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How Is Net Income Different From Profit?

4 min read

Net Income vs. Profit: An Overview

In everyday use, many terms in business and finance have different or even unclear definitions. In the context of finance or accounting, some concepts that the average person may use interchangeably have highly specific definitions. Consider the terms profit and net income. Though both expressions refer to a surplus of revenue over expenses, their definitions and applications differ significantly.

Net Income

A company’s net income is the outcome of a number of calculations that begin with sales and include all expenses and sources of income for a particular period. The net income is the sum of all income minus all expenses. Manufacturing costs, operating costs, interest paid on loans or accrued from investments, new income streams from subsidiary holdings or asset sales, asset depreciation and amortization, taxes, and even one-time payments for unique events are all included.

The concept of net income, often known as net profit or net earnings, is a real one. The renowned bottom line of an income statement is the figure that most thoroughly indicates a business’s profitability—and is used in publicly traded firms to calculate their earnings per share (EPS).

Net income, like other accounting indicators, can be manipulated using strategies like aggressive revenue recognition or cost hiding. Investors and analysts examine the validity of the figures used to arrive at the business’s taxable income as well as its net income when making an investment choice or analyzing it.

How To Calculate Net Income

Net income is calculated by the equation:

Revenue – Expenses = Net Income

After all business expenses are eliminated, net income is the entire income from revenue (sales and other income). The income statement of the company can be used to acquire revenue and expense figures.


Net income is linked with a specific amount, profit on the other hand can related to a variety of statistics. Profit is simply revenue that remains after expenses are deducted, and corporate accountants calculate profit on several levels.

Gross profit, for example, is revenue less a specific sort of expense: cost of goods sold (COGS). The term “gross profit” is also known as “gross margin” or “gross income.” Revenue minus COGS and operational expenses equals operating profit; all costs, both fixed and variable, that are required to keep the business functioning must be included.

Companies can determine which expenses take the biggest bite out of the bottom line by calculating profit at various stages.

Profitability in its different forms responsible for a substantial portion of business performance. Some analysts are interested in top-line profitability, whereas others are only concerned with profitability after all expenses have been paid, such as taxes and interest.

How To Calculate Net Profit

The calculations for each are as follows:

  • Gross profit: Revenue – COGS
  • Operating profit: Gross profit – operating expenses – depreciation – amortization
  • Net profit: Total revenue – total expenses

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