Types of expenses in commercial and industrial companies

Types of expenses in commercial and industrial companies

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In the business world, financial management is one of the fundamentals of success and continuity, and while many focus on revenues and profits, some overlook the importance of understanding expenses that form an integral part of the financial performance of any company. Imagine that managing expenses is like steering a huge ship. If you do not know every little detail about the costs you incur, you may find yourself in a sea of financial missteps. So in this article, we will take you on an exciting journey to explore the types of expenses in accounting, as we will reveal precise and basic details that will help you understand how to manage these expenses efficiently to achieve the maximum possible benefit for your business. We will also tell you what selling and marketing expenses are and many more, so let’s start this fun financial journey and learn about the secrets behind the numbers.

What are expenses in accounting?

In accounting, expenses are defined as cash outflows from a company that are used to achieve operating and investment purposes, as well as expenses necessary to obtain a product or service or to complete a specific process. These expenses are an essential part of managing the financial affairs of any company, as they reflect the various expenses that the company incurs during a specific period of time.

The importance of expenses in accounting

Expenses play a vital role in clarifying the financial position of the company. They help determine profitability and operational efficiency. Tracking and recording them accurately allows financial management to monitor performance and make strategic decisions related to costs and possible improvements. Therefore, understanding expenses and classifying them correctly can lead to improved resource management and increased operational efficiency.

Types of expenses in accounting

There are many types of expenses in accounting based on their nature and purpose, and they can be classified into the following:

revenue expenses

These are the expenses that companies spend to obtain immediate services related to one accounting cycle and are characterized by their direct connection to the company’s functions, such as production, sales, distribution, and management.

These expenses vary due to the many activities that support the continuation of the company’s work, directly or indirectly, and include:

Selling expenses

Selling expenses are the expenses incurred by the company to distribute and sell its products. Some of these expenses may be subject to agreement between the seller and the buyer, and among these expenses are:

  • Expenses for shipping, transporting, and distributing goods include the costs of transporting goods to customers.
  • Agent and sales commissions: Expenses paid to agents and representatives who contribute to sales.
  • Advertising expenses: costs related to promoting products and increasing brand awareness.
  • Packaging expenses: This includes the costs of packaging materials needed to protect the products during shipping.
  • Insurance expenses for goods sold: insurance costs to cover goods during transportation to the customer.

Administrative and general expenses

These are expenses that are not allocated to a specific operation or department within the company but rather are spent to support the general and administrative operations of the company. It is worth noting that these expenses are distributed among all departments of the company and help in maintaining a smooth and orderly workflow.

Financial expenses

These are expenses related to banking and financing transactions. They include costs associated with loans, interest, and other expenses related to financing business operations. They vary based on the nature of banking financing and investments. Among these expenses are:

  • Loan expenses: These include the costs of obtaining loans, such as bank fees and loan preparation costs.
  • Receivable interest: interest costs paid on loans and financing obtained by the company.
  • Highest debit balance commission: fee charged when the debit balance exceeds a certain threshold.
  • Loan late payment fees: fines imposed as a result of late repayment of loans on the specified dates.
  • Credit facility expenses: costs associated with obtaining credit facilities from banks and financial institutions.

Purchase expenses

They include secondary costs associated with the process of purchasing goods and services, depend on agreements between the seller and buyer, and can include:

  • Purchase shipping and transportation expenses: related to transporting goods from the seller’s location to the buyer’s location.
  • Insurance expenses for purchased goods include insurance costs to cover potential risks during the transportation process.
  • Customs duties on purchased goods: duties paid when importing goods across borders.
  • Buying Agents Commission: Costs paid to agents who contribute to the purchasing process.
  • Other expenses may include inspection, storage, and packaging fees.

Operating expenses

It is one of the types of expenses in accounting, which are expenses related to operating and manufacturing operations that ensure the continuity of the company’s activity. These expenses include:

  • Wages of workers within production lines: Include wages paid to workers who participate in the production process, not salaries of administrative employees.
  • Equipment, tools, and supply maintenance expenses: maintenance costs necessary to maintain equipment in good condition and ensure continued production.
  • Temporary labor wages are temporary labor hiring costs that are used to cover periods of overtime or special projects.
  • Spare parts expenses: expenses related to purchasing spare parts needed to maintain equipment.
  • Operating and material expenses include the costs of raw materials and consumables used in production operations.

capital expenses

It is money that is spent to obtain a long-term benefit that exceeds one fiscal year, aims to develop assets, expand them, and increase their production capacities, and includes multiple subtypes, including:

Addition expenses

It includes new capital investment by increasing the utilized capacity and expanding the purchase of the company’s fixed assets, such as purchasing new equipment or expanding production facilities.

Improvement expenses

It is one of the types of expenses in accounting, which are expenses that are spent to improve the productive work of the company’s assets and equipment used in production. These improvements lead to an increase in the production rate and a reduction in operating costs. An example of this is replacing one part of the machine with another, more efficient one.

Replacement expenses

Expenses incurred to replace an existing asset with another part that helps maintain or increase production capacity, such as replacing tires on trucks or machinery,.

Deferred revenue expenses

Although revenue expenditures are known to be periodic in nature, there is another type called deferred revenue expenditures. These expenses are paid to obtain services that can be used over more than one financial cycle, and they have several distinctive characteristics, including:

  • Obtaining short-term services for a longer period: It aims to provide short-term services that benefit the company for more than one financial period.
  • A larger volume than normal revenue expenses: These expenses are distinguished by their large size compared to normal revenue expenses, as the company invests larger amounts.
  • A direct relationship with revenues: It is linked to the volume of revenues achieved in more than one financial period, which makes it an essential part of the company’s strategy.

Establishment expenses

It is one of the types of expenses in accounting, which are the amounts spent by the company owner during the period of establishment and preparation for the start of operations. These expenses are subject to special treatment in accordance with international and local accounting standards, such as International Standard 38 and Egyptian Standard 23, which consider them expenses related to the period. Establishment expenses include several items, the most prominent of which are:

  • Branding includes costs spent on promoting and spreading the brand.
  • Research and development: These expenses are spent on developing new products or processes based on scientific research, and some of these expenses are postponed for future periods if the following conditions are met:
  1. Clarity and definition of the good or process: The good must be clearly defined, and its expenses can be easily separated from other expenses.
  2. Proven technical feasibility: There must be practical proof of the technical feasibility of the product or process that has been developed.
  3. Capacity to produce and market: The company must be able to produce, market, or use the developed commodity.
  4. Market indicators: There must be clear indicators of market demand for the developed goods.
  5. Sufficient resources: There must be sufficient resources in the company, or expected to be available, to market the developed product.

What is the difference between prepaid expenses and accrued expenses?

Although both types relate to expenses and are one of the types of expenses in accounting, they differ significantly in terms of timing and financial management.

The difference Prepaid expenses Accrued expenses
Timing Paid during the current financial period, but for future financial periods. It is for the current financial period but has not yet been paid.
recording in accounting books They are recorded as assets on the balance sheet and then converted to expenses when they are used. They are recorded as liabilities on the balance sheet until they are paid.
Financial impact Leading to cash outflow in the current period, but relieving financial pressure in future periods. It leads to current financial obligations that require cash outflows in future periods.
Examples Payment of rent for property or equipment for a future period. Electricity, water, and gas costs that are due for the current period but have not been paid.

Illustrative examples of accrued expenses

Company (XYZ) has a number of employees who work weekly and are paid at the end of each month. Let us assume that in the last week of May, the company incurred SAR 10,000 in wages for that week. However, the company will not issue salary checks until the first week of June. How are these wages treated in the company’s accounting books?

Recording the accrued expense

At the end of May, the company must record SAR 10,000 as accrued wages in its books. This amount is an accrued expense. Because it relates to a current fiscal period (May), even though the actual payment will be made in a subsequent fiscal period (June), this amount is recorded in the balance sheet under accumulated expenses or current liabilities. This reflects the company’s financial commitment to its employees.

How to record wages due in accounting books

At the end of May, the wages due are recorded in the accounting journal as follows:

  • Debit: Expenses account (wages) with a value of 10,000 Saudi riyals.
  • Credit: Liabilities account (wages due) with a value of 10,000 Saudi riyals.

When wages are actually paid in the first week of June, another accounting entry is made to remove the obligation and record the actual payment:

  • Debit: Liabilities account (wages owed) with a value of 10,000 Saudi riyals.
  • Credit: A cash (or bank) account with a value of 10,000 Saudi riyals.

A sample expense report

If you are looking for a model to understand expenses, just click here.

How to add expenses to the Qoyod program

You just have to follow these steps:

  • Log in to the Qoyod website.

كيفية إضافة المصاريف على برنامج قيود

  • Choose Accounting from the available options, then click on the Chart of Accounts.

 اضغط على شجرة الحسابات.

  • Suppose you have chosen government fees from the available options. Click the (+) sign to create a new account.

اضغط على شجرة الحسابات.

  • A form will appear; fill it out with the required data.

 نموذج قم بملئه بالبيانات المطلوبة.

  • After that, we will go to the Products section, choose the products, and a form will appear for you, which you can also fill out as appropriate.

 قسم المنتجات والتكاليف،

  • Finally, we will go to the purchasing department to prove the expense.

 قسم المنتجات والتكاليف،

  • There, we choose to add a new purchase invoice. We will fill out the form in front of us, and then we click Save.


Having learned the types of expenses in accounting, we realize that managing expenses effectively is not just a matter of financial organization but rather an essential element that determines a company’s ability to grow and prosper. Transparency and accuracy in recording expenses not only contribute to achieving compliance with accounting standards but also enhance the confidence of investors and shareholders, paving the way towards a stable and successful financial future. So mastering these distinctions and standards is not only an accounting challenge; it is a key to achieving sustainable financial excellence.

It is worth noting that the Qoyod program is an accounting program that enables you to add expenses with ease. It also provides you with electronic invoice systems, as well as a system for points of sale, stores, customers, and so on.

Dear reader, after knowing what types of expenses are in accounting, try Qoyod now for free for 14 days, a high-quality accounting software.

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