“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers…

An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

“The Knowledge Library”

Knowledge for All, without Barriers……….
An Initiative by: Kausik Chakraborty.

The Knowledge Library

Difference between Capital Expenditure and Revenue Expenditure

Capital expenditures and revenue expenditures are the two main forms of expenses. To accurately account for these expenses, business entities must be able to pinpoint the costs associated with these categories. Understanding their fundamentals and points of difference will also help you manage them more successfully, which will enable sustainable earnings.

What is Capital Expenditure?

Those funds are known as capital expenditures, or CAPEX that are used to purchase, maintain, or upgrade long-term assets. Such costs are typically infrequent and are incurred to increase a company’s long-term proficiency. Purchasing tangible assets like plants, plots, equipment, furniture, and fixtures as well as intangible assets like patents, licenses, and trademarks are some effective capital expenses. In general, CAPEX affects a company’s short- and long-term financial position and also contributes to the growth of its overall operations over time. The CAPEX formula is as follows:

Capital expenditure = Net increase in PP & E + Depreciation Expense

The same is acknowledged in a company’s balance sheet, directly under the heading of “fixed assets,” as well as in its cash flow statement. Here, it is important to remember that capital expenses are capitalized. Depreciation is additionally added to CAPEX each year and is one of the key distinctions between capital expenditure and revenue expenditure.

Capital Expenditure Types

The following types of capital expenditures are used to classify them:

  1. Cost-cutting expenses incurred by a company
  2. Expenses that increase overall income
  3. Expenses incurred for reasons other than profit

CAPEX is known by the following headings in terms of outlay:

  • Usual Expenditures
  • Major initiatives
  • Replacement

Taking this into consideration, let’s move on to learn the fundamentals of revenue expenses in order to better comprehend the difference between capital and revenue expenditures.

What is a Revenue Expenditure?

The costs a business incurs while operating are referred to as revenue expenditures or operating expenses (OPEX). It can be characterized as the total costs incurred by businesses during the course of their production activities. In most cases, these expenses do not lead to the creation of assets, and the advantages of OPEX are only valid for one accounting year.

They typically are not in charge of creating or enhancing a company’s ability to make money. Regardless, they are essential for generating revenue within a specific accounting period and play a significant part in managing operational activities and assets more effectively.

Examples of some of the numerous revenue expenditures include rent, wages, commissions, salaries, and freight costs. Importantly, it is advantageous to categorize costs as OPEX depending on elements such as the type of business operation, the purpose of a venture, the frequency of operations, etc. Revenue and expenditures for a given accounting period are shown in a company’s income statement in terms of accounting treatment. The same, though, is not indicated in the company’s balance sheet. Due to their recurrence, such expenses might also qualify for tax deductions during a specific accounting period. It should also be known that OPEX costs are not capitalized and do not affect by depreciation.

Revenue Expenditure Types

In general, there are two categories into which revenue expenditures can be divided:

  • Direct Expenses

The majority of these costs are incurred during the production process. Direct wages, freight charges, import duties, commissions, rent, legal fees, and electricity costs are some of the most typical direct expenses.

  • Indirect Expenses

These costs are related to the marketing and supply of finished goods and services. They cover sales commissions, maintenance, interest, commission, depreciation, rent, and taxes, among other things. These expenses might also include the money used to manage ongoing administrative costs.

Difference between Capital Expenditure and Revenue Expenditure

Let us use the above information to determine how closely or distantly related capital expenses and revenue expenses are to one another.

Parameters Capital Expenditure Revenue Expenditure
Definition A company’s capital expenditures are the funds used to purchase assets or raise the quality of already-owned ones. Revenue expenditures are the funds used by business entities to continue running their regular operations.
Time Span They occur for a longer duration. Revenue expenses typically only last for one accounting year and are incurred for a shorter period.
Treatment in accounting books The cash flow statement of a business includes CAPEX. Additionally, it is listed under “fixed assets” on a company’s balance sheet. OPEX is mentioned in a company’s income statement, but it is not always included in the balance sheet.
Purpose A business pays for these costs to increase its ability to make money. In order to maintain its profitability, a business must bear such costs.
Yield These expenses have a yield that is typically long-term and not just annual. Most of the time, the yield of these costs is restricted to the current accounting period.
Occurrence Commonly, CAPEX is not exactly repeated. OPEX makes up recurrent expenses.
Capitalization of expenses Capital expenses are capitalized. Revenue expenses are not capitalized.
Effect of Depreciation Depreciation of assets is charged on capital expenses. Depreciation of assets is not levied on revenue expenditure.
Examples Purchase of Machinery or patent, copyright, installation of equipment and fixture, etc. Wages, salary, utility bills printing and stationery, inventory, postage, insurance, taxes and maintenance cost, among others.


A company generally uses capital expenditures for long-term investments. For example, it may buy land to expand its business to new areas, and buildings to improve manufacturing and warehouse including technology to grow its business. Therefore, if any property provides long-term benefits to a company, the purchase of this property by the company will be recorded as a capital expenditure. On the other hand, revenue expenditures are for a short duration during the current period. They include ongoing operational costs for running a business such as rent, business travel, salaries, etc.

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