One of the many questions we get is why we didn't allow 100% changes to the chart of accounts, and it's a good one.
There were three primary benefits:
- The yellow categorization engine requires a set chart of accounts (it can never categorize to an account you create)
- It allows for faster setup for new users
- It also allows for consistency between companies for users like bookkeepers or entrepreneurs who work in many.
To help make this work Cheqbook allows the creation of up to 100 personalized accounts, and you can also group any of them (set or user created) into subgroups for subtotals in your reporting.
Yes, there are disadvantages to this approach:
- You cannot rename the existing accounts (or the yellow engine won't know what it's supposed to be).
- You cannot turn off the existing accounts (or the yellow engine may categorize to a closed account).
- The number of personalized accounts you can create is limited to 100 (originally this was 10, then 20, but now it's set at 100. This discourages the abandonment of the set accounts as well as keep financial reports manageable since every 40 or so accounts adds another page to a balance sheet or P&L).
Despite these limitations we ultimately decided that it was good to be different, since most other software has abandoned the set chart of accounts approach and we believe it does have great value for many users.