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Profit, in accounting, is an income distributed to the owner in a profitable market production process (business). Profit is a measure of profitability which is the owner's major interest in the income-formation process of market production. There are several profit measures in common use.
Income formation in market production is always a balance between income generation and income distribution. The income generated is always distributed to the stakeholders of production as economic value within the review period. The profit is the share of income formation the owner is able to keep to themselves in the income distribution process. Profit is one of the major sources of economic well-being because it means incomes and opportunities to develop production. The words "income", "profit" and "earnings" are synonyms in this context.
There are several important profit measures in common use. Note that the words earnings, profit and income are used as substitutes in some of these terms.
To accountants, economic profit, or EP, is a single-period metric to determine the value created by a company in one period—usually a year. It is earnings after tax less the equity charge, a risk-weighted cost of capital. This is almost identical to the economists' definition of economic profit.
There are analysts who see the benefit in making adjustments to economic profit such as eliminating the effect of amortized goodwill or capitalizing expenditure on brand advertising to show its value over multiple accounting periods. The underlying concept was first introduced by Eugen Schmalenbach, but the commercial application of the concept of adjusted economic profit was by Stern Stewart & Co. which has trade-marked their adjusted economic profit as Economic Value Added (EVA).
Optimum profit is a theoretical measure and denotes the "right" level of profit a business can achieve. In the business, this figure takes account of marketing strategy, market position, and other methods of increasing returns above the competitive rate.
Accounting profits should include economic profits, which are also called economic rents. For instance, a monopoly can have very high economic profits, and those profits might include a rent on some natural resource that a firm owns, whereby that resource cannot be easily duplicated by other firms.
Income is the consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expressed in monetary terms.
In accounting, revenue is the income or increase in net assets that an entity has from its normal activities. Commercial revenue may also be referred to as sales or as turnover. Some companies receive revenue from interest, royalties, or other fees. "Revenue" may refer to income in general, or it may refer to the amount, in a monetary unit, earned during a period of time, as in "Last year, Company X had revenue of $42 million". Profits or net income generally imply total revenue minus total expenses in a given period. In accounting, in the balance statement, revenue is a subsection of the Equity section and revenue increases equity, it is often referred to as the "top line" due to its position on the income statement at the very top. This is to be contrasted with the "bottom line" which denotes net income.
An income statement or profit and loss account is one of the financial statements of a company and shows the company's revenues and expenses during a particular period.
A company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is an accounting measure calculated using a company's earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are subtracted, as a proxy for a company's current operating profitability.
In corporate finance, free cash flow (FCF) or free cash flow to firm (FCFF) is a way of looking at a business's cash flow to see what is available for distribution among all the securities holders of a corporate entity. This may be useful to parties such as equity holders, debt holders, preferred stock holders, and convertible security holders when they want to see how much cash can be extracted from a company without causing issues to its operations.
The national income and product accounts (NIPA) are part of the national accounts of the United States. They are produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce. They are one of the main sources of data on general economic activity in the United States.
In accounting and finance, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) is a measure of a firm's profit that includes all incomes and expenses except interest expenses and income tax expenses.
In business, the difference between the sale price and the production cost of a product is the unit profit. In economics, the sum of the unit profit, the unit depreciation cost, and the unit labor cost is the unit value added. Summing value added per unit over all units sold is total value added. Total value added is equivalent to revenue less intermediate consumption. Value added is a higher portion of revenue for integrated companies, e.g., manufacturing companies, and a lower portion of revenue for less integrated companies, e.g., retail companies. Total value added is very closely approximated by compensation of employees plus earnings before taxes. The first component is a return to labor and the second component is a return to capital. In national accounts used in macroeconomics, it refers to the contribution of the factors of production, i.e., capital and labor, to raising the value of a product and corresponds to the incomes received by the owners of these factors. The national value added is shared between capital and labor, and this sharing gives rise to issues of distribution.
In business and accounting, net income is an entity's income minus cost of goods sold, expenses, depreciation and amortization, interest, and taxes for an accounting period.
In business, operating margin—also known as operating income margin, operating profit margin, EBIT margin and return on sales (ROS)—is the ratio of operating income to net sales, usually expressed in percent.
In financial accounting, operating cash flow (OCF), cash flow provided by operations, cash flow from operating activities (CFO) or free cash flow from operations (FCFO), refers to the amount of cash a company generates from the revenues it brings in, excluding costs associated with long-term investment on capital items or investment in securities. Operating activities include any spending or sources of cash that’s involved in a company’s day-to-day business activities. The International Financial Reporting Standards defines operating cash flow as cash generated from operations, less taxation and interest paid, gives rise to operating cash flows. To calculate cash generated from operations, one must calculate cash generated from customers and cash paid to suppliers. The difference between the two reflects cash generated from operations.
The value product (VP) is an economic concept formulated by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy during the 1860s, and used in Marxian social accounting theory for capitalist economies. Its annual monetary value is approximately equal to the netted sum of six flows of income generated by production:
Operating surplus is an accounting concept used in national accounts statistics and in corporate and government accounts. It is the balancing item of the Generation of Income Account in the UNSNA. It may be used in macro-economics as a proxy for total pre-tax profit income, although entrepreneurial income may provide a better measure of business profits. According to the 2008 SNA, it is the measure of the surplus accruing from production before deducting property income, e.g., land rent and interest.
For households and individuals, gross income is the sum of all wages, salaries, profits, interest payments, rents, and other forms of earnings, before any deductions or taxes. It is opposed to net income, defined as the gross income minus taxes and other deductions.
In economics, gross value added (GVA) is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. "Gross value added is the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumption; it is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an individual producer, industry or sector; gross value added is the source from which the primary incomes of the SNA are generated and is therefore carried forward into the primary distribution of income account."
In bookkeeping, accounting, and finance, net sales are operating revenues earned by a company for selling its products or rendering its services. Also referred to as revenue, they are reported directly on the income statement as Sales or Net sales.
Production is a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs in order to make something for consumption (output). It is the act of creating an output, a good or service which has value and contributes to the utility of individuals. The area of economics that focuses on production is referred to as production theory, which in many respects is similar to the consumption theory in economics.
In insurance, Deferred Acquisition Costs (DAC) is an asset on the balance sheet representing the deferral of the cost of acquiring new insurance contracts, thereby amortising the costs over their duration. Insurance companies face large upfront costs incurred in issuing new business, such as commissions to sales agents, underwriting, bonus interest and other acquisition expenses.
In U.S. business and financial accounting, the income is generally defined by GAAP and the Financial Accounting Standards Board as: Revenues - Expenses; however, many people use it as shorthand for net income, which is the amount of money that a company earns after covering all of its costs as well as taxes.
A financial ratio or accounting ratio is a relative magnitude of two selected numerical values taken from an enterprise's financial statements. Often used in accounting, there are many standard ratios used to try to evaluate the overall financial condition of a corporation or other organization. Financial ratios may be used by managers within a firm, by current and potential shareholders (owners) of a firm, and by a firm's creditors. Financial analysts use financial ratios to compare the strengths and weaknesses in various companies. If shares in a company are traded in a financial market, the market price of the shares is used in certain financial ratios.
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