8 Types of Business Expenses (And How To Record Them)

A POETAF value called Expenditure Type communicates with Oracle’s Project Portfolio Management (PPM) module. Only when an expense is being charged to a project is a specific Expenditure Type required. When an expense is connected to a project, the expense posts to the ledger in accordance with the project’s expense type rather than the account value specified by default in the COA (Chart of Accounts).

Elements of Accounting |What is Expense |Definition of Expense |Types of Expense |Business Education

How expenses are recorded

An organization’s income statement lists expenses as a deduction from total revenue. The equation is: Revenue – expenses = net profit.

The moment an expense is paid is when it is recorded under cash basis accounting. With the accrual method, expenses are recorded when they happen. As an illustration, a business received its electricity bill for May’s usage in June. When the bill is paid, the expense would be recorded for June using the cash method. When using the accrual method, it would be posted for May, the actual month that the electricity was used.

What is an expense?

Common types of expenses that a business incurs include:

In essence, expenses use the readily available cash that a company has. A business may also use a line of credit to cover expenditures like a credit card or mortgage. When a company has expenses, they are deducted from the total revenue and shown on the income statement.

Contra equity accounts are sometimes used to describe expense accounts, which simply means that as expenses are incurred, business equity declines. Equity is essentially how much money the company has available. The equity will decline as expenses increase until it is restored by income or revenue.

Types of expenses

Depending on what it takes to produce goods or services and maintain organizational operations, a business may incur a variety of different costs. Here are some of the most common business expenses:

Cost of goods sold (COGS)

The cost of goods sold (COGS) is the amount spent to purchase raw materials and transform them into a finished good that can be sold to generate revenue. Administrative or selling fees related to the entire company are not included in this expense. It also excludes losses or interest expenses.


Financial expenses

A cost incurred from income from financial investments or borrowing money is referred to as a financial expense. For instance, a loan origination fee and interest on borrowed funds are both regarded as financial expenses. This kind of expense is typically regarded as one that is unrelated to an organization’s core business operations.

Fixed expenses

An expense that is predictable and does not vary from month to month is referred to as a fixed expense. As an illustration, monthly rent is an example of a fixed expense because it is constant each month and must be covered in order for an organization to function. Fixed expenses must be paid on a regular basis and are typically non-negotiable, even though the precise amount may vary slightly depending on certain factors, such as in the case of an electric bill.

Irregular expenses

An irregular expense is not always predictable. If you do need to pay for this type of expense at some point, it needs to be budgeted for beforehand.

Research and development (R&D) expenses

An expense for research and development relates to the development of the services or products offered by an organization. It also has to do with the intellectual property that a business develops while producing these products and services.

This kind of expense is typically incurred when a company develops and produces new products, and it frequently falls under the category of operation expenses. Pharmaceutical firms, tech firms, and health care providers are among the industries that frequently incur R&D costs.


Any taxes paid for conducting business are included in this category of non-operating expenses. Sales tax, employment taxes, and state and federal business taxes are some taxes.

Variable expenses

An unpredictable expense is one that fluctuates from month to month or year to year. Unlike fixed expenses, which remain the same regardless of production, these costs rise as the production of goods or services rises and fall if production declines. Businesses frequently keep track of variable costs to make sure they are not spending too much in one area or charging too little for their products or services.

Expense categories

Operating expenses and nonoperating expenses are the two major categories into which the various types of costs typically fall.

Operating expenses

If a business makes money, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows it to write off some operating costs as a tax deduction.

Common operating expenses include:

Non-operating expenses

An expense that is not related to regular business operations is referred to as a non-operating expense. Interest costs and losses from asset sales are the two most prevalent categories of nonoperating expenses.

Common non-operating expenses include:

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions regarding business expenses:

Why are expenses important?

Here are some justifications for why business expenses are crucial:

Are expenses tax-deductible?

The majority of expenses, but not all of them, are deducted from a company’s revenues to determine its taxable income. Depreciation and amortization, rent, salaries, benefits, and wages, as well as marketing, advertising, and promotion costs, are the most frequently claimed tax deductions. Items that are not tax-deductible vary by region and country. To find out what expenses your business can deduct, speak with a qualified tax advisor.

What is the difference between expenses and costs?

The best way to define an expense is as a regular payment made to support ongoing business operations. A cost is an amount paid to acquire an asset. It usually refers to a lump sum payment for the acquisition of a fixed asset or an asset acquired for long-term use and not easily convertible into cash, such as land, buildings, and equipment.

What is the difference between expenses and capital expenditures?

An expense is reflected as such on an income statement. A capital expenditure is immediately recorded as an asset on the balance sheet and may then be deducted later for depreciation and amortization, which are recorded on the income statement. The costs incurred by a business to raise the value of its fixed assets or to acquire new assets with the intention of generating revenue in the future are referred to as capital expenditures.


What are the 4 types of expenses?

Terms in this set (4)
  • Variable expenses. Monthly expenses that change (such as those for electricity, gas, groceries, and clothing)
  • Fixed expenses. Expenses such as rent, cable, and car payments that don’t change from month to month
  • Intermittent expenses. …
  • Discretionary (non-essential) expenses.

What are the 3 types of expenses?

The several types of expenses are:
  • Cost of Goods Sold.
  • Operating Expenses.
  • Financial Expenses.
  • Extraordinary Expenses.
  • Non-Operating Expenses.
  • Non-Cash Expenses.
  • Prepaid Expenses.
  • Accrued Expenses.

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