Cost of Goods Sold COGS vs Expense Video & Lesson Transcript

sold vs expense
cost of producing

The balance sheet only captures a company’s financial health at the end of an accounting period. This means that the inventory value recorded under current assets is the ending inventory. Cost of goods sold is found on a business’s income statement, one of the top financial reports in accounting.


Let’s say the same jeweler makes 10 gold rings in a month and estimates the cost of goods sold using LIFO. The cost at the beginning of production was $100, but inflation caused the price to increase over the next month. By the end of production, the cost to make gold rings is now $150. Using LIFO, the jeweler would list COGS as $150, regardless of the price at the beginning of production. Using this method, the jeweler would report deflated net income costs and a lower ending balance in the inventory. During inflation, the FIFO method assumes a business’s least expensive products sell first.

Cost of goods sold on an income statement

Because is a cost of doing business, it is recorded as a business expense on the income statements. Knowing the cost of goods sold helps analysts, investors, and managers estimate the company’s bottom line. While this movement is beneficial for income tax purposes, the business will have less profit for its shareholders. Businesses thus try to keep their COGS low so that net profits will be higher. Cost of sales and COGS both track how much it costs to produce a good or service. These costs include direct labor, direct materials such as raw materials, and the overhead that’s directly tied to a production facility or manufacturing plant.

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If using the accrual method, a business needs to simultaneously record the cost of goods and the sale of said goods. Then the expense is said to be “matched,” according to Accounting Coach. I can see that you’ve used QuickBooks Desktop for Mac, where all of your contractor payments have always been made via Contract Labor, with various sub-accounts under the COGS account. But since tracking 1099s for QBO has to be an expense account, I’d recommend contacting your accountant or tax advisor for advice on how to proceed. Both of these expenses are important to regulate your business cash flow positively.


Cost of sales is very similar to COGS, in that it also looks at the costs required to sell a good or service. Typically COGS is used when selling tangible goods, while cost of sales is used when selling a service. However, either term can be used for services or goods, and a company may even use both terms. The main difference between the two terms is that COGS only looks at the costs directly related to producing a good, while cost of sales includes indirect costs as well.

Office payroll for secretaries, accountants, marketing specialists, and custodial staff would be classified as operating expenses. But payroll for an assembly-line auto worker would be directly tied to production, and would likely be categorized as a cost of goods sold. OPEX lets you discover how well you can manage running your business. They show you if you need to take matters into your own hands and cut down spending on everyday tasks.

Operating Expenses vs. COGS

All the expenses not directly tied to the acquisition of inventory of sale or manufacturing of the company’s product are treated as operational expenses. Operational costs are deducted from the gross margin to get an operating profit of a firm. On the other hand, operating expenses are sub-ordinates of COGS as they help generate profit, but the nature is indirect. Cost of revenue is most often used by service businesses, although some manufacturers and retailers use it as well. Similar to COGS, cost of revenue excludes any indirect costs, such as manager salaries, that are not attributed to a sale. The FIFO method assumes that the oldest inventory units are sold first.

As prices increase, the business’s net income may increase as well. This process may result in a lower cost of goods sold compared to the LIFO method. The inventory items at the end of your reporting period are matched with the costs of related items recently purchased or produced. There are other inventory costing factors that may influence your overall COGS. The IRS refers to these methods as “first in, first out” , “last in, first out” , and average cost. Say your business has a beginning inventory of $5,000, makes $1,500 in purchases during the period , and has an ending inventory of $500.


Using FIFO, the jeweler would list COGS as $100, regardless of the price it cost at the end of the production cycle. Once those 10 rings are sold, the cost resets as another round of production begins. The tools and resources you need to take your business to the next level. The tools and resources you need to run your business successfully.

Sales vs. manufacturing

Any purchases, materials, and supplies you must make to create your products or services should be included in your COGS calculations. COGS on your income statement will reflect all expenses, including these purchases, involved in your business’s production operations. Often cost and expense are used interchangeably, but in business and accounting these two terms are very different. The main difference between cost and expense is where they are found on the income statement. Within income statements, cost and expense are listed in two very different locations. While it may seem unclear if cost of goods sold is an expense or a cost, it is a cost.

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Understanding your inventory valuation helps you calculate your cost of goods sold and your business profitability. Yes, the cost of goods sold and cost of sales refer to the same calculation. Both determine how much a company spent to produce their sold goods or services.

Cost of Goods Sold vs. Operating Expenses vs. Capex

General administration expenses include administrative expenses. For instance, an accounting firm, a legal firm, a business consultancy firm, or a real estate appraising firm will not have the costs of goods sold. The closing inventory from the last financial period is added to the next year’s inventory available for sale. The Cost of goods sold is a direct expense related to profit generation. The purpose of sub-categorizing the expenses is to have a clear orientation of which expenses play a role in profit generation for a business entity.

xero review & pricing is listed under revenue, while expense is listed under its own heading. COGS is listed under revenue because total revenue is sales minus the direct cost to produce the goods. Net profit, on the other hand, needs to subtract out all expenses; therefore, expenses are listed in an entirely separate section, with all non-COGS expenses listed in that section. COGS vs expenses are two different concepts even though they might appear to be the same on the surface.


Cost of Goods Sold is generally used for expenses related to acquiring or otherwise preparing a thing that is then sold, recognized when the thing is sold, not when you purchased it. Inbound freight on things like office supplies, shop supplies, shipping boxes, tools, equipment, etc. . Prior to me doing some bookwork, people were using a non-inventory “Shipping” item on purchase orders. Get up and running with free payroll setup, and enjoy free expert support.


Companies that offer goods and services are likely to have both cost of goods sold and cost of sales appear on their income statements. The realized purchase price includes the cost of actual inventory, any direct costs, and the costs of inward transportation. Although the primary purpose of running a business is profit-making, running a business requires owners to incur expenses. Different direct and indirect expenses of a company make it possible to perform day-to-day operations.

Different accounting methods will yield different inventory values, and these can have a significant impact on COGS and profitability. Once a company knows what inventory it has, leaders determine its value to calculate the final inventory account balance using an accounting method that complies with GAAP. COGS includes all direct costs needed to produce a product for sale. Now, you might be wondering what makes the cost of goods sold different from your expenses. For your expenses, your money can be going towards any number of things such as rent and health insurance. But for your cost of goods sold, your expenses are going towards one thing and one thing only, which is that of manufacturing your product.