Importing and Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts

This guide explains how to replace part or all of the current chart of accounts (COA) with another set of accounts, typically from a previous software system. It is intended for system administrators.

The first step in importing a COA is to make sure the accounts you need to import all conform to aACE’s numbering structure. Please read Understanding aACE Chart of Accounts thoroughly before beginning the import process. Use that guide to edit your desired COA so it is consistent with aACE’s expected numbering scheme. 

The second step is to deactivate and delete as many aACE default GL accounts as necessary. Your approach to this task depends on how many of the default accounts you intend to remove. You might remove a few accounts manually or you could remove many accounts using aACE tools. 

However some of these accounts might be referenced by other sections of your aACE system. These accounts cannot be removed until their related records have been reassigned to a different GL account. Reassigning these records is the primary challenge when importing a new COA. 

During the import process, you might also decide to renumber some of aACE’s default accounts so they fit into the appropriate position of your desired COA. 

Finally, please keep in mind that aACE’s COA does not have to be perfect prior to go-live. aACE provides many tools for easily changing the COA and reassigning general ledger entries. For more details on correcting and updating your COA after go-live, see below.

The overall process typically includes the following four steps:

  1. Removing unnecessary accounts
  2. Resolving accounts that have data or linked records
  3. Importing the new accounts
  4. Evaluating any remaining underlined accounts

Step 1: Remove Unnecessary Accounts

From the GL Accounts module, review the default accounts to identify those that are unneeded or that conflict with a desired set of accounts, and that have no balance or associated links. You can remove these accounts using various methods.

Note: Before importing data into a test aACE system, we recommend resetting all test transaction data.

Prepare for Full Import

The Prepare for Full Import tool is designed to remove as many default GL accounts as possible and to 'flatten' the COA to the greatest extent possible. Because this process can have a major impact on your aACE system, it requires an authentication code to run. Contact your aACE partner to discuss your needs and obtain the authentication code. 

After you have the code, navigate to the GL Accounts list view, then click Admin Actions () > Prepare for Full Import. Enter the authentication code and click Continue.

When this process runs, aACE will:

  • Delete every default GL account that it can (i.e. those with no links to other records in the system)
  • Flatten the COA by deleting header accounts, then assigning all remaining detail accounts to their corresponding root header account
  • Renumber any remaining detail accounts to create a concise series in sequential order at the top of each root header account
  • Format any remaining account IDs with an underline to help differentiate default accounts from imported accounts

Remove Multiple Accounts

aACE provides processes for removing a batch of GL accounts. These processes proceed from the top of a list to the bottom.

  1. From the GL Accounts module list view, constrain the list to accounts you wish to delete.
  2. Sort the list by Account ID in descending order.
    aACE cannot deactivate header accounts that have active detail accounts. Sorting the list in descending order enables the system to address detail accounts before reaching the header accounts. This helps reduce the number of iterations required to deactivate these accounts.
  3. Click Actions > Deactivate GL Accounts in List.
    aACE displays a confirmation message explaining how many accounts were deactivated and how many accounts could not be deactivated. 
  4. Rerun the process until the confirmation message reads "0 accounts were deactivated." 
  5. Constrain the list to show all inactive accounts. 
  6. Click Actions > Delete GL Accounts in List.

Remove a Single Account

From the GL Accounts module, locate the account. Use the line-level Actions () or the detail view Actions to deactivate it. Then from the detail view, click Delete.

After removing the unused accounts, continue with Step 2 to resolve the remaining accounts.

 Step 2: Resolve Accounts Which Have Data or Linked Records

Some existing accounts may be connected to various records in the system. You must address these remaining accounts individually. First, identify what needs to be updated with each GL account, then resolve the connections.

Identify Connections for an Account

Connections to a GL account may include references in the Accounting Preferences module, in various LIC records, or in your tax profiles. In addition, existing transactions may be linked to various GL accounts. To identify current connections, attempt to deactivate the account:

  1. From a GL account's detail view, click Actions > Deactivate GL Account
  2. aACE displays a message explaining why that account could not be deactivated, for example:

Note: To ensure you see all messages about the account, resize the message box.

Resolve Connections to an Account

Navigate to the various modules linked to the account and remove each connection.

After removing these connections, you can deactivate and delete the GL account as described in Step 1 above.

Step 3: Import the New Accounts

Follow the normal process for importing records to import the new COA. We recommend that you invest some time in polishing the import spreadsheet to ensure the results are correct.

When you import GL accounts, they are initially placed in Pending status. aACE prompts you to activate the records. If you leave them in Pending status, you can activate them later by clicking Actions > Activate GL Accounts in List. 

Duplicated Account ID Numbers

The import process allows you to import accounts with the same ID number as existing accounts, duplicating the account record rather than overwriting it. This helps save you time since you don't need to remove duplicated numbers from the COA you're importing.

However only one account with a certain ID can be active. If you try to activate a GL account that matches the ID of an existing account, aACE returns an error and leaves the second account in Pending status. Normally you would delete these duplicates. If needed though, you can activate the imported duplicate after you deactivate and delete the existing account record. 

Step 4: Evaluate Underlined Accounts

If you use the Prepare for Full Import process, account IDs that could not be deleted will be underlined. This helps differentiate them from imported accounts.

Review the underlined accounts to verify whether they should be retained, reused, or deleted. This review process can be particularly valuable as it often highlights additional important features in your aACE system.

Correcting / Updating Your COA Post Go-Live

As noted above, your aACE system does not need a perfect COA before go-live. It includes tools that make it simple to update your general ledger records after importing a new COA. 

Reassign Transactions to Another GL Account

You can reassign posted transactions to another GL account (i.e. from a default account to an imported account). This can only be done with an open accounting period. 

Reassigning the GL Account from the Related LICs

You can update your GL account assignments for general ledger records from the related LICs. This means that before go-live it's a higher priority to set up your LICs than to perfect your COA. 

After you import a new COA, you can use the following process to update the general ledger records without requiring manual general journal entries:

  1. Update your LICs accounting setup, assigning the imported GL accounts for the revenue, cost, and inventory accounts:
    1. At the LICs module, filter the list view to display all LICs that will share a revenue account.
    2. Click Admin Actions () > Update Revenue Acct for Line Item Codes in List.
    3. Select the new GL account for revenue.
    4. Repeat these steps for the Cost Acct and Inventory Acct, then continue updating other LICs.
  2. Navigate to the General Ledger module.
  3. Filter the list view to display general ledger records that need to be updated (i.e. those for an LIC that you assigned a new account).
  4. Click Actions > Reassign GL Acct from Line Item Codes.
  5. At the confirmation dialog, click Update.

Read more details about reassigning the GL account based on the LIC.