Cost of Good Sold: COGS Meaning and Whats Included

By 22 febrero, 2023noviembre 2nd, 2023No Comments

COGS is the accounting term used to describe the expenses incurred to produce the goods sold by a company. These are direct costs only, and only businesses with a product to sell can list COGS on their income statement. When subtracted from revenue, COGS helps determine a company’s gross profit.

Rachel is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes blog articles, eGuides, and other resources to help small business owners master their logistics. By correctly determining how much money you spend acquiring or making goods, you empower your business to make better decisions based on that information. In this article, we’ll break down what COGS is, why it’s important for your business, and how to calculate how to pay your taxes it, and how to use it in relation to other important metrics. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or International Accounting Standards, nor are any accepted for most income or other tax reporting purposes. The same thing is typically done for other surcharges and even sales tax paid that you’re not going to get back for some reason. Periodic physical inventory and valuation are performed to calculate ending inventory.

If you’re not sure what to include, consult a tax professional who can give you more tailored advice. Because shipping of the final product is not considered part of the production, it is included on the P&L as a Cost of Sales. Shipping costs can vary from one shipment to the next because of shipping methods, expedited shipping costs, changes in fuel costs, etc. And since this expense of shipping to the customer is directly related to the sale of the product, we include it in the Cost of Sales, and also in the gross profit calculation. Cost of goods sold (COGS) is calculated by adding up the various direct costs required to generate a company’s revenues. Importantly, COGS is based only on the costs that are directly utilized in producing that revenue, such as the company’s inventory or labor costs that can be attributed to specific sales.


Correctly calculating the cost of goods sold is an important step in accounting. Any money your business brings in over the cost of goods sold for a time period can be allotted to overhead costs, and whatever is leftover is your business’s profit. Without properly calculating the cost of goods sold, you will not be able to determine your profit margin, or if your business is making a profit in the first place. Cost of goods sold, or COGS, is the total cost a business has paid out of pocket to sell a product or service.

  • Having this information lets you calculate the true cost of goods sold in the calendar year.
  • Without properly calculating the cost of goods sold, you will not be able to determine your profit margin, or if your business is making a profit in the first place.
  • The cost of goods sold (COGS) also known as cost of sales is the total expense or total cost of producing a product that has been sold.
  • First in, first out, also known as FIFO, is an assessment management method where assets produced or purchased first are sold first.

The most common way to calculate COGS is to take the beginning annual inventory amount, add all purchases, and then subtract the year-ending inventory from that total. Costs of revenue exist for ongoing contract services that can include raw materials, direct labor, shipping costs, and commissions paid to sales employees. These items cannot be claimed as COGS without a physically produced product to sell, however.

Cost of revenue refers to costs paid for contract services, such as labor services or sales commissions. In order for these costs of revenue to count as COGS, the IRS dictates that services rendered must produce a physical product that is sold. Keep in mind that the costs accrued in producing products that remain unsold at the end of a given accounting period are also excluded from COGS. Instead, they’re counted as beginning inventory for the next calculation period.

Understanding how COGS impacts your business

Then when items get sold, the POS automatically records which items have been sold and what their cost price is. And that’s why it can be hard to calculate and forecast correctly, said Ecommerce Intelligence’s Turner. “The cost of raw materials and manufacturing, employees involved in fulfillment, shipping, and freight prices all impact COGS. Price fluctuations in any of these categories will often impact COGS,” he said. “COGS are typically those expenses that are directly attributable to the acquisition of inventory and bringing it to the location of sale.

If the cost goes up during the year, you have to figure this increase into your COGS equation. The IRS has several approved ways to account for changes in costs during the year without having to track each product price individually. The agency allows small businesses (with annual gross receipts of $25 million or less) to not keep an inventory if they use a way of accounting for inventory that “clearly reflects income.” This method values inventory using the average cost for the period. It combines costs from the entire period and considers price fluctuations.

Cost per unit

While this movement is beneficial for income tax purposes, the business will have less profit for its shareholders. Businesses thus try to keep their COGS low so that net profits will be higher. Cost of goods sold directly impacts your company’s profits as COGS is subtracted from revenue.

I would assume no as that shipping cost is included in the cost of membership? But say the company instead decides to incur the total shipping cost, would that now count towards COGS? Got very lost when trying to attempt to understand some accounting articles.

Operating expenses vs. COGS:

Beginning and ending inventory can be extracted from the balance sheet for the previous period and this period. When applying for the Clover Account experience without hardware, the monthly software fee is waived for 90 days. After the 90-day trial period, the cost for Virtual Terminal is $14.95 per month when no other software plan is in effect.

Consequently, their values are recorded as different line items on a company’s income statement. But both of these expenses are subtracted from the company’s total sales or revenue figures. Both operating expenses and cost of goods sold (COGS) are expenditures that companies incur with running their business; however, the expenses are segregated on the income statement. Unlike COGS, operating expenses (OPEX) are expenditures that are not directly tied to the production of goods or services. The cost of goods sold (COGS) is a crucial metric that measures the direct costs involved in producing or acquiring the products that you sell. In other words, it’s the total amount of money you spend on materials, labor and manufacturing expenses to create your product.

Therefore, it’s important to do physical inventory counts to verify whether your records are accurate. This will then allow you to accurately calculate your COGS, and minimize the impact of human error. Additionally, COGS can’t be helpful if it’s calculated using inaccurate data.

What does COGS stand for?

Since revenue means the total sales of a company’s product or services, and the cost of goods sold is the accumulated cost of creating the products or goods. Another option is to explore alternative delivery methods like dropshipping or using a fulfillment center that offers discounted rates on bulk orders. By being strategic about how you handle shipping costs, you can reduce your overall expenses and improve profitability without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. To calculate COGS accurately, start by determining your beginning inventory for the period in question. This represents how much inventory you had at the beginning of a particular month or year. Then add up all purchases made during that time frame – this could include raw materials, packaging supplies or finished products purchased from a supplier.

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