Chart of accounts and account codes

The chart of accounts is a complete list of financial account codes (or nominal codes) into which financial transactions are posted and from which financial reports are produced.

Brightpearl provides a standard chart of accounts, but it can be rebuilt to meet your accounting needs.

Find the chart of accounts at Accounting > Chart of accounts.

chart of accounts

Account types

Every account, or nominal, is assigned an account type.

The account type controls how the account is treated when posting transactions and generating financial reports.

The account types available are different depending on the Brightpearl account localization:

Nominal range Account type Nominal range Account type
0001 to 0999 Fixed assets 0001 to 0999 Fixed assets
1000 to 1999 Current assets 1000 to 1099 Banks
1100 Accounts receivable
1200 to 1799 Current assets
1800 to 1999 Other Assets
2000 to 2299 Current liabilities 2100 Accounts payable
2101 to 2199 Credit cards
2200 - 2499 Current liabilities
2300 to 2999 Long term liabilities 2500 to 2799 Other liabilities
2800 to 2999 Long term liabilities
3000 to 3999 Capital and reserves 3000 to 3999 Equity
4000 to 4999 Sales 4000 to 4499 Income
4500 to 4999 Other income
5000 to 5999 Purchases 5000 to 5999 Cost of goods sold
6000 to 6999 Direct expenses 6000 to 7999 Expenses
7000 to 7999 Overheads
8000 to 8999 Depreciation and sundry 8000 to 8999 Other expenses
9000 to 9999 Suspense accounts 9000 to 9999 Suspense accounts

Reserved and default account codes

The following account codes are reserved by the system and must exist:

Code Name Region
1100 Accounts receivable US
Debtors control account UK
2100 Accounts payable US
Creditors control account UK
2200 Sales tax control account Both
2201 Purchase tax control account
2202 VAT liability code
2299 Rounding corrections
3200 Retained earnings US
Profit and loss account UK
9996 Foreign exchange account Both
9997 Opening balances
9998 Suspense account
9999 Mispostings account

In addition to the above, the following are default account codes that can be changed later under Settings > Company > Accounting: accounts (nominal codes):

Code Name Region
1001 Stock/Inventory UK
Bank US
1200 Bank UK
Stock/Inventory US
2050 Stock received not invoiced UK
2250 Stock in transit US
2060 Deferred cost of goods UK
2260 US
2070 Landed costs UK
2270 US
2080 Gift cards UK
2280 US
4000 Sales Both
4030 Shipping US
4040 UK
5000 Purchases Both

Building a chart of accounts

Brightpearl provides a standard chart of accounts which will allow you to begin using the platform straight away.

If additional accounts are needed, these can be manually added at any time, and unwanted accounts can be deleted, providing it has not been used (no accounting entries have been posted to it).

When transferring historical accounting information from another system, your implementation consultant will import your chart of accounts and opening balances.

When adding new accounts it is important that they are assigned the relevant account type so that financial information is reported correctly.

How to add an account code (nominal code)

  1. Go to Accounting > Chart of Accounts.
  2. From the left-hand menu, select the account type you are adding, e.g. asset, liability etc. The account type is denoted by the number range in which the account sits.
  3. Click the Add a new nominal code button.
  4. Make the following entries as required:

    Nominal code name
    The name identifies what this account is used for. It will be displayed throughout Brightpearl wherever you see nominal code fields.

    4 digit code
    Every account requires a code.
    Brightpearl forces specific number ranges to be used for each account type. These codes can be hidden in Brightpearl if you want to use a custom code in the name instead.

    Tax class 
    This is the tax rate which you expect entries into this account to have. If an entry uses a different tax rate it will display on the VAT Exceptions Report. This rate is also used for recording tax on expense claims.

    Note: This setting does not enforce the tax code on the account.

    Is this a bank account?
    If the account is a bank account, it will display on the bank accounts list where you can view a balance, move money, view reports and manage reconciliations.

    Reconcile this account? 
    If this account is a bank account you will probably want to reconcile the transactions that exist in Brightpearl with your actual bank statement to ensure they balance. Select Yes to activate the reconciliation process for this account.

    Show on expenses screen? 
    Select Yes to add this nominal code to the Expense Claim screen. To record tax on expense claims, ensure you also select a tax class.

    Allocate discounts to this account? 
    This will add the nominal code to the payment allocation screen to allow you to enter adjustments. For example, to write off bad debt.

    Is this account active? 
    If you no longer want to use a nominal code you can make it inactive. This will remove it from nominal code field selections throughout Brightpearl. Codes that have been used for transactions cannot be deleted.

    Export Trial Balance map code 
    If you wish to view a trial balance using a different number structure than Brightpearl provides you can enter the reference here. When you export a trial balance you will see this code instead of the Brightpearl code. This is useful for accountants who work with IRIS.

    nominal code

  5. Save your changes.

How to import a chart of accounts

Warning: Importing a chart of accounts will wipe the existing chart of accounts. It can only be done if there are no accounting transactions in the system!

You will need all your nominal codes listed in a CSV file using the following columns:

    1. Nominal Code (must follow Brightpearl nominal code structure)
    2. Account Name
    3. Is Bank Account (enter yes or leave blank)
    4. Is Expense Account (enter yes or leave blank)
    5. Is Discount
    6. Is Reconcile
    7. Tax class code (optional, e.g. T20)
    8. Map Code (optional. Use this field for the previous nominal code from your old system)
    9. Currency code

Go to Settings > Data/Import > Import accounts

  1. Click Import Chart of Accounts.
  2. Browse for the file to import.
  3. Click the Upload Chart of Accounts (CSV) button.

Hide account codes


Hiding accounts will mean that only the account name will be visible throughout Brightpearl. If you would rather use your own numbering system instead, you can enter a number directly into the account (nominal) code name.

You can find the setting to hide account codes under Settings > Company > Accounting: accounts (nominal codes).

Read more about accounting settings here.

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