The contractor’s chart of accounts is significantly different than the traditional chart of accounts. First off, the layout is more dependent on the balance sheet than the income statement (profit and loss) accounts. Furthermore, the income statement accounts are laid out to present a resource based costing presentation than a job costing format. To add another layer of complexity, the chart of accounts is somewhat oriented to the method of accounting selected by the contractor.
Chart of Accounts
The chart of accounts is a set of ledgers used to record economic activity of the business. This is achieved by entering each economic transaction into a set of journals identifying ledgers (accounts) to log the amounts The books are formatted to reflect the balance sheet and income statement items. The chart of accounts is designed to present the information in the prescribed format. The layout of the chart of accounts is essential in the final outcome of reports for the entrepreneur.
Accounting is the process of recording economic activity and organizing this information in a format to inform owners about financial results. It all begins with the journals and ledgers. The initial entry is recorded in one of many journals and then transferred to the respective ledgers where the data is summed and reported to the management team. This article explains how journals and ledgers relate to each other and how the end results are organized.
The trial balance is a special report used by accountants and bookkeepers. It is NOT a management nor a financial report. Its primary purpose is verification of account balances and compliance to the dual entry system (debits equal credits). It is generally utilized as the first step in the closing process for interim and annual reporting. Experienced bookkeepers use the trial balance to spot egregious errors and obvious discrepancies.
The Internal Revenue Service authorizes two different methods to deduct expenses for vehicle operations. The most commonly used method in small business is the mileage reimbursement method explained in Lesson 61. The second method is the actual cost of vehicle operations which is explained and illustrated here.
The accounting profession uses various tools to generate accurate accounting information at the close of accounting cycles (monthly, quarterly and annually). The primary document is the working trial balance. It is very similar to the traditional trial balance except there are additional columns used to identify various adjustments and the corresponding source documents (work papers).