Change Chart of Accounts

Hi -

New VP of Finance is looking to reorganize the chart of accounts to provide a more uniformed look for reporting. However, most of these accounts have been in existence within Sage for 5 + years.

They would also like to create subcategories within Long Term Assets eg "investments", "advances", "long term deposits" - but the related account numbers range from 1910 - 1989, and are all over the place. 

Is it possible to reorganize these accounts and to create subcategories within the long-term assets?

The only way I can see this going to to move balances from one account to another and rename them (in order to use the account # I need) - but surely this would be incredibly messy and chaotic. 

Is the only way to do this is to start a new company file? If this is the case, would I lose all historic transactions? 

Please help, getting a lot of heat from management for this change and I don't know what to do. Using Sage 50 CAD edition, have the accountant's version. 


  • The cleanest solution is to create a new file but it depends on how much backwards comparison reporting you do.  If you usually only go back to compare with last year, then you will likely be ok to just renumber the accounts.

    Renumbering accounts using the AE version will renumber the chart of accounts for the current and previous fiscal years.  It will not renumber the accounts for years previous to that.  However, it will set up a Related Historical Accounts link on each account ledger so when you are doing comparison reports, it will show the old account number compared to the new account number.  A Trial Balance of just a previous year two year's back or further will show the original account number.

    I would take a copy of your current file and test the renumbering to see if you can get what you are looking for.  Track the changes with a paper or spreadsheet map diagram of old number vs. new number so you can replicate it in the live file once you have got the results approved with the VP.  Doing this with a copy of your live file will allow the VP to see the real numbers and review various scenarios with you.

    You will likely have to add new H and T accounts or at least change from G to A or vice versa.  Just be aware you cannot renumber an account to an account number that already exists.

    I was going to upload an image of the Related Historical Accounts tab showing the account number different from the actual current number but the Upload button is gone again.

  • HI Richard,

    Thank you so much for the quick response!

    With regards to renumbering the accounts - my final questions to you are:

    Would this be best attempted at Year End? We're currently in the middle of our fiscal period.

    Can subcategories be created within the long term assets category? For example we would like a subgroup for Investments, Advances etc. I'm pretty sure this can be done but just wanted to double check.

    Thanks again for your response it is greatly appreciated!! :) 

  • I would do it before the year end transition into the next fiscal year, so it can be done technically at any time.  If you keep printed/exported copies of final period reporting, you may wish to augment the current year's reporting with the new reports for validation back to the beginning of the fiscal year.

    You can create multiple Heading (H) - Total (T) combinations within Assets.

    You can also create multiple Subgroup accounts (A) as long as each set of Subgroup accounts has an Subgroup Total (S) account after each.