1. Do I have to set up a Chart of Accounts to use Lynx?
No, not unless you want to.
The system comes with a "sample" Chart of Accounts that is set up for a "typical" propane company.
Behind the scenes, Lynx will use this but you don't even have to know it's there.
However, if you want to use the full accounting system, then you'll want to use this (or your own) Chart of Accounts.
2. Do I have to close the previous year before I can begin entering transactions for the new year into the system?
No. In fact, this is quite common.
It's not unusual that you won't be able to get all of the information necessary to close the previous year until well into the new year.
In the meantime, you need to keep the business running.
Don't worry, Lynx will keep it all straight.