Chart of Accounts for Startups and SaaS Companies

Accounting is fundamental to starting a business. You need to have a basic understanding of accounting principles and essential bookkeeping. I had to learn it. There was no choice. For filing taxes, your CPA is going to ask you for an Income Statement (also known as P/L statement). If you're doing taxes by yourself, then the Income Statement serves as a crucial report for filing taxes.

There are many resources out there to get started with the Bookkeeping process, but I had to spend a lot of time organizing chart of accounts. You need to organize this upfront as it will be a huge mess to change later.

I searched for a high quality chart of accounts, but it was either A) Disorganized mess, B) Too broad with 500+ accounts for every possible business C) Organized but without Chart of Account numbers D) Meant for massive C-Corps. You won't be able to chatGPT out of it, trust me.

Account Numbers are a must. I am generally obsessed with naming things right, it has always served me well. When you're communicating to your CPA, you can refer to them precisely by numbers.

Here is mine, it's meant for a software based startup with a single-member LLC (passthrough tax entity). If you have more than one members in the LLC, just duplicate the "Owner's" accounts for each member; rename "Owner" to "Member". If it is an S-Corp, change "Owner" to "Shareholders". There are a few differences in terminology (e.g. Distributions vs. Draw), but you'll figure that out later. Accounts can be renamed at any time, just make sure the structure and type of account is correct. I use it for Quickbooks Desktop (not sold anymore), but there is no reason why it can't be used in any accounting software.

Account # Account Description Type
1010 Stripe Account Bank
1020 Checking Account #1 Bank
1030 Checking Account #2 Bank
1040 Savings Account #1 Bank
1100 Clearing Account Bank
1200 Inventory Asset Other Current Asset
1410 Brokerage Account #1 Other Current Asset
1411 Cash Other Current Asset
1412 Investments Other Current Asset
1413 Unrealized Gains and Losses Other Current Asset
1490 ACH and Wire Clearing Other Current Asset
1500 Computers and Equipment Fixed Asset
1510 Computers Fixed Asset
1520 Computers Acc Depreciation Fixed Asset
1600 Furniture and Fixtures Fixed Asset
1610 Furniture Fixed Asset
1620 Furniture Acc Depreciation Fixed Asset
2000 Accounts Payable Accounts Payable
2100 Credit Card #1 Credit Card
2600 Due to Owner Short Term Liability
2610 Expense Reimbursement Short Term Liability
3000 Opening Balance Equity Equity
3100 Owner's Capital Equity
3110 Owner's Investments Equity
3120 Owner's Asset Contributions Equity
3200 Members Equity Equity
3300 Owner's Distributions Equity
3310 Owner's Withdrawals Equity
3320 Personal Expenses Equity
3400 Unrealized Gains and Losses Equity
4000 Revenue Income
4010 Non-Recurring Sales Income
4020 Subscription Sales Income
4030 Refunds and Allowances Income
5000 Cost of Goods Sold Cost of Goods Sold
5500 Payment Processing Expense
5510 Transaction Fees Expense
5520 Transaction Fee Allowances Expense
5530 Payment Services Expense
6000 Hosting and Cloud Computing Expense
6010 Datacenter Colocation Expense
6020 Cloud Services Expense
6030 Website and Domains Expense
6100 Software and Subscriptions Expense
6110 Software Applications Expense
6120 Software Subscriptions Expense
6130 Memberships Expense
6200 Office Supplies and Equipment Expense
6210 Stationery Expense
6220 Beverages and Canteen Expense
6230 Shipping and Postage Expense
6240 Office Electronics Expense
6250 Small Office Equipment Expense
6300 Education and Training Expense
6310 Books Expense
6320 Media Subscriptions Expense
6330 Courses and Seminars Expense
6400 Utilities Expense
6410 Internet Service Expense
6420 Telephone Expense
6430 Mechanical and Electrical Expense
6500 Maintenance and Repair Expense
6510 Appliance Maintenance Expense
6600 Meals Expense
6610 Meals with Clients Expense
6700 Travel Expense
6710 Transportation Expense
6720 Lodging Expense
6800 Automobile Expense
6810 Mileage Reimbursement Expense
6820 Repairs and Maintenance Expense
6900 Legal and Professional Expense
6910 Taxes and Accounting Expense
6920 LLC Operations and Management Expense
7000 Advertising and Marketing Expense
7010 Social Media Campaigns Expense
7020 Website Advertisement Expense
7030 Search Advertisement Expense
7200 Research and Development Expense
7210 Materials and Supplies Expense
7600 Bank Service Charges Expense
7610 Credit Card Allowances Expense
7620 Bank Fees Expense
7700 State Taxes Expense
7800 Depreciation Expense
7810 Furniture Depreciation Expense
7820 Computer Depreciation Expense
7900 Rent and Lease Expense
7910 Office Rent Expense
8000 Non-Operating Income Other Income
8010 Interest Income Other Income
8020 Dividend Income Other Income
8030 Other Non-Operating Income Other Income
9000 Ask My Accountant Other Expense

Feel free to use it in your company as long as following conditions are met:

In short: use it as you please for your company, no need to attribute me, don't sue me and don't sell this chart of accounts.

Copyright 2023, Neil Panchal.

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