Every accountant I have ever met likes to keep a clean chart of accounts but over time, businesses drop and merge divisions, change reporting requirements and the once clean COA becomes a cumbersome mess. A great little utility called Keychange will clean up a COA and save all your transaction history. The utility has a spreadsheet edit screen that lets you view all your account and sub account combinations and using simple instructions you can merge and restructure your account subaccount combinations.
Keychange does not stop at the GL; you can do a similar process with vendors and customers. So if good customer A buys one of your other customers B, you can merge all the AR transactions into customer A and then delete customer B. Allowing you to keep your customer and vendor lists clean and as short as possible. Here is another common problem that I see over time, multiple vendor accounts for the same vendor. One person enters Ohio State University as a customer; later a strict buckeye fan is looking for The Ohio State University and cannot find them, so she adds yet another account. Later OSU is added until all the variations are created. Keychange allows you to clean up your customer list merging all the possible accounts into one standard account name.
Finally you create an account for Smith Manufacturing and do business with them for some time before they are bought by Hitachi and the name is changed to Hitachi-Smith. From now on new people will tend to look for Hitachi in the accounts list but the old account name of Smith is how they are searched. Keychange allows you to update the account name to the most common way it is searched, saving time and preventing a well intentioned clerk from creating a new account for Hitachi Smith when they could not find it searching for Hitachi.