expense types in accounting

For example, a business may pay for electricity quarterly, and receive the bill at the end of each quarter. Although the period covers several months, the amount is only entered into the record at the end of each quarter when the bill is paid. A company compiles a list of accounts to make the chart of accounts. Software subscriptions are the monthly fee of work-related paid applications your employees use.

Expenses can also be defined as variable expenses; those that change with the change in production. Expenses can also be categorized as operating and non-operating expenses. The former are the expenses directly related to operating the company, and the latter is indirectly related. Examples of expenses include rent, utilities, wages, salaries, maintenance, depreciation, insurance, and the cost of goods sold. Expenses are usually recurring payments needed to operate a business. Even if something qualifies as an expense, it is not necessarily deductible.


In addition to their base pay, these employees may also receive benefits like health insurance or retirement plans which increase company expenditures. Administrative expenses are the costs that a company incurs to manage and support its operations. These expenses include salaries of administrative staff, office rent, utilities, communication expenses, travel expenses for executives and other general office supplies. The cost of rent relating to production and sales activities are charged to the cost of sales and selling expenses instead of operating, general, and administrative expenses.

Under the accrual method, the business accountant would record the carpet cleaning expense when the company receives the service. Expenses are generally recorded on an accrual basis, ensuring that they match up with the revenues reported in accounting periods. All organizations, regardless of their size, have a common responsibility, and that is keeping their accounting books balanced. Frankly, this can be a burden to most financial departments, as registering business expenses or managing profit and loss statements are still manual processes in many companies. Business expenses are the costs of running a company and generating sales. Given that broad mandate, the IRS doesn’t provide a master list of allowable small-business and startup deductions.

Expenses Definition

Modified cash-basis and accrual accounting use the same accounts, which are advanced accounts such as AP and long-term liabilities. Again, equity accounts increase through credits and decrease through debits. Here are some accounts and sub-accounts you can use within asset, expense, liability, equity, and income accounts.

What is Opex in finance?

Opex (operational expenditure) is the money a company or organization spends on an ongoing, day-to-day basis to run its business. These expenses can be one-time or recurring. Depending on the industry, these expenses can range from the ink used to print documents to the wages employees are paid.

The cost of goods sold calculation can get tricky because it does include the cost of labor used in the direct production of your product. Keeping accurate accounting records is an important bookkeeping for startups part of running a successful small business. In addition to protecting your business in case of an audit, organized records help provide a picture of the financial health of your business.

Expense account examples

These non-deductible expenses are reported on IRS Schedule K-1, Box 18, with Code C (USA). Although Accounts payable is often mistaken for a company’s operational expenses, it is a liability that shows that a company owes money to one or more creditors/vendors. The cost of goods sold is a significant input in profit and loss statements (income statements). “You have to spend money to make money” is everyday phrase entrepreneurs use. While spending helps to grow your business, tracking what you spend is essential, and that’s where the Expense accounts play a vital role.

expense types in accounting

The calculation of the cost of goods sold is pretty straight forward for retail businesses, as you can learn from the example below. Expenses are the cost of various resources that are consumed in running a business. It is only recognized when there is certainty about the inability of the customer to fulfill their obligation to pay. The total cost of the plant ($39 million) is an expenditure, while each annual chunk of that cost ($1 million each year) is an expense. Discover if finance or accounting is the right career path for you with a free Forage job simulation.

If an expense is for both business and personal use, you can only deduct the portion of the expense that applies to your business. For example, if you drive a vehicle for business and personal use, you can only deduct the percentage of vehicle-related costs that apply to business use. Most expenses related to running your business can be offset to reduce your taxable income, and potentially minimise your tax bill.

The goal is always to keep OPEX low without reducing the capacity to compete or perform better than competitors. Success in reducing operating expenses while staying competitive in a business niche often leads to an increase in earnings. These are expenses incurred while carrying out day-to-day business operations and are almost necessary and unavoidable. As the diagram above illustrates, there are several types of expenses. The most common way to categorize them is into operating vs. non-operating and fixed vs. variable. Yes, salary is considered an expense and is reported as such on a company’s income statement.

What Is the Difference Between Expense and Expenditure?

Generally speaking, an expenditure is the total cost of a transaction, while an expense is that transaction’s offset to a company’s revenue. Prepaid expenses are transactions the company has already paid for before receiving the product, good, or service. For example, if a company prepaid for a shipment of raw materials, but the supplier hasn’t delivered the materials yet, the amount paid is a prepaid expense. It’s important to consult a professional tax advisor to learn about what expenses are deductible and not deductible in your or your company’s situation. Expenditures can be calculated by adding up all expenditures for assets, less the value of assets sold during the period under review. Expenditures that are not fully consumed within one year should also be included in this category.

It reduces errors inherent in manual data entry and generates accurate financial statements and reports that comply with U.S. Salaries are one of the largest components of operating expenses as they make up a significant portion of any organization’s budget. It includes payments made to employees such as wages, bonuses, benefits and other related costs. Rent is another major expense which includes both commercial properties and office spaces. Non-operating expenses are the opposite of operating expenses — costs that are not directly related to a business’s core function. Expenses can be defined as fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage; those that do not change with the change in production.