CHART OF ACCOUNTS
This is important link for Unified Chart of Accounts that
is opensource for Nonprofit organizations and coincides
with changes in the 990’s.
UNIFIED CHART OF ACCOUNTS (UCOA)
The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) in conjunction with the Support Center of
Washington, the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the
California Society of CPAs have developed a Unified Chart of Accounts (UCOA) for nonprofits. The
UCOA is designed so that nonprofits can easily translate their financial reports into the categories required
on IRS Form 990. The following link allows you to view the accounts and keywords, as well as freely
download the UCOA in either a MS Excel spreadsheet or MS Access database.
Each accounting system has both a numbered and a label for each account that you
establish. It is important to set up your accounts so that they match your budget in order
to compare your budget projections with actual expenses.
In QuickBooks for Non-Profits – there are accounts and classes. Think of the difference
between rows and columns in a spreadsheet. Rows are your accounts and classes are
your columns. A program based budget will use columns for each program and it is
useful to use classes within your accounting system so your financial system can provide
you management information.
Accounts are the line items for your revenue and expenses. Subaccounts can be set up to
track smaller expenses such as plane fare, food, and parking within an account called
Travel. Another example would be an account for Insurance with subaccounts for
Directors and Officers, General Liability and Auto Insurance.
Classes and subclasses are for your programs. All nonprofits must track Administration
and Fundraising so these would each be a class. Other programs and not projects would
be your major services organized or clustered into two to five categories. Subclasses are