Revenue Definition & Meaning

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 .


Revenue is the amount a company receives from selling goods and/or providing services to its customers and clients. A company’s revenue, which is reported on the first line of its income statement, is often described as sales or service revenues. Hence, revenue is the amount earned from customers and clients before subtracting the company’s expenses. When goods or services are sold on credit, they are recorded as revenue, but since cash payment is not received yet, the value is also recorded on the balance sheet as accounts receivable. Business revenue is money income from activities that is ordinary for a particular corporation, company, partnership, or sole-proprietorship. For some businesses, such as manufacturing or grocery, most revenue is from the sale of goods.

History And Etymology For Revenue

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A company beating or missing analysts’ revenue and earnings per share expectations can often move a stock’s price. Revenue is known as the top line because it appears first on a company’s income statement.

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For one, the comparison serves as a rough gauge of the size of the federal government’s footprint related to size of the entire country’s economic activity. In addition, federal taxes are based on a percentage of income for people and businesses. If an economy is performing well, people and businesses earn more, and federal revenue from taxes increases.


Using the above amounts we see that the company’s net income was only 4% of its revenue ($12,000/$300,000). Another would replace artist studios on the first floor with a restaurant and interactive installations, such as a glass-blowing studio, meant to provide a steady source of revenue. The Structured Query Language comprises several different data types that allow it to store different types of information…

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They do care about the methodology since it affects the efficiency of their software development process and their revenue. However, the pricing issue is complex as increasing prices may reduce demand, and thus have an adverse impact on the overall revenue position. Part of hospitals’ revenues was then made dependent upon the number of patients treated and the patient mix. This is surprising, given that questions of revenue generation affect ordinary people in basic and sometimes very serious ways. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Long-haul international travel generated the lion’s share of revenue for air carriers.

  • Revenue is the money a company earns from the sale of its products and services.
  • Companies often use the installment method when the actual collection of cash is not possible.
  • Therefore, when a company has “top-line growth,” the company is experiencing an increase in gross sales or revenue.
  • A company has a cost to produce goods sold, as well as other fixed costs and obligations like taxes and interest payments due on loans.

Expenses are deducted from a company’s revenue to arrive at its Profit or Net Income. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Indeed is not a career or legal advisor and does not guarantee job interviews or offers. In this career advice video, learn how to create an elevator pitch for a networking event or interview that tells a compelling story about who you are and where you are going in your career in under two minutes.

Revenue Example

Net income appears on a company’sincome statementand is an important measure of the profitability of a company. Deferred, or unearned revenue can be thought of as the opposite of accrued revenue, in that unearned revenue accounts for money prepaid by a customer for goods or services that have yet to be delivered. Comments like those are so general that the managers reacting to them can miss the true sources of revenue variances and end up at cross-purposes with one another. An advertising campaign intended to combat negative attitudes instead merely raises consumer expectations and increases dissatisfaction. A price promotion inspired by the pursuit of “retail support” undermines the premium positioning of the brand and erodes profits. A line extension or package redesign, in response to “competitor activity,” only increases costs and cannibalizes sales revenues from the current product range.

Does revenue include cost?

Revenue, also known simply as “sales”, does not deduct any costs or expenses associated with operating the business. Profit is the amount of income that remains after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional income streams, and operating costs.

Cost of goods sold is defined as the direct costs attributable to the production of the goods sold in a company. Revenue is also known as sales, as in the price-to-sales (P/S) ratio—an alternative to the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratiothat uses revenue in the denominator. Yarilet Perez is an experienced multimedia journalist and fact-checker with a Master of Science in Journalism. She has worked in multiple cities covering breaking news, politics, education, and more. Revenue is one of the most misunderstood, mismanaged, and neglected measures in business.

Dictionary Entries Near Revenue

GDP for FY 2021 is based on the economic forecast for the2022 Mid-Session Review, adjusted for theBureau of Economic Analysis revisions. The revenue-to-gross domestic product ratio is included to provide you with context for the trillions of dollars that come in to the federal government annually. Throughout this page, we use the gross domestic product for the Fiscal Year, not the Calendar Year, in order to facilitate an appropriate comparison. To understand and manage revenues, companies need a solid grasp of three types of revenue numbers.

This could include employee salaries, cost of supplies used to produce the service or product, discounts applied for customers or any product returns. The revenue formula may be simple or complicated, depending on the business.

While revenue is the top line on a company’s income statement, net income is often referred to as the bottom line. Free Financial Modeling Guide A Complete Guide to Financial Modeling This resource is designed to be the best free guide to financial modeling! Finally, interest and taxes are deducted to reach the bottom line of the income statement, $3.0 billion of net income. According to the revenue recognition principle in accounting, revenue is recorded when the benefits and risks of ownership have transferred from seller to buyer, or when the delivery of services has been completed. The bottom line refers to a company’s earnings, profit, net income, or earnings per share . Just as revenue is the top line, net income is the bottom line or the “bottom” figure on a company’s income statement. Non-operating income is infrequent or nonrecurring income derived from secondary sources (e.g., lawsuit proceeds).


Beneath that are all operating expenses, which are deducted to arrive at Operating Income, also sometimes referred to as Earnings Before Interest and Taxes . Price / Sales is sometimes used as a substitute for a Price to earnings ratio when earnings are negative and the P/E is meaningless.

Reporting revenues in the period in which they are earned is known as the accrual basis of accounting. Hence, a company’s revenue could occur before the cash is received, after the cash is received, or at time that the cash is received. Government revenue may also include reserve bank currency which is printed. The company’s performance is measured to the extent to which its asset inflows compare with its asset outflows . Net income is the result of this equation, but revenue typically enjoys equal attention during a standard earnings call.

How do you write a revenue equation?

The sales revenue formula calculates revenue by multiplying the number of units sold by the average unit price. Service-based businesses calculate the formula slightly differently: by multiplying the number of customers by the average service price. Revenue = Number of Units Sold x Average Price.

Thus, analysts prefer to standardize revenue recognition policies in each industry. Operating revenues are generated from a company’s core business operations, and is the area where a company earns most of its income.

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Revenue is income earned by an individual or a business from the sale of any products or services offered. Revenue—also known as “sales”—is one of two things on an income statement that dictates how well a business performs, the other being expenses.

However, if a company reports its revenues when cash is collected, it is called the cash accounting method. And the answer is that the chosen method could impact the way a company’s financials look, as revenues not only affect a company’s income statement, but also its balance sheet. A balance sheet is a financial statement that breaks down a company’s assets versus liabilities, as well as shareholder’s equity. If a company reports revenues based on cash accounting, then the balance sheet illustrates sales as a cash asset. However, if a company allows customers to purchase on a credit basis, then the balance sheet illustrates sales as an accounts receivable asset . Revenue is often referred to as the “top line,” as it sits at the top of a company’s income statement.

For example, an initial 10% increase in spending on marketing may drive only a 1% increase in revenue, and continued 10% increases will not necessarily yield subsequent 1% increases. When diminishing returns come into play, the nonlinear shape of the investment-versus-revenue graph—the saturation curve—is critical in determining the ideal amount to spend to maximize profits. There are two different categories of revenues seen on an income statement. For any new business, the ultimate goal is to generate revenue quickly and effectively and keep the cost of production or service as low as possible. One goal is to bring in as many clients or generate as many sales as possible so as to maximize profits and stay competitive. It is important to note that many people use the term income to mean revenue. Perhaps a business owner sees money “coming in” from customers and logically refers to it as “income”.

Fiscal Year refers to the period of time used by the government for accounting and budget purposes. For the federal government, the fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. Revenue, in economics, the income that a firm receives from the sale of a good or service to its customers. Learn accounting fundamentals and how to read financial statements with CFI’s free online accounting classes. If a company doesn’t have sufficient revenue to cover the above items, it will need to use an existing cash balance on its balance sheet. The cash can come from financing, meaning that the company borrowed the money , or raised it .

Amanda Bellucco-Chatham is an editor, writer, and fact-checker with years of experience researching personal finance topics. Specialties include general financial planning, career development, lending, retirement, tax preparation, and credit. Andy Smith is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), licensed realtor and educator with over 35 years of diverse financial management experience. He is an expert on personal finance, corporate finance and real estate and has assisted thousands of clients in meeting their financial goals over his career. Operating profit is the total earnings from a company’s core business operations, excluding deductions of interest and tax. In the case of government, revenue is the money received from taxation, fees, fines, inter-governmental grants or transfers, securities sales, mineral or resource rights, as well as any sales made. When public companies report their quarterly earnings, two figures that receive a lot of attention are revenues and EPS.

Fundraising revenue is income received by a charity from donors etc. to further its social purposes. For many companies, revenues are generated from the sales of products or services. Inventors or entertainers may receive revenue from licensing, patents, or royalties. Net revenue, or “net sales,” refers to the total remaining income once all expenses and costs of goods sold or cost of doing business are reduced from gross revenue.

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For product sales, it is calculated by taking the average price at which goods are sold and multiplying it by the total number of products sold. For service companies, it is calculated as the value of all service contracts, or by the number of customers multiplied by the average price of services. When investors and analysts speak of a company’s income, they’re actually referring to net income or the profit for the company. It is necessary to check the cash flow statement to assess how efficiently a company collects money owed.Cash accounting, on the other hand, will only count sales as revenue when payment is received. Cash paid to a company is known as a “receipt.” It is possible to have receipts without revenue. For example, if the customer paid in advance for a service not yet rendered or undelivered goods, this activity leads to a receipt but not revenue.