The nation’s economic accounts provide objective, regular, and standardized information routinely relied upon by public and private decision makers. But they are incomplete. The U.S. and many other nations currently do not account for the natural capital — such as the wildlife, forests, grasslands, soils, and water bodies—upon which all other economic activity rests. By creating formal natural capital accounts (NCA) and ecosystem goods and services (EGS) accounts, governments and businesses can better understand the past, peer into the future, innovate, conserve, and plan for environmental shocks. They would standardize, regularly repeat, and aggregate diverse natural resource, environmental, and social and economic data and could thereby play a significant role in advancing the science of coupled biophysical and social systems.