Cost of Goods Sold COGS: Definition and How to Calculate It

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Cost of Goods Sold COGS: Definition and How to Calculate It

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General operating expenses capture costs not directly tied to the production of goods or services but are still needed to keep the company running. The cost of sales accounts for only the production costs of goods (or services) sold. Both operating expenses and cost of goods sold (COGS) are expenditures that companies incur with running their business; however, the expenses are segregated on the income statement. Unlike COGS, operating expenses (OPEX) are expenditures that are not directly tied to the production of goods or services. For example, a small business’s cost of sales calculation could include the purchasing cost of inventory and shipping from its suppliers along with the costs to customise and repackage the received goods.

If you have a look at the formula shared in the previous section, there are numerous variables involved that affect the overall cost. Companies will often list on their balance sheets cost of goods sold (COGS) or cost of sales (and sometimes both), leading to confusion about what the two terms mean. Fundamentally, there is almost no difference between cost of goods sold and cost of sales. For example, the weighted average can result in a lower stock valuation because it doesn’t account for the ebb of sales and replacement of products, nor does it reflect the efficiency of a business. FIFO and specific identification track a single item from start to finish.

Periodic physical inventory and valuation are performed to calculate ending inventory. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. These materials were downloaded from PwC’s Viewpoint ( under license. While labour costs are typically easy to figure out, other costs can catch out beginners.

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. Any additional productions or purchases made by a manufacturing or retail company are added to the beginning inventory. At the end of the year, the products that were not sold are subtracted from the sum of beginning inventory and additional purchases. The final number derived from the calculation is the cost of goods sold for the year. As an example, let’s say you have $35,000 in on-hand inventory at the beginning of your financial quarter.

  • Companies that make and sell products or buy and resell goods must calculate COGS to write off the expense.
  • Let’s take an example to understand the calculation of Cost of Sales in a better manner.
  • The cost of sales is also known as the cost of goods sold or COGS.

Let’s say a business has $5,000 in inventory at the start of the month. The company spent roughly $5,000 on raw goods, salaries, and delivery. Second, Mary adds the beginning inventory and subtracts the ending inventory to calculate the cost of goods manufactured, which is $175,000. COGS only applies to those costs directly related to producing goods intended for sale.

Is COGS the Same as Cost of Sales?

Whether you are a traditional retailer or an online retailer, the same rules apply. Some businesses may focus solely on production or service delivery when calculating cost of sales. Other businesses might take more of a lifetime view by including expenses such as sales commissions, referral fees, and online transaction fees for accepting card payments. Businesses need to know the cost of serving customers in order to set competitive and profitable prices. For most small businesses, cost of sales are the same as direct costs.

  • The cost of goods sold (COGS) plays a crucial role, whether your business sells products or services.
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  • If a company can reduce its COGS through better deals with suppliers or through more efficiency in the production process, it can be more profitable.
  • Other businesses might take more of a lifetime view by including expenses such as sales commissions, referral fees, and online transaction fees for accepting card payments.
  • Cost of goods sold (COGS) is an important line item on an income statement.

Over the month, she ordered materials to make new items and ordered some products to resale, spending $4,000, which are her inventory costs. At the end of the month, she calculated that she still had $5,600 in stock, which is her ending inventory. Service-based businesses might refer to cost of goods sold as cost of sales or cost of revenues. Calculating the cost of goods sold, often referred to as COGS in accounting, is essential to determining whether your business is making a profit. It involves a simple formula and can be calculated monthly to keep track of progress or even less frequently for more established businesses. Assume SnowTown T-Shirt company has $8,000 worth of unsold t-shirts leftover from the end of last year.

Cost of Sales Formula (Manufacturing Businesses)

COGS only includes costs and expenses related to producing or purchasing products for sale or resale such as storage and direct labor costs. The cost of goods sold (COGS) is the cost related to the production of a product during a specific time period. It’s an essential metric for businesses because it plays a key role in determining a company’s gross profit. Cost of sales is different from operating expenses in that the cost of sales covers costs directly tied to the production of goods and services.

How Is COGS Different From Cost of Revenue and Operating Expenses

This is shown as a debit to your inventory and credited to your purchases account. The result is a book balance in your inventory account that equals your actual ending inventory amount. In retail, the cost of sales will also include any payments made to manufacturers and suppliers for the purchase of merchandise that you have sold. But if your costs of sales are disproportionate to your revenue, you should consider ways to manage your costs and improve profitability. The cost of sales does not include any general and administrative expenses. It also does not include any costs of the sales and marketing department.

COGS is the accounting term used to describe the expenses incurred to produce the goods sold by a company. These are direct costs only, and only businesses with a product to sell can list COGS on their income statement. When subtracted from revenue, COGS helps determine a company’s gross profit. The most common way to calculate COGS is to take the beginning annual inventory amount, add all purchases, and then subtract the year-ending inventory from that total. A company’s cost of revenue is similar, but not exactly the same as the company’s cost of sales or cost of goods sold. The cost of revenue includes the total cost of producing the product or service as well as any distribution and marketing costs.

Cost of Sales vs Operating Expenses

Ultimately, knowing how to calculate the cost of sales is necessary for working out your business’s gross profit. Once you know your gross profit, you can determine how effectively you’re managing the manufacturing process and how much remaining revenue you’ll have to deal with other expenses, such as debt. In theory, COGS should include the cost of all inventory that was sold during the accounting period. In practice, however, companies often don’t know exactly which units of inventory were sold. Instead, they rely on accounting methods such as the first in, first out (FIFO) and last in, first out (LIFO) rules to estimate what value of inventory was actually sold in the period. If the inventory value included in COGS is relatively high, then this will place downward pressure on the company’s gross profit.

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A service business will typically not have the traditional product inventory found in a manufacturing or retail company. However, longer-term service projects that are not yet complete can be treated as “inventory” or really a service not yet delivered to the customer. The COGS calculation shows the number of things a company creates. In contrast, the cost of sales calculation indicates the number of goods sold. In other words, the cost of sales formula is critical if you want to successfully comprehend your company’s finances.

By understanding COGS and the methods of determination, you can make informed decisions about your business. With FreshBooks accounting software, you know you’re on the right track to a tidy and efficient ledger. COGS include market-driven costs like lumber, metal, plastic, and other supplies that have a cost set by someone else and are, therefore, less under your control. Companies that make and sell products or buy and resell goods must calculate COGS to write off the expense.

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