July 2022

But didn't know who to ask...

By providing a central record of all your company’s accounts, the chart of accounts (CoA) is the foundation for your business’ recordkeeping. Get it right, and the CoA will help to steer your key accounting processes, make it easier to follow financial reporting standards and provide a useful picture of the overall financial health of the business.

So how do you optimise your CoA so it becomes a financial reporting asset? This is where Unit4 Financials proves to be particularly useful. Thanks to its flexible elements structure, the solution offers huge scope to customise your CoA, so it is fully aligned to your requirements, enabling you to stay on top of both statutory reporting and internal management accounting.

To help you get the most out of Financials, read on to get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions linked to chart of accounts…

Is there a way to download a chart of accounts with numbers and descriptions?


Because Unit4 Financials uses metadata, it’s easy to locate the information you need by entering descriptions or codes into a generic browse master. Select the data view that you want to use and then use a presenter and selector to bring up a list of all relevant elements.

Depending on the view you use, you can use the browse master to retrieve more than just codes and descriptions. For example, you could use it to get information such as addresses and bank details.

Flexi-fields provide an easy way to define, capture and retrieve key information within Unit4 Financials. If you utilise the flexi-fields function, you can use it to create a view that will pull in key ancillary information against the elements. For instance, let’s say you have a project that is set up as an element. Using flexi-fields, you should be able to design and create a view that would not only just pull in that element, but also all the flexi-field information assigned to that element (e.g. attributes such as project manager, project type, start and finish dates etc).

Tip: for more information on this, take a look at our flexi-fields guide here.

Can you have different Charts of Accounts for different companies inside Unit4 Financials?

Yes, you can have different chart of accounts (element strings) for different companies within U4F.

And of course, it’s worth remembering that you could have two GL code structures relating to the same company; one being a local structure and the other being a corporate one using element substitution.

Each company has its own reporting and accounting requirements. For most, a single CoA is all that’s needed. If, however, you require more than one CoA, this is possible to set up within Unit4 Financials. Remember, that you can also have a different element string in each company but common GL code structure to enable consolidation reporting.

I’ve used a finance system that allowed the use of what were called ‘posting and reporting attributes’ and allowed the creation of relations between different attributes. Is there something similar in Unit4 Financials, and would this include element groups?

Element groups within Unit4 Financials can give you this capability. What’s more, a similar end result can also be achieved through flexi-fields, as this function enables you to create a relationship between different elements.

A word about Chart of Accounts design

There are two aspects to this.

The first is to ensure you get the element structure correct, otherwise the CoA will fail to include the information required by your organisation.

The second is the use of wildcards (*). The GL code structure should be configured to facilitate this. For example, if you need to retrieve fixed assets account information, it is a lot easier to enter a * in the box than to stipulate that you need to see all assets in the range of, say, 1,000 to 1,999.

Chart of Accounts demonstration

Our Spotlight video demonstrates optimal CoA design and configuration, showing you how to extract precisely the information you need directly from Unit4 Financials. Watch it here…

Is your Chart of Accounts still fit-for-purpose? Optimise the easy way with Millennium Consulting

Especially after corporate reorganisation or a shift in business focus, a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable.

Millennium Consulting can help you design a new CoA and element structure to ensure alignment with current business needs. This includes expert workshops to understand your reporting and accounting requirements, along with creation of an element structure and CoA that’s customised for your organisation.

To discuss your options, please do get in touch.