In this article, we'll go over some of the features of the chart of accounts in Billy. First, it's helpful to watch this quick video that gives an overview of the chart of accounts.
To get to the chart of accounts, you'll go through the 'Accounting' menu and click on 'Chart of accounts'.
You'll now find yourself on the chart of accounts screen. The annotated screenshot below shows some of the functionality you'll find on this screen.
1. Create account: This button allows you to add a new account to your chart. We'll cover this in more detail in the next section.
2. More: This button allows you to import or export your chart of accounts as spreadsheet or CSV for advanced modifications. We'll cover advanced modifications to the chart of accounts below.
3. Show archived accounts: Billy enables you to archive accounts that aren't used very often. Archiving an account means that its data will stay saved in Billy, but the account won't show up on any lists within the application.
4. Account group: Words with a blue line beneath them are known as account groups. These are handy if you have several different accounts that you'd like to group together on your financial statements.
5. Account number: Although Billy doesn't number your accounts by default, we welcome you to implement your own numeric system for keeping track of your accounts.
6. Total line: Billy adds lines in your chart of accounts that tell the system when to display totals for certain accounts. For example, the line that reads "Gross profit (total 'Revenue')" means that gross profit is calculated by summing everything from 'Revenue' to that line. Adding total lines can only be done through an advanced chart of accounts modification process.
7. System accounts: Billy has several system accounts that it uses for various purposes. You cannot remove system accounts from the chart of accounts.
Billy provides a quick and easy way for users to add new accounts to their chart. Clicking on the green button on the top right enables you to add a new account. The annotated screenshot below documents the step for adding a new account.
1. Account name: This is the name you'll give the account. Try to be concise, but descriptive enough that you and others will know what it is.
2. Description: This is where you can go into detail about what this account is for. This is very important if you're you're working with multiple users, as not everyone is going to know what accounts are for what.
3. Account type: This is where you'll decide what kind of account you're creating. There are several different kinds of accounts already listed in Billy, so you shouldn't have to create your own account type. If you need help figuring out what account type you should choose, feel free to give us a call!
4. Account number: You can number your accounts if you have an organizational system for categorizing your accounts. This is a great way to ensure consistency among your accounts if you're importing data from an old system.
5. Archived: If you're adding an account for a one-time transaction and don't want it to show up on lists throughout the app, go ahead and archive it. You'll still see the account on your financial statements and in your chart of accounts, but nowhere else.
When creating a new account, you can select to create a new bank account to track in Billy as well. Just select 'Create bank account' after you've clicked the green button. You'll be prompted for additional information in a screen that looks like this.
You're welcome to add as much or as little information as you'd like to these fields. The main reason Billy collects this information is so you can send your bank details to your customers so they can pay you via a bank transfer.
Alternatively, you can add a bank account by creating a new account the normal way (described above) and selecting an 'Account type' of either 'Bank and liquid assets', 'Current assets', or 'Fixed assets'. Selecting either of these three account types will show additional options on the 'Create account' window shown below.
Bank account: Checking this box indicates to Billy that you're adding a bank account. You will be prompted for the additional (optional) information associated with adding a bank account.
Enable payments to this account: Checking this box will allow you to record payments from customers to this account. For example, if you're recording a customer payment on an invoice, you'll only be able to record payment to an account for which payments are enabled.
In Billy, we always try to make things as easy as possible for the end user. That said, some tasks just aren't easy in nature. Advanced changes to the chart of accounts fall into this category. We wanted to preserve this functionality, so we created a way for users to edit their chart of accounts using their favorite spreadsheet program.
To get started editing your chart of accounts as a spreadsheet, go to the 'More' button at the top right corner of your screen and select 'Export chart of accounts'. You'll be brought to the 'Export data' screen, where you can choose to export your chart of accounts as a CSV or Excel file. Select your preferred file type and save it somewhere convenient.
Open the file in your favorite spreadsheet program. You'll notice that your accounts are grouped by the system in a default format. The patterns in this default format are what should guide your changes to the chart of accounts.
These are some quick things to keep in mind when making edits to your chart of accounts.
Account removal: You won't be able to remove any accounts for which there are already transactions in Billy.
Account modification: You won't be able to make significant changes to accounts if they already have transactions in them. We recommend processing account modifications through the app.
Uploading your changes: Changes to your chart of accounts will occur once you upload your modified spreadsheet to Billy. Don't worry, if the system detects any errors, you'll have another chance to go back and make changes before your chart of accounts is updated.
Rather than provide a step by step guide on how to make every change imaginable, we'll provide some definitions that might help with any confusion that takes place in making these edits. The following sections are organized by the columns on the chart of accounts spreadsheet.
In this column, you can add account numbers to your individual accounts for ease of organization.
The 'Name' field is where you'll put the name of your account, group or line. Names should be brief but descriptive.
The 'Type' field determines whether the value in 'Name' is an account or a group. There are five distinct types supported by Billy.
Account: An account is merely a list of transactions. These are the accounts you're used to seeing in Billy.
Group: A group represents the beginning of a sequence of related accounts. An example of a group is 'Expenses' or 'Current assets'. Be sure to give your groups descriptive names.
Group sum: Group sum represents the end of a sequence of related accounts. Accounts between the 'Group' type and the 'Group sum' type will be added together and reported as a separate line.
Sum from: Sum from tells the system to calculate the sum of all items between the position of its line and the value in the next column. For example, the gross profit line takes the sum of all accounts above it starting with 'Revenue'.
Header: Headers are used to create distinct sections in your financial statements. For example, you'll see headers such as 'Assets' and 'Liabilities' on the balance sheet.
Values in this column are only applicable in rows where 'Type' is set to 'Sum from'. This column tells the system which account to start its summation from.
This column allows you to add different styles to certain accounts or groups.
Double: Adds a double bottom border below the row.
This field contains the description that appears for all accounts in the chart of accounts.
This field indicates whether the account is a bank account. A value of 'Yes' indicates that it is a bank account.
This field shows the currency of the account. For accounts in your default currency, this field will be blank. The currency code only applies to bank accounts.
This field indicates whether or not an account is enabled to receive payments. Accounts that are enabled to receive payments will be shown when recording a customer payment on an invoice. The default value for this field is blank, but can be changed to a value of "Yes" to enable payments to the account.
Some accounts in Billy are system accounts and cannot be changed. It's generally a good idea to leave these values alone unless you have a very specific reason to modify them.