A chart of accounts is a tool which refers to a specific numbering system that is used by project management teams to assist them in keeping track of and documenting project expenditures and costs. On a chart of accounts, these expenditures are typically broken down according to a number of pre-determined categories. This categorization makes it easier when attempting to reconcile to determine exactly where the money was spent, at which phase of the project different amounts of money were spent for different items, etc. The specific categories can range wildly, but some examples of often used categories are categories such as labor expenses, purchase of supplies, costs for materials, and costs for equipment purchase or rental. The project chart of accounts is typically based on the corporate chart of accounts of the company for which the project is being conducted, or if there are multiple, the primary performing organization. Contrast with code of accounts.
This term is defined in the 3rd edition of the PMBOK but not in the 4th.