise) 7.3 Dr 1 171
Administrative Fees (Revenue Stamps) 7.4 Dr 1 172
Non-Refundable VAT, GST (foreign operations) 7.5 Dr 1 173
Income Tax Expense (Benefit) 8 Dr / (Cr) 0 174