Revenue vs Income

Updated on January 4, 2024
Article bySayantan Mukhopadhyay
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between Revenue and Income

The term Revenue depicts the total amount of money earned by an organization by selling products or rendering services and at what price is it sold or rendered. In contrast, the term income is obtained by deducting all the direct and indirect expenses from revenue, showing how well an organization utilizes its resources and achieves its goals using its limited resources.

In terms of concepts, they are entirely different. Nevertheless, they are two critical terms that are useful in determining a company’s financial strength.


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  • Revenue is the total money generated by selling a company’s goods or services.
  • Income can be deduced by subtracting the total expenses from the total revenue generated by the company.

They can be found in the same financial statement, i.e., the income statement. But the income is a subset of the revenue, whereas the revenue is the superset of the income.

We start the income statement with gross sales and then deduct the sales return or discount. And we get net sales. Then, from net salesNet SalesNet sales is the revenue earned by a company from the sale of its goods or services, and it is calculated by deducting returns, allowances, and other discounts from the company's gross more, we deduct all the expenses (including the operating costs) and get the income.


Let’s say that ABC Company has sold 3000 products for $20 each. So, the total revenue generated is $60000.

Now, let’s say that ABC Company’s total costs include the operational costs (salaries and wages, upkeep of machinery, security, the expense for raw materials, etc.), depreciationDepreciationDepreciation is a systematic allocation method used to account for the costs of any physical or tangible asset throughout its useful life. Its value indicates how much of an asset’s worth has been utilized. Depreciation enables companies to generate revenue from their assets while only charging a fraction of the cost of the asset in use each year. read more, and capital of about $48000. Then the total income or net income will be ($60000 – $48000) = $12000.

  • The income, for example, shows how well the company utilizes its resources and reduces its expenditure and operational costs to increase its income effectively.
  • On the other hand, revenue only shows us how many products the company has managed to sell and the prices at which they are sold but doesn’t depict the utilization of resources in an efficient way.

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Revenue vs. Income Infographics


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Key Differences

  • To a layman, revenue and income may sound synonymous, but they’re entirely different. Revenue is when a company receives a “consideration” while selling products/services. On the other hand, when we deduct the cost from the revenue, we get the income.
  • Revenue can be calculated by multiplying the number of products sold by their selling price. In contrast, income can be generated by deducting the total expenses from the total revenue. We also need to consider that to find out the net income; we also include income from other sources (sales of scraps, profit on the sale of machinery, etc.).
  • Another term for revenue is “top line,” which means it is at the top of the company’s financial statements. Whereas another term for income is “bottom line,” which means it is present at the bottom line of the company’s financial statements.
  • They are both involved in the production cycle. “Revenue” is the starting point of “income,” whereas “income” provides the monetary cash flowCash FlowCash Flow is the amount of cash or cash equivalent generated & consumed by a Company over a given period. It proves to be a prerequisite for analyzing the business’s strength, profitability, & scope for betterment. read more to produce the next cycle of production and thereby creates revenue.

Comparative Table

Basis for comparisonRevenueIncome
MeaningThe total amount of money generated by sales of goods or servicesIncome or Net Income is a company’s total profit or earnings
CalculationIt is calculated by multiplying the number of goods sold by its price (i.e., gross sales). To find out the net sales, we need to deduct sales returns/sales discounts from gross salesGross SalesGross Sales, also called Top-Line Sales of a Company, refers to the total sales amount earned over a given period, excluding returns, allowances, rebates, & any other discount. read more.Income is calculated by subtracting the total costs (includes operating expenses, administrative expensesAdministrative ExpensesAdministrative expenses are indirect costs incurred by a business that are not directly related to the manufacturing, production, or sale of goods or services provided, but are necessary for the smooth functioning of business operations, such as information technology, finance & more, etc.) from total revenue.
PlacementRevenue is placed in the top line of a company’s financial statement.Income is placed in the bottom line of a company’s financial statement Financial StatementFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all more.
ExampleXYZ has posted total revenue of $25 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2017 with a 6% increase in top-line growthXYZ has posted $6 billion in total income at the end of the fiscal year 2017 with a 4.5% increase in bottom-line growth
Alternative NamesSometimes companies use the term top line instead of revenue.Sometimes companies use the term bottom lineTerm Bottom LineThe bottom line refers to the net earnings or profit a company generates from its business operations in a particular accounting period that appears at the end of the income statement. A company adopts strategies to reduce costs or raise income to improve its bottom line. read more instead of income.
Subset/SupersetIt is a superset of the income.It is a subset of the revenue.

Final Thoughts

In simple terms, there’s a huge difference between revenue and income. Even if many people use them interchangeably, if you ask an individual who has studied finance, she would tell you that revenue is a big picture. In contrast, income shows the financial direction of a company.

Since the income statementIncome StatementThe income statement is one of the company's financial reports that summarizes all of the company's revenues and expenses over time in order to determine the company's profit or loss and measure its business activity over time based on user more is one of the four statements that every investor should look at, you should check both revenue and income. It may so happen that a company earns huge revenues but doesn’t generate any income (rather than loss). What if you just equate the revenue and income? What would you say in this case?

Like income, even loss would come after deducting all the expenses from the company’s revenue. If the total expenses exceed the total revenue, we will get a loss.

Revenue vs. Income Video


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