Difference Between Gross and Net Income
The key difference between gross income and net income is that gross income refers to the income which is left over to the company after deducting the cost of the goods sold from the revenue earned by the company, whereas, Net income refers to the amount left as the earning in the organization after deducting all the expenses in the organization including other expenses such as dividends etc from the gross income.
If you’re a new investor or you’re just trying to understand the financial accounting, you must know the difference between gross and net income.
In simple terms, we can calculate gross income by deducting the cost of goods sold from the net sales; whereas, we can compute net income by deducting all types of operational, general, administrative expenses (plus adding different sources of income).
To understand the difference between them, we need to look at the income statement of a company.
- In the income statement, the first item is gross sales. Gross sales are the product of price per unit of product sold and the quantity of the product sold. From gross sales, we deduct the sales discount or the sales returns (if any). And then we get net sales.
- From net sales, we deduct the cost of goods sold. And here, we get the figure of gross income or gross profit. Gross profit is an important measure; because gross profit tells us a figure that’s closer to the profit from operations.
- If we deduct operating expenses from the gross income, we get the operating income. We also call it EBIT (Earnings before interest & taxes). From EBIT, then we deduct the interest expenses and taxes to arrive at net income. Net income is a culmination of profits from operations and profits from other sources (for few businesses there’re other sources of income as well other than the income from operations).
Gross Income vs Net Income Infographics
- The main difference is in the scope. Gross income only considers sales and cost of goods sold. On the other hand, net income deals with operational & non-operational expenses & income.
- To find out gross income/profit, we need to deduct the cost of goods sold from the sales (net sales). To find out net income/profit, we need to deduct operational expenses, interest expenses, taxes from the gross income and add income from other sources (if any).
- Gross income helps us find out the net income. Net income, on the other hand, is completely dependent on gross income.
- To understand both incomes, one must know the income statement thoroughly. Gross income is the fourth item on the income statement (after gross sales, sales return/discount, and cost of goods sold). Net income is the last item on the income statement. In a few cases, after net income, the company calculates the earnings per share (EPS).
Gross vs Net Income Comparative Table
|Basis for comparison||Gross Income||Net Income|
|Meaning||Gross income is the immediate income a company makes by deducting the cost of goods sold from the net sales.||Net income is the culmination of both incomes from operations & income from other sources.|
|Computation||Gross income can be calculated by deducting the cost of goods sold from the net sales (net sales = gross sales – sales return/discount)||It can be calculated by deducting the operational expenses, interest expenses, taxes from gross income and adding any income from other sources to the same.|
|Why is it important?||Gross income is important because it helps us understand how much a company earns after removing the cost of goods sold from the sales. It doesn’t deduct any other expenses or adds any other incomes.||Net income is important because it gives us a big picture of what exactly a firm can use for reinvestment or payment of dividend to the shareholders.|
|Dependency||It isn’t dependent on the net income.||It is dependent on gross income. Until you know the gross income, you can’t compute the net income of a company.|
|Amount||It is always more than the net income.||It is always less than gross income.|
|Expenses deducted||Cost of goods sold||Operational cost, non-operational cost.|
While we find out the difference between them, what’s most important is understanding the big picture of a company.
- They are parts of the whole income statement. But if you want to invest in a company or want to comprehend the financial health of a company, you need to learn to see every minute detail and consider every expense that is being incurred.
- Using gross income, we can calculate a ratio called gross income/gross profit margin where we divide gross income by the total sales.
- On the other hand, using net income, we can calculate a ratio called net income/net profit margin where we divide net income by the total sales.
Gross vs Net Income Video
This has been a guide to Gross Income vs Net Income. Here we discuss the top differences between net income and gross income along with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following accountings articles for gaining further knowledge –
- Operating Income | Advantages | Disadvantages
- Top Differences Between Operating Profit vs Net Profit
- Top Differences Between Operating Income vs Net Income
- Top Differences Between IFRS vs Indian GAAP
- NOPAT vs Net Income Differences
- Operating Profit Formula
- Shareholder Equity vs Net Worth Differences