# What’s the Difference Between Gross vs. Net Income?

## Understanding the Income Statement

Gross profit margin is the gross profit divided by total revenue and is the percentage of income retained as profit after accounting for the cost of goods. If a business has any returns, allowances, or discounts then adjustments are made to identify and report net sales. Net sales do not account for cost of goods sold, general expenses, and administrative expenses which are analyzed with different effects on income statement margins.

In accounting, revenue is the income that a business has from its normal business activities, usually from the sale of goods and services to customers. Some companies receive revenue from interest, royalties, or other fees. Revenue may refer to business income in general, or it may refer to the amount, in a monetary unit, earned during a period of time, as in “Last year, Company X had revenue of \$42 million”.

Your income statement shows your revenue, followed by your cost of goods sold, and your gross profit. For companies using accrual accounting, they are booked when a transaction takes place. For companies using cash accounting they are booked when cash is received. Some companies may not have any costs that will require a net sales calculation but many companies do.

The gross profit margin is calculated by taking total revenue minus the COGS and dividing the difference by total revenue. The gross margin result is typically multiplied by 100 to show the figure as a percentage. When people speak of the bottom line in business, they’re talking about net income.

Sales returns, allowances, and discounts are the three main costs that can affect net sales. All three costs generally must be expensed after a company books revenue. As such, each of these types of costs will need to be accounted for across a company’s financial reporting in order to ensure proper performance analysis. Net profitability is an important distinction since increases in revenue do not necessarily translate into increased profitability. Net profit is the gross profit (revenue minus COGS) minus operating expenses and all other expenses, such as taxes and interest paid on debt.

### How do you calculate net sales?

Net sales is the sum of a company’s gross sales minus its returns, allowances, and discounts. Net sales calculations are not always transparent externally. They can often be factored into the reporting of top line revenues reported on the income statement.

Profits or net income generally imply total revenue minus total expenses in a given period. This is to be contrasted with the “bottom line” which denotes net income (gross revenues minus total expenses). Companies may not provide a lot of external transparency in the area of net sales. Net sales may also not apply to every company and industry because of the distinct components of its calculation.

## Differences Between Gross Revenue Reporting vs. Net Revenue Reporting

Subtracting the cost of goods sold from revenue determines gross profit. Overhead costs are subtracted to show operating income, and then irregular revenue and cost items are computed. A negative result when costs are subtracted from revenue is labeled a net loss.

## Gross Profit, Operating Profit and Net Income

• Gross profit margin is the gross profit divided by total revenue and is the percentage of income retained as profit after accounting for the cost of goods.
• If a business has any returns, allowances, or discounts then adjustments are made to identify and report net sales.

If revenue totaled \$1,500,000 and the cost of goods sold (COGS) were \$500,000, your business’s gross income would be \$1,000,000. Net income is reported on a company’s income statement, often prepared on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.

## Understanding Net Sales

Gross profit marginis the proportion of money left over from revenues after accounting for the cost of goods sold (COGS). COGS are raw materials and expenses associated directly with the creation of the company’s primary product, not including overhead costs such as rent, utilities, freight, or payroll.

Net sales is the result of gross revenue minus applicable sales returns, allowances, and discounts. Gross profit margin is a measure of profitability that shows the percentage of revenue that exceeds the cost of goods sold (COGS). The gross profit margin reflects how successful a company’s executive management team is in generating revenue, considering the costs involved in producing their products and services.

Net income is simply profit, and the whole income statement flows toward this number. An income statement is a financial statement that reveals how much income your business is making and where it is going.

At the end of your accounting period, you can now determine the sales figures for your income statement. Starting with gross sales, subtract the total sales discounts, returns and allowances you gave your customers to determine your net sales. For example, at the end of the month you had gross sales of \$200,000. Several of your customers took advantage of the sales discount and paid their invoices early. Your sales returns totaled \$10,000 and your sales allowances totaled \$23,000.

In short, the higher the number, the more efficient management is in generating profit for every dollar of cost involved. Record both gross and net profit on your small business income statement.

From your gross income of \$200,000, subtract \$3,000, \$10,000 and \$23,000 to arrive at your net income of \$164,000. Net sales is the sum of a company’s gross sales minus its returns, allowances, and discounts. They can often be factored into the reporting of top line revenues reported on the income statement. The gross profit margin is calculated by subtracting the cost of goods soldfrom revenue. The COGS is the amount it costs a company to produce the goods or services that it sells.

## Allowances

Although it may appear more complicated, net profit is calculated for us and provided on the income statement as net income. Profit margin is a percentage measurement of profit that expresses the amount a company earns per dollar of sales. If a company makes more money per sale, it has a higher profit margin. Gross profit margin and net profit margin, on the other hand, are two separate profitability ratios used to assess a company’s financial stability and overall health. As long as you have those first two figures you can calculate your company’s gross profits.