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Revenue is the money derived from business operations calculated as the average sales price times the number of units sold. You can view it as the top line (or gross income) figure from which costs are subtracted to determine net income. Additionally, there is operating and non-operating income. Operating income is revenue from the sale of goods or services over operating expenses. While non-operating income is infrequent or nonrecurring income gained from secondary sources (lawsuit proceeds). Non-business entities such as governments, nonprofits, or individuals also report revenue, but their calculations and sources vary.

Revenue is significant to companies since it serves as a guide to the health of a business. It can also gauge a business’s value in being acquired or sold to other owners. Investors will better understand how much money companies can earn in the future, and companies can create growth plans. A series of steps must be followed according to the IFRS criteria to recognize revenue.

What is Revenue? 

Revenue is the income an individual or business earns for the sale of products or services offered. The expenses are deducted from a company’s revenue to determine its profit on income statements. Another term used for revenue is “top line” since it is at the top of a company’s income statement. The top line indicates a company’s revenue or gross sales. If they have top-line growth, they are selling more of their products and services. All businesses aim to increase their revenue and lower expenses to gain maximum profit. 

What is the Importance of Revenue? 

Revenue is important due to the likelihood of profitability. To achieve greater profits, revenues have to be raised. At certain times, revenue growth can be more important than profits. If a business is profitable, that does not necessarily mean it generates enough cash flow. Revenue is vital for nearly every type of business, and companies use the revenue to justify fixed and variable expenses they pay to operate. If revenues decline year after year, it means a company is withering. 

What are the Types of Revenue? 

There are two different types of revenue (operating and non-operating). Operating revenue derives from a company’s core business operations and is where companies generally earn most of their income. Things that operating revenue consists of vary on the business or industry. A few examples of operating revenue are sales, rents, and consulting services. Meanwhile, non-operating revenue generates from activities unrelated to your company’s core operations. Some examples are interest revenue and the sale of an asset or equipment. 

How to Calculate Revenue? 

Revenue is important for assessing a business’s performance. Learn how to calculate revenue below. 

  1. The basic revenue formula is: Gross Revenue = Number of Units Sold x Average Price of Goods or Gross Revenue = Number of Units Sold x Average Price of Goods. 
  2. The formula you choose will vary depending on the business type. 
  3. After following the formula, you will arrive at the amount which indicates your revenue value. 

How to Recognize Revenue? 

There are five steps to follow in recognizing revenue: 

  1. Identify the customer contract 
  2. Identify obligations in the customer contract 
  3. Determine the transaction price 
  4. Allocate the transaction price according to performance obligations  
  5. Recognize revenue once all performance obligations are met 

Once you follow all five steps of the revenue recognition process, you can ensure that revenue has been appropriately acknowledged. 

1. Determine the customer contract. 

Contracts are oral or written agreements between two parties and enforceable rights and obligations. The criteria for each contract are the approval and commitment of the parties, identification of the rights of the parties, identification of the payment terms, and the commercial substance of the contract. Another requirement is the probability that the entity will collect the consideration for which it is entitled in exchange for goods and services that will be transferred to a customer. 

2. Evaluate the contract’s performance requirement. 

You should review contracts and establish whether contract modifications are needed to meet the criteria. Oral contracts (retailer point of transactions) should also receive a similar evaluation. If you do not meet the contract criteria, this may preclude an entity from recognizing revenue in the same way that revenue has been recognized historically or by the entity. Identification is the initial step in the revenue recognition process, but the contract terms can greatly impact the timing of revenue recognition. 

3. Identify the contract price. 

The contract price is the amount paid in exchange for the performance obligation. It is the amount of consideration an entity expects for transferring goods or services to a customer. Variable and fixed amounts are included in contract pricing. Variable considerations come in the form of discounts, refunds, concessions, and the right of returns. Non-cash considerations are when customers pay in stocks or other goods and services. 

4. Allocate the transaction fee to the contract’s performance obligation(s). 

Contracts always possess more than one performance obligation. Meaning the total transaction price should be allocated fairly to each one. Ensure the standalone price of the performance obligation is satisfied (it should never be over or underpriced. If it is not possible to identify the standalone, then fair estimations and judgments should be used to determine the overall transaction price. 

5. Acknowledge income when a business meets a performance obligation. 

Management does not have to acknowledge revenue immediately after a sale. The whole 5-step revenue recognition process is required to ensure revenue is achieved. Some complications can occur in the final stage of performance obligations being completed at once or gradually over time. But keep in mind that revenue is acknowledged once performance obligations are satisfied. Then, the whole amount will be recorded. 

When Does Revenue Need to be Reported? 

The timing of revenue recognition relies on two factors. Revenue should be reported when a sale is realized or realizable; you cannot recognize revenue until it is realized. And if a sale has been earned, revenue can be officially recognized and reported. A sale has been earned when an entity has accomplished whatever is needed to access benefits represented by revenue. In cash accounting, revenues and expenses are recorded when cash is received and paid. 

How should Revenue be Recorded on an Income Statement? 

Revenue should always be recorded at the top of an income statement. This value is the gross costs involved in creating the goods sold or in providing services. Some companies may have multiple revenue streams which can be added to a total revenue line. Placing the revenue at the top of the income statement emphasizes the amount and makes it easier to view. 

Where does Revenue Appear on the Balance Sheet? 

Unlike income statements, there is no line on a balance sheet that summarizes revenue and expenses. Businesses with more revenue will increase their assets over time unless an owner decides to withdraw all the company’s earnings in the form of personal draws. Balance sheets typically show how much you have spent or invested and how well you covered your shortfalls. Numerous figures on a balance sheet can indicate the revenue your business has earned. 

Is Revenue Considered Income? 

Revenue is the total amount of income received by the sale of goods and services related to a company’s primary operations. It is also the gross sales presented at the top line. Income (or net income) is a company’s total earnings or profit. Both are beneficial in determining a company’s financial strength, but they are not the same. Income is often viewed as a synonym for revenue since both terms refer to positive cash flow. But income always indicates the total amount of earnings remaining after considering all expenses and additional income. 

What is the Difference between Revenue and Cash Flow 

Revenue is the money a company earns from the sale of its products and services. Meanwhile, cash flow is the net amount of cash transferred into and out of a company. Revenue measures the effectiveness of a company’s sales and marketing. On the other hand, cash flow is a liquidity indicator. Revenue and cash flow should be analyzed to understand a company’s financial health better. 

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