Revenue, Income, Profit — in the world of eCommerce, there are several types to determine the financial success of a business. What does the term Revenue mean?

What is Revenue? 

Revenue represents the total income a company earns primarily through the sale of goods, products, or services. It is essential to distinguish between revenue and profit, as they are not the same. Public companies are required to report their income through quarterly and annual earnings reports, providing transparency to investors and stakeholders. In private companies, revenue can still be found in financial statements, such as income sheets and cash flow statements, offering a glimpse into the financial health and performance of the business.

How to Calculate the Revenue? 

Revenue is calculated based on the nature of the business. For product sales, you multiply the average price per item by the total number of items sold. This formula is expressed as:

Revenue = Price of goods * Number of goods sold

Conversely, for service-based companies, revenue is determined by multiplying the value of services by the number of customers served. The formula for calculating service-based revenue is:

Revenue = Number of customers * Price of services

These formulas help businesses quantify their income from the sale of products or services and are essential for financial tracking and performance analysis.

What Types of Revenue Exist? 

Types of revenue can be categorized based on their source and nature:

  1. Operating Revenue: This is income derived from a company's primary source of revenue. For instance, if a phone company primarily sells phones but occasionally sells merchandise, its operating revenue is solely from phone sales.
  2. Non-operating Revenue: Non-operating revenue includes income from sources other than the company's primary business. Using the phone company example, the income from merchandise sales would be considered non-operating revenue.
  3. Accrued Revenue: Also known as deferred revenue, this type occurs when a company records a sale but has not received payment from the customer. Even though the payment is pending, the sale is recognized as revenue. It may happen during trial periods or with interest in investments that have yet to be realized.
  4. Unearned Revenue: Unearned revenue is the reverse of accrued revenue. It involves a situation where a customer has made payment for a product or service but has not received it yet. For instance, if a contractor is paid for a renovation upfront but has not completed the work, this is considered unearned income and is reported as a liability in financial statements.
  5. Gross Revenue: Gross revenue is the total income generated from all sources, including any discounts or returns, without factoring in expenses or taxes.
  6. Net Revenue: Also referred to as net income, this represents revenue after deducting all expenses, costs of goods sold, depreciation, interest, and taxes. It provides a more accurate picture of a company's profitability.

These several types of revenue help companies understand the sources and financial implications of their income, aiding in financial analysis and management decisions.

Revenue vs. Profit 

While revenue means the total amount of money generated by a business without deducting any expenses or costs, profit or income is a more comprehensive financial metric that considers various components of a business's financial performance. It considers not only the revenue but also subtracts all associated expenses, such as the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, taxes, and interest costs. Profit reflects the net earnings or net income, which represents the actual profitability of the business after all costs have been considered.

Revenue: Key Takeaways 

  • Revenue is the total income generated by a business primarily through sales of goods or services. Public companies must report their revenue regularly to provide transparency to investors.
  • The method for calculating revenue depends on the nature of the business. For product sales, it is the average price per item multiplied by the number of items sold. For service-based companies, it is the value of services multiplied by the number of customers served.
  • Revenue can be categorized based on its source and nature. This includes operating revenue, non-operating revenue, accrued revenue, unearned revenue, gross revenue, and net revenue, each providing insights into various aspects of a company's financial health.
  • Revenue represents the total income, while profit (or income) is a more comprehensive financial metric that deducts all expenses, giving a more accurate picture of a business's profitability. Profit reflects the net earnings after considering all costs.