Author Archive | Dan Corredor

Hire For Traits, Not For Talent

Hire For Traits, Not For TalentYou have probably heard the term, hire for traits, not for talent. I can tell you ever since I first heard of this term, I have gone back in time and the different experiences I have had, that related to this term over the last 28 years of my career.  I am convinced more than ever that we should all apply this to ever hire we make.

Hire for traits, not for talent.

Hire For Traits, Not For Talent

You would be surprised, or maybe not, how many times I have worked with accounting, finance, or operational professionals that really knew their stuff.  Technically, they were all there and then some. But when it came with dealing with these individuals on a personal level, they were very difficult to deal with or even impossible to deal with.


Are you building your team? If so, it’s time to stop hiring duds. Learn how to recruit that star-quality team you need to get to the next level.

Access Our 5 Guiding Principles for Recruiting a Star-Quality Team


Case Studies

In my 28+ years of experience, I have had numerous good and bad experiences hiring. Let’s look at a few of them!

“Super Star” Divisional Controller That Knew It All

I worked for a large publicly traded company, and the operating world was divided into regions for the entire world. So, there were several divisional controllers. Well, there was this “super star” divisional controller that knew it all. He was technically the smartest guy in the room when it came to the latest accounting pronouncements. But when it came to dealing with people, this mad man was impossible to deal with. He was rude, had temper tantrums, and was just a jerk. He got the job because on paper he was a super star. But when it came to working with others, it was impossible. As a result, he had a short career at the company.

Cancer In the Organization

I also dealt with an operating guy recently who was hired for his technical expertise in a specific operation. He was very talented when it came to the operation of the business. But once again, he was insubordinate, treated others like dirt, and just a cancer in the organization.

Sponge in Learning

On the contrary, I recently hired a young man with very little work experience, smart, and was a sponge in learning about the business or how we did things. This young man has turned out to be a real super star. I did not hire him for his talents, but his traits and ability to work well with others.

Conclusion: Hiring for Traits

The stories above are real and I have another dozen like these.  All of these individuals had “talent” in there area of expertise, but their personal traits varied. Those that failed had horrible personal traits. Those individuals that I have worked with that had excellent personal traits turned out to be excellent employees. An individual with exceptional personal traits can learn anything.

Personally, I would want to always hire that person that has exceptional personal traits, and maybe average on talent. Why? Because I know I can train this person and make him or her a super star. Think about those individuals that you have worked with in your career. Think of their traits versus talent. Someone can have exceptional talent, but if they can not get along with others, work in a team environment or have other horrible traits, then that person will always fail. Don’t make the same mistakes when hiring your next employee. Learn about our 5 Guiding Principles for Recruiting a Star-Quality Team and how hiring for traits is the way to go!

Hire For Traits, Not For Talent

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Hire For Traits, Not For Talent

1

Debt Restructuring

See Also:
How to Keep Your Corporate Veil Closed
Corporate Veil
Bankruptcy Information
Debtor in Possession
Insolvency
Mezzanine Debt Financing (Mezzanine Loans)
Relationship With Your Lender
Reorganization

Debt Restructuring

A company can fall into financial trouble for many different reasons. Often, the gut reaction of management is to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In our practice, we consider bankruptcy a last resort remedy. We always try to keep our clients out of bankruptcy. Why? Because an out-of-court debt restructuring or liquidation has the potential of achieving higher returns for all of the stakeholders at a lower cost. Furthermore, companies increase the chances for a successful operating turnaround by avoiding the negative publicity often generated by a bankruptcy filing. The purpose of this memo will be to describe the secrets of successful out-of-court debt restructuring for debtors and creditors.

The Usual Scenario That Results in Debt Restructuring

The usual scenario can occur in any type of company –  manufacturing, distribution, services, retail, etc. Typically, there is a bank lender with a line on accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, land, and trade creditors. If the business does not own real estate or equipment, then there will be a landlord and some equipment lessors. These are small differences and the principles discussed below will apply regardless. Although the bank loan may be current or just a payment or two behind, there are significant covenant defaults and payments to trade creditors are delinquent.

Restructure or Liquidate

The first thing the business must do is determine whether or not to continue operations/restructure or liquidate. This will depend largely on whether or not there is a sufficient market for the company’s products or services. If there isn’t, it is pointless to continue and the decision will be for liquidation. In the event of a decision to liquidate, the Company must then decide whether selling as a going concern perhaps to a competitor or shutting down immediately will maximize the value of the assets. We often recommend that the client hire a competent turnaround professional. They will assist with this evaluation and the creation of a viable action plan. In addition to assisting in this regard, an independent turnaround professional provides the Company with credibility when approaching creditors for concessions.

Maximizing Value

One might ask why the Company should care about maximizing the value of the assets. The answer is that often, the principals have personal guarantees that need to be satisfied. These guarantees act as a significant incentive for management to obtain the maximum value. Moreover, our experience is that most principals want to achieve the maximum recovery for all concerned. In many instances, they believe the assets are worth more than their appraised value. If the business can be sold as a going concern, then it must be able to run at close to cash flow break even for at least 90 days. This will give management a chance to market the assets as a going concern. If this is not achievable, then the business must shut down.


Click here to Download the Top 10 Destroyers of Value


The Business Plan

If there is a market for the business and the Company can operate at close to cash flow break even, then it must come up with a reasonable business plan for going forward. The business plan is often provided in two stages.

First Stage of a Business Plan: Eliminate Cash Flow Crunch

The first stage is when the Company is in crisis and it simply needs to eliminate a cash flow crunch. At this point in time, the plan must provide at a minimum for the collection of enough revenue to cover the payment of ongoing business expenses such as payroll, taxes, rent, utilities, critical supplies, transportation costs, etc. Ordinarily, this means that the Company will likely have to curtail payments on past due loans, leases, and trade credit while the business operations are being turned around. In addition to curtailing payments on past due debts, the Company usually reduces headcount and undertakes other cost-cutting measures to equalize the sources and uses of cash. Competent turnaround professionals are excellent at identifying areas where business can cut costs and become more efficient. The plan should include current and projected balance sheets, income statements, and cash flows.

Second Stage of a Business Plan: Negotiate Out-of-Court Settlements

The second stage of the business plan is developed at a later date. Hopefully, the Company’s efforts to cuts costs and make operations more efficient has turned a negative cash flow situation positive and the long term prospects for the Company are brighter. At this point, the Company has the ability to negotiate out-of-court settlements with its creditors.

Creditor Negotiations

The bankruptcy attorney, the Company, and the turnaround professional work together to negotiate with creditors. There are typically two stages to these negotiations, which also mirror the stages of the business plan. The most important negotiation obviously is with the bank; they typically hold a lien on assets, and therefore, the bank has the ability to foreclose. Contemporaneously with this process, the Company should contact its unsecured trade creditors. First, we will discuss how to approach the bank and then the trade creditors.

First Stage Bank Negotiations

Assuming the Company has identified its problems early in the process, the bank is probably not aware that a crisis exists. The worst thing the Company can do under these circumstances is attempt to continue to hide the crisis from the banker. Rather, the Company must go to the banker and disclose the nature of the crisis and provide a plan for resolving it. This is perhaps the hardest principal for most companies experiencing financial difficulty to accept. The Company almost always believes that the bank will take immediate action to liquidate its collateral. This is almost never the case since the bank really does not want to own the collateral. Also, the bank is often impressed with the honesty and integrity of the Company in bringing the problem to its attention.

Banks are not strangers to financial difficulties. Negotiations are even more effective if the Company has already hired a turnaround consultant who has reviewed the business operation and developed a plausible plan to stabilize the situation. Ideally, the meeting with the bank should be with the Company, the turnaround consultant, and the bankruptcy attorney. The Company should let the banker know that an attorney will attend the meeting, so the banker will know to invite his bankruptcy attorney. The knowledge that an attorney will attend the meeting telegraphs and prepares the banker to expect a problem.

Volunteer Complete Access to Company Records

In the wake of Enron and other corporate fraud, bankers are often suspicious and may believe their borrowers are bleeding money out of the company inappropriately. The best way to combat this problem is to volunteer to provide the banker and/or its auditors with complete access to company records.

Circumstances: Liquidation or Continue Operations

The negotiations with the bank are going to depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. They can run the gamut from a simple request to waive a covenant default or a total forbearance. This depends on the cash flow situation and whether or not the Company has decided to liquidate. If the Company has decided to liquidate, then the banker will want to know the nature of the program for selling the assets, the costs of sale, and how the proceeds of the collateral will be transmitted to the bank. If the Company has decided to continue operations, then it will usually request some form of relief on debt service.

The forms of relief can be a total cessation of debt service for a short period of time while operations are being stabilized. Or it can be an agreement to pay interest only for a certain period. Assuming the Company is honest and has a reasonable business plan, it is a virtual certainty that the bank will enter into an agreement.


Access the Free Top 10 Destroyers of Value


First Stage Trade Creditor Negotiations

The negotiations with trade creditors are less involved. This is because they ordinarily do not hold liens and the consequent power to shut down operations. Typically, the Company will create two lists of creditors.

The first list will consist of non-critical vendors. These creditors will be sent a letter requesting a standstill for at least 60 days. Ordinarily, no further credit will be extended by these creditors and the Company will only be able to do additional business with them on a COD basis. In this letter, the Company (or the bankruptcy attorney) will describe the extent of the financial crisis and the steps being taken to rectify the situation. If possible, the letter should include recent financial statements. The concluding sentence should promise to get back to the creditors before the end of the standstill period. Then provide a report and/or an offer to settle the debt. There are several purposes for this letter.

Communication with Creditors & Vendors

First, it is simply good business practice to notify your creditors about the situation. Oftentimes, creditors with past due debts will make collection calls.  Then company personnel will do any of the following:

  • Duck the calls
  • Promise to make payments the Company really can’t afford
  • Make phony excuses

These types of responses will only make the creditors mad. Second, the flow of information to the trade creditors will have virtually the same impact as providing information to the bank. That is, most trade creditors will agree to the standstill as an alternative to litigation. Obviously, the purpose of this effort is to avoid the cost and expense of litigation. Moreover, if a creditor obtains a judgment, then it can force the Company to file for bankruptcy, thereby defeating the entire purpose of an out-of-court settlement.

Critical vendors (i.e. those absolutely necessary for the business to survive) must be dealt with separately. In essence, keep these debts current. If the Company cannot keep them current, then it must figure out a way to do business with these vendors on a COD basis.

Equipment lessors are often the most difficult set of creditors to deal with. In the situation where the Company has leased equipment not being used, notify the leasing companies and invite them to repossess. Oftentimes, the equipment lessor will ignore these letters, and they will continue to demand payment. On at least one occasion we have sold equipment and given the proceeds to the equipment lessor who absolutely refused to repossess. If the equipment is being used in the business, then the Company should make the payments if possible or try to reschedule them.

Second Stage Negotiations

Once again, these are going to depend on the circumstances. In a reorganization, the best case scenario is that the business has turned around and is now in a position to propose a restructure or refinance of its bank debt. Here again, turnaround professionals can provide assistance in presenting refinancing requests to asset based lenders, factors or investors. These individuals are typically less risk averse than banks. Furthermore, mail a second letter to trade creditors offering either of the following:

  • A discounted cash settlement assuming funds are available
  • A payout of a larger percentage over time

Most trade creditors will accept a deeply discounted cash option rather than litigating or waiting for a larger payout over time. This is usually a good decision. We have negotiated many such settlements in the range of ten to twenty cents on the dollar.

If the business has not turned around sufficiently to proceed in this manner, then the Company should meet with the bank again to discuss the process and request an additional extension of time. Make a similar request to the trade creditors.

In a liquidation, the Company should meet with the bank periodically to report on the status of the sale of assets. Issue similar reports to trade vendors. Sometimes, trade vendors demand to be paid something immediately. The parties must note that once the Company is in default under a secured bank loan, the diversion of collateral proceeds to third parties without bank consent is actually a crime. This crime is Hindering Secured Creditors. It is a felony if the amount involved exceeds $1500. See Texas Penal Code §32.33. It is extremely rare for a bank to consent to such payments. Use this little known fact to dissuade trade creditors from taking collection action.

Conclusion

Assuming a Company is honest and trying to fulfill its fiduciary duty to creditors, then an out-of-court workout will produce a higher return to creditors and a quicker payout than a bankruptcy filing. The parties can tell if a company is honest if it provides information upon request and access to records. When you employ a competent and independent turnaround consultant, you greatly improve the likelihood of a successful outcome. Of course, a single creditor can interrupt the process by filing suit and obtaining a judgment. Such a creditor may think that it is jumping ahead of the crowd and gaining leverage to achieve a higher settlement. In most instances, this is faulty logic for several reasons.

Reasons for Faulty Logic

First, if the Company files for bankruptcy, the creditor will forgo the opportunity to be paid out-of-court. Assuming all circumstances are equal, the return will be reduced by the amount of professional fees paid to exit bankruptcy. Second, if the creditor is paid a higher percentage than other creditors, then the additional amount ordinarily is not enough to cover the legal fees the creditor must pay for the collection work. Third, if the Company ends up filing bankruptcy within 90 days, then the payment is subject to being recovered as preference. In most instances, it makes more sense to work with a Company in financial trouble (debt restructuring) than to file suit.

Don’t leave any value on the table! Download the Top 10 Destroyers of Value whitepaper.

debt restructuring

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Exit Strategy Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. This tool enables you to maximize potential value before you exit.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

debt restructuring

Originally published by  on July 24, 2013.
0

Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

See Also:
Cost of Capital
Cost of Capital Funding
Arbitrage Pricing Theory
APV Valuation
Capital Budgeting Methods
Discount Rates NPV
Required Rate of Return

Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

The most popular method to calculate cost of equity is Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Why? Because it displays the relationship between risk and expected return for a company’s assets. This model is used throughout financing for calculating expected returns for assets while including risk and cost of capital.

Cost of Equity

Also known as the required rate of return on common stock, define the cost of equity as the cost of raising funds from equity investors. It is by far the most challenging element in discount rate determination.


Download The Pricing for Profit Inspection Guide


Calculating Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) states that the expected return on an asset is related to its risk as measured by beta:

E(Ri) = Rf + ßi * (E(Rm) – Rf)

Or = Rf + ßi * (risk premium)

Where

E(Ri) = the expected return on asset given its beta

Rf = the risk-free rate of return

E(Rm) = the expected return on the market portfolio

ßi = the asset’s sensitivity to returns on the market portfolio

E(Rm) – Rf = market risk premium, the expected return on the market minus the risk free rate.

Expected Return of an Asset

Therefore, the expected return on an asset given its beta is the risk-free rate plus a risk premium equal to beta times the market risk premium. Beta is always estimated based on an equity market index. Additionally, determine the beta of a company by the three following variables:

  1. The type business the company is in
  2. The degree of operating leverage of the company
  3. The company’s financial leverage

Risk-Free Rate of Return

Short-term government debt rate (such as a 30-day T-bill rate, or a long-term government bond yield to maturity) determines the risk-free rate of return. When cash flows come due, it is also determined. Define risk-free rate as the expected returns with certainty.

Risk Premium

Additionally, risk premium indicates the “extra return” demanded by investors for shifting their money from riskless investment to an average risk investment. It is also a function of how risk-averse investors are and how risky they perceive investment opportunities compared with a riskless investment.

Cost of Equity Calculation

For example, a company has a beta of 0.5, a historical risk premium of 6%, and a risk-free rate of 5.25%. Therefore, the required rate of return of this company according to the CAPM is: 5.25% + (0.5 * 6%) = 8.25%

Download the free Pricing for Profit Inspection Guide to learn how to price profitably.

capital asset pricing model

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Strategic Pricing Model Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to set your prices to maximize profits.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

capital asset pricing model

Originally published by Jim Wilkinson on July 23, 2013. 

0

The Importance of Knowing Your Leadership Competencies

Knowing Your Leadership Competencies, unique ability

Two weeks ago, our team celebrated 1 year since the acquisition of The Strategic CFO. In the past 12 months, we’ve grown significantly in the number of team members and clients. In our meeting, I put the quote up on the screen… “Life is simple… People complicate it.” Everyone laughed because it is so true. As we shared stories, challenges, successes, etc. in my team meeting, I asked them if they knew what they were competent and incompetent at. Everyone is incompetent at something. Financial leaders need to understand the importance of knowing your leadership competencies.
Truly successful people spend 80-90% of their time utilizing their excellent and unique abilities and delegate the rest.

The Importance of Knowing Your Leadership Competencies

Before we begin, I want to define leadership. It’s the ability to guide, direct, and influence people. There are four types of ability that a leader must know about themselves. Those include the following:

  1. Incompetent
  2. Competent
  3. Excellent
  4. Unique Ability
Become a better financial leader by learning exactly what CEOs want from their CFOs. You can find these habits or traits7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs whitepaper in our .

Know What Your Incompetencies Are

First, you need to know what your incompetencies are. Incompetent indicates the activities that you are not good at and the things that you don’t do well. Everyone is incompetent at something. Some incompetencies could be translating the numbers to something the CEO could use to make decisions, knowing the ins and outs of your accounting system, or working with technology. Before you can start to figure out what you are competent at, you need to know what you are not good at.

Write those incompetencies down. If you are asked to do work in those areas, either defer or delegate. It is not worth your time to invest in those areas when they are not profitable.

Know What Your Competencies Are

Then identify your competencies; these are activities that you are okay at, but the majority of others are better. In other words, the general population is good at that thing. For example, all accountants will know where assets, liabilities, and equity go on the balance sheet.

What Are You Excellent At?

After you have identified your incompetencies and competencies, then ask yourself… “What are you excellent at?” This refers to the activities that you excel at, but so do a few others. If you have a knack for knowing where to unlock cash after just looking at the financial statements, then it may be time to focus more of your energy there. Not everyone will have this skill though.

Know Your Unique Ability

Finally, know your unique ability. Your unique ability are the abilities only you possess. These are activities that drive value for yourself and others. In addition, your unique ability must be valued by society.

Strategic Coach outlines the four areas that you need to look at when identifying your unique ability:

  • Passion
  • Superior Skill
  • Energy
  • Never-Ending Improvement
So, how do you tell the difference between your unique abilities and your incompetence activities? Your unique ability gives you energy and your incompetence zaps your energy!

Inventory of Role

If you want to be really effective as a CFO and a financial leader, then you need to know what you are already doing and what your CEO wants more of. In our Financial Leadership Workshop, we walk our participants through an extensive inventory of role. Some of the areas that CEOs wants more from there financial leaders include:

If you want to go through this exercise AND 32 hours of coaching from me, then click here to learn about our Financial Leadership Workshop. Registration for our series starting December 2018 is now open. Contact us for more information and to register.

The Role of the CFO

While the CEO must balance the vision, growth, implementation, cash, and profitability of the company, the role of the CFO is to compliment the skills and unique abilities of the entrepreneur. You would not find Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos in the accounting department, but they sure need(ed) support from their financial leader to make innovation happen.

To learn other ways to be more effective in your role as the financial leader, click here to access our most popular whitepaper – the 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

Knowing Your Leadership Competencies, unique ability

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before your financial statements are prepared.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Knowing Your Leadership Competencies, unique ability

0

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

See Also:
S Corporation
General Partnership
Limited Partnership
Partnership
Sole Proprietorship

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Definition

A Limited Liability Company or LLC is a business form which provides limited liability much like a corporation. There can be an unlimited number of members to the company. There are also many tax benefits that emerge from forming this type of business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Meaning

A Limited Liability Company means that it contains the same barrier to personal liability for actions by an employee or member of the company unless there is a case of fraud or gross negligence. Members are unlimited, but there are limitations in that all members must be domestic. In addition, a member can be anything like a private equity group, corporation, or any individual as long as they are an American citizen.


Click here to download: The Smart Back Office for SMBs


Advantages of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Limited Liability Company (LLC) advantages range from taxes to the limited exposure by members discussed above. There are tax benefits in that an LLC has the choice of being taxed like a partnership or a corporation. The first option means that the profits and losses will flow through to the members, but this all depends on ownership percentages or an agreement by contract. Therefore, the IRS only taxes members once at the individual level. An LLC can choose to be taxed as a corporation as well. This means that the company would have certain salaries for its members and the actual entity will taxed as a whole.

Another large benefit of the Limited Liability Company is the ability of the company to own its own intellectual property. Because this is a private form, there is also greater protection from being acquired by other companies. This allows the company to grow at its own pace and make decisions without having to worry about pursuit of other companies.

Disadvantages of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

One disadvantage of an LLC is the cost; it’s typically more expensive to operate than partnerships and/or proprietorships. There are annual state fees when you operate an LLC. In addition, banks usually have higher fees for LLCs than they do for other entities.

Another disadvantage is that you need to separate all records – business vs. personal. The money, meeting minutes, structure, and records all needs to be separate.

New Call-to-action


If you want to learn more financial leadership skills, then download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

Limited Liability Company

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Limited Liability Company

Originally posted by Jim Wilkinson on July 24, 2013. 

0

Journal Entries (JEs)

See Also:
Double Entry Bookkeeping
Journal Entries For Factoring Receivables
Accounting Principles
Accounting Concepts
Adjusting Entries

Journal Entries Definition

A journal entry is a recording of a transaction into a journal like the general journal or another subsidiary journal. Journal entries for accounting require that there be a debit and a credit in equal amounts. Oftentimes, there is an explanation that will go along with this to explain the transaction.

Journal Entries Meaning

A journal entry means that a transaction has taken place whether it is a sale to a customer, buying goods from a supplier, or building a warehouse. These transactions affect both the balance sheet and income statement.

As said before, journal entry accounting requires that there be an equal debit and credit for every transaction. This is also known as double entry bookkeeping. Many journal accounts have a normal balance. For example, assets have a normal debit balance if the account is increased and it is a credit if it is decreased.


Click here to download: The Smart Back Office for SMBs


Journal Entries Example

The following example will use both balance sheet and income statement accounts to show how they work.

Bill has been looking for a certain toy for his son. He walks into Toys Inc. to find it. After some searching, Bill finds a GI Joe for $14 and buys it to take home to his son. The toy cost Toys Inc. $9 to get the toy from its supplier. Thus, Toys inc. will record the following journal entries into the Sales Journal:

Cash………….$14

Sales Revenue…………..$14

COGS………….$9

Inventory…………………..$9

New Call-to-action


If you want to add more value to your organization, then click here to download the Know Your Economics Worksheet.

Journal Entries

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Strategic Pricing Model Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to set your prices to maximize profits.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Journal Entries

Originally posted by Jim Wilkinson on July 24, 2013. 

0

Standard Chart of Accounts

See Also:
Chart of Accounts (COA)
Problems in Chart of Accounts Design
Complex Number for SGA Expenses

Standard Chart of Accounts

In accounting, a standard chart of accounts is a numbered list of the accounts that comprise a company’s general ledger. Furthermore, the company chart of accounts is basically a filing system for categorizing all of a company’s accounts as well as classifying all transactions according to the accounts they affect. The standard chart of accounts list of categories may include the following:

The standard chart of accounts is also called the uniform chart of accounts. Use a chart of accounts template to prepare the basic chart of accounts for any subsidiary companies or related entities. By doing so, you make consolidation easier.

Organize in Numerical System

Furthermore, a standard chart of accounts is organized according to a numerical system. Thus, each major category will begin with a certain number, and then the sub-categories within that major category will all begin with the same number. If assets are classified by numbers starting with the digit 1, then cash accounts might be labeled 101, accounts receivable might be labeled 102, inventory might be labeled 103, and so on. Whereas, if liabilities accounts are classified by numbers starting with the digit 2, then accounts payable might be labeled 201, short-term debt might be labeled 202, and so on.


Click here to download: The Smart Back Office for SMBs


Number of Accounts Needed

Depending on the size of the company, the chart of accounts may include either few dozen accounts or a few thousand accounts. Whereas, if a company is more sophisticated, then the chart of accounts can be either paper-based or computer-based. In conclusion, the standard chart of account is useful for analyzing past transactions and using historical data to forecast future trends.

You can use the following example of chart of accounts to set up the general ledger of most companies. In addition, you may customize your COA to your industry by adding to the Inventory, Revenue and Cost of Goods Sold sections to the sample chart of accounts.

SAMPLE CHART OF ACCOUNTS

Refer to the following sample chart of accounts. Each company’s chart of accounts may look slightly different. But if you are starting from scratch, then the following is great place to start.

1000 ASSETS

1010 CASH Operating Account
1020 CASH Debitors
1030 CASH Petty Cash

1200 RECEIVABLES

1210 A/REC Trade
1220 A/REC Trade Notes Receivable
1230 A/REC Installment Receivables
1240 A/REC Retainage Withheld
1290 A/REC Allowance for Uncollectible Accounts

1300 INVENTORIES

1310 INV – Reserved
1320 INV – Work-in-Progress
1330 INV – Finished Goods
1340 INV – Reserved
1350 INV – Unbilled Cost & Fees
1390 INV – Reserve for Obsolescence

1400 PREPAID EXPENSES & OTHER CURRENT ASSETS

1410 PREPAID – Insurance
1420 PREPAID – Real Estate Taxes
1430 PREPAID – Repairs & Maintenance
1440 PREPAID – Rent
1450 PREPAID – Deposits

1500 PROPERTY PLANT & EQUIPMENT

1510 PPE – Buildings
1520 PPE – Machinery & Equipment
1530 PPE – Vehicles
1540 PPE – Computer Equipment
1550 PPE – Furniture & Fixtures
1560 PPE – Leasehold Improvements

1600 ACCUMULATED DEPRECIATION & AMORTIZATION

1610 ACCUM DEPR Buildings
1620 ACCUM DEPR Machinery & Equipment
1630 ACCUM DEPR Vehicles
1640 ACCUM DEPR Computer Equipment
1650 ACCUM DEPR Furniture & Fixtures
1660 ACCUM DEPR Leasehold Improvements

1700 NON – CURRENT RECEIVABLES

1710 NCA – Notes Receivable
1720 NCA – Installment Receivables
1730 NCA – Retainage Withheld

1800 INTERCOMPANY RECEIVABLES

 

1900 OTHER NON-CURRENT ASSETS

1910 Organization Costs
1920 Patents & Licenses
1930 Intangible Assets – Capitalized Software Costs

2000 LIABILITIES

 

2100 PAYABLES

2110 A/P Trade
2120 A/P Accrued Accounts Payable
2130 A/P Retainage Withheld
2150 Current Maturities of Long-Term Debt
2160 Bank Notes Payable
2170 Construction Loans Payable

2200 ACCRUED COMPENSATION & RELATED ITEMS

2210 Accrued – Payroll
2220 Accrued – Commissions
2230 Accrued – FICA
2240 Accrued – Unemployment Taxes
2250 Accrued – Workmen’s Comp
2260 Accrued – Medical Benefits
2270 Accrued – 401 K Company Match
2275 W/H – FICA
2280 W/H – Medical Benefits
2285 W/H – 401 K Employee Contribution

2300 OTHER ACCRUED EXPENSES

2310 Accrued – Rent
2320 Accrued – Interest
2330 Accrued – Property Taxes
2340 Accrued – Warranty Expense

2500 ACCRUED TAXES

2510 Accrued – Federal Income Taxes
2520 Accrued – State Income Taxes
2530 Accrued – Franchise Taxes
2540 Deferred – FIT Current
2550 Deferred – State Income Taxes

2600 DEFERRED TAXES

2610 D/T – FIT – NON CURRENT
2620 D/T – SIT – NON CURRENT

2700 LONG-TERM DEBT

2710 LTD – Notes Payable
2720 LTD – Mortgages Payable
2730 LTD – Installment Notes Payable

2800 INTERCOMPANY PAYABLES

2900 OTHER NON CURRENT LIABILITIES

3000 OWNERS EQUITIES

3100 Common Stock
3200 Preferred Stock
3300 Paid in Capital
3400 Partners Capital
3500 Member Contributions
3900 Retained Earnings

4000 REVENUE

4010 REVENUE – PRODUCT 1
4020 REVENUE – PRODUCT 2
4030 REVENUE – PRODUCT 3
4040 REVENUE – PRODUCT 4
4600 Interest Income
4700 Other Income
4800 Finance Charge Income
4900 Sales Returns and Allowances
4950 Sales Discounts

5000 COST OF GOODS SOLD

5010 COGS – PRODUCT 1
5020 COGS – PRODUCT 2
5030 COGS – PRODUCT 3
5040 COGS – PRODUCT 4
5700 Freight
5800 Inventory Adjustments
5900 Purchase Returns and Allowances
5950 Reserved

6000 – 7000 OPERATING EXPENSES

6010 Advertising Expense
6050 Amortization Expense
6100 Auto Expense
6150 Bad Debt Expense
6200 Bank Charges
6250 Cash Over and Short
6300 Commission Expense
6350 Depreciation Expense
6400 Employee Benefit Program
6550 Freight Expense
6600 Gifts Expense
6650 Insurance – General
6700 Interest Expense
6750 Professional Fees
6800 License Expense
6850 Maintenance Expense
6900 Meals and Entertainment
6950 Office Expense
7000 Payroll Taxes
7050 Printing
7150 Postage
7200 Rent
7250 Repairs Expense
7300 Salaries Expense
7350 Supplies Expense
7400 Taxes – FIT Expense
7500 Utilities Expense
7900 Gain/Loss on Sale of Assets

New Call-to-action


If you want to take your business to the next level, then download our three most powerful tools.

standard chart of accounts

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Strategic Pricing Model Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to set your prices to maximize profits.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

If you want to take your company and yourself to the next level, then click here to learn more about the premier financial leadership development platform.

standard chart of accounts

Originally posted by Jim Wilkinson on July 24, 2013. 

52