Critical Differences Between Revenue, Profit, And Cash Flow

If the company is losing money on each item sold, such as if the cost of the item plus sales commissions come out to more than customers are paying per item, the gross profit can be negative. Margin statement of retained earnings example and profit are two tools to look at the financial performance of a business entity but from different perspectives in mind. Profits represent the earnings of your business for a given period.

Revenue can be understood as the proceeds received by the company from its primary and subsidiary business activities in a given period. Gross profit provides a handy snapshot of business performance and is the cornerstone of all profit calculations.

A Guide To Finance & Accounting For Small Business Owners

Revenue is the total income generated by the business’s sales—essentially cash inflow. That’s different from profit, which is the amount of income left over, once a business has paid all their expenses. Accounting earnings is the profit a company reports on its income statement and is calculated by subtracting the cost of doing business from revenue. While it’s important for investors to review a company’s revenue and earnings difference between revenue and profit before making an investment decision, there are other metrics investors can use in their analysis. For example, understanding a few key financial ratios related to a company’s profitability, liquidity, solvency, and valuation can help investors quickly pinpoint potential investments. One way to use the gross profit and sales revenue numbers to evaluate businesses is to compute what’s called the gross profit margin.

difference between revenue and profit

Revenue, profit and income, are three terms which sound same to a layman, although in business terminology there is a huge difference between them. Revenue implies the money received by the company from its day to day operations, alongwith the non-operating activities. On the other hand, profit implies the financial gain, which is arrived after deducting amount spent from the amount earned, by the concern, during the course of business in an accounting period. Similar to revenue and profit, some people also use the terms revenue and sales interchangeably. As explained above, revenue means income that your business makes from operating activities and non-operating activities . Accountants are experts in finance and will often use terms that you may not fully understand.

The Critical Differences Between Revenue, Profit, And Cash Flow

Finally, companies can sometimes believe they are financially healthy when their cash flow is strong and projects are profitable. But if they haven’t kept their sales pipeline full with new revenue, they may end up with staff sitting idle and not cash basis enough money over the long term to stay in business. Likewise, profit margins can become very slim when companies bid against each other and the lowest price often wins the contract, when productivity dips or expenses are higher than predicted.

  • In the income statement, we would deduct the cost of goods sold from net sales, and we would get the gross profit.
  • And then, from gross profit, we will deduct the operating costs, and we would get an operating profit, which is also called EBIT .
  • Profit, which is typically called net profitor thebottom line, is the amount of income that remains after accounting for all expenses, debts, additional income streams, and operating costs.
  • Revenue is the total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services related to the company’s primary operations.
  • Together, these will give you more insight into your business, helping you better understand how cash flow, profits, and revenue intertwine.

Having a basic knowledge of what different accounting terms mean will help you to keep up with what your accountant is doing. After all, as a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for your accounts. Having a grasp of accounting terms is of particular importance when preparing and submitting your tax return because inaccurate information can lead to fines for your business. Revenue means the total money earned by the company, through various activities, i.e. trading and non-trading business activities, calculated over a specified period of time. On the other hand, Profit refers to the money remained from the company’s revenue after subtracting all costs, expenses, interest on debt and taxes.


To calculate gross profit, take a firm’s revenue and subtract the day-to-day running costs that relate directly to these. We know profit is revenue minus expenses and that it’s sometimes referred to as net income. Cash flow refers to the inflows and outflows of cash for a business. Positive cash flow occurs when there’s more money coming in at any given time, while negative cash flow means there’s more money out. Cash flow refers to the way money moves in and out of a business and, specifically, the business’s bank account.

If your company had a profit of $50,000 during the first quarter, that means your business earned $50,000. Often, your company’s profit for a period difference between revenue and profit is higher than your cash flow generated. This is because products sold on account are often recorded before you collect account payments.

Revenue Vs Profit Faqs

Because of its focus on costs that directly relate to sales, gross profit is a good indicator of how profitable a specific product-line is, which can help to identify potential efficiencies. Its limitation is that, by definition, gross profit excludes a wide array of costs and so reveals far less about the underlying financial online bookkeeping health of the business compared to other profit metrics. Net profit is the gross profit, less indirect costs, and is simply the turnover of the business minus all its allowable running costs before tax or interest owed to the bank is taken off. Indirect costs are the overheads that don’t contribute directly to sales.

difference between revenue and profit