SG&A Expense Formula + Calculator Excel Template

 In Bookkeeping

In contrast, the cost of goods sold (COGS) is the actual cost incurred to produce and deliver a product. It ranges from the raw materials to make the product, to the shipping costs and taxes required to get it to the buyer. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.

To simplify things, you can also just add together all of your expenses to find your total SG&A expense for the period. Operating costs (OPEX) are expenses companies incur during normal operations. Operating expenses include all of the expenses that aren’t covered under cost of goods sold, such as rent, equipment, and marketing.

  • Selling costs include the salaries and commissions of salespeople, advertising expenses, and shipping expenses.
  • Besides the income statement, SGA accounting entries affect other financial reports.
  • Having a strong sales team is one of the advantages Allstate has against its competition.
  • There are also a few specific accounts that may warrant specific accounting treatment that exclude them from SG&A.

Typically you’ll calculate SG&A when putting together an income statement, which you can do easily with the help of our handy income statement template. The screenshot above is taken from CFI’s financial modeling courses, which cover forecasting SG&A expenses. Likewise, what can be considered a “good” industry average varies by sector, as some industry averages are known to be lower or higher than the general average.

What Is the SG&A Sales Ratio (or Percent of Sales Method)?

Some costs can be either the cost of goods sold or the SG&A expenses. This can make the gross profit margin and the operating profit margin appear to differ, even if the firms are financially identical otherwise. Indirect selling expenses are incurred either before or after the sale is made, and examples include salaries, benefits, and wages for salespeople, travel, and accommodation expenses. As part of its Q financial reporting, Apple reported $12.809 billion of operating expenses for the quarter. Of this, $6.797 billion was research and development, while $6.012 billion was selling, general, and administrative. Although the company does state that increases to SG&A from prior periods relates to headcount, advertising, and professional services, there is little more transparency beyond these notes.

  • Cutting operating expenses can be less damaging to the core business.
  • Understanding SG&A expenses is important for managing overhead costs, knowing where to cut costs if needed, and sustaining profitability.
  • While this is typically synonymous with operating expenses, many times companies list SG&A as a separate line item on the income statement below cost of goods sold, under expenses.
  • In many instances, SG&A expenses and operating expenses are one and the same.
  • These include a statement of cash flows, a statement of financial position and a report on shareholders’ equity.

When conducting comparisons of similar companies, analysts will routinely calculate the operating margin. It allows them to determine which company can better generate operating income. Pricing strategy and labor costs affect operating margin and stakeholders can use the ratio to measure managerial flexibility and competency. Selling expenses are those that are directly related to the sales process and include these types of expenses.

sales, general, and administrative expenses

Human resources are important to companies and perform much of the behind-the-scenes work. They have resulted in blocking the companies from making a product or ordering them to pay settlements. The battle in court is important because it has provided key advantages to both companies over the years. Companies use professional services when employing the services of outside professionals. To get the top salesperson talent, they must offer great compensation. Having a strong sales team is one of the advantages Allstate has against its competition.

Selling, General & Administrative Expense (SG&A) Explained

By analyzing and tracking these expenses, businesses can identify areas of inefficiency and work towards optimizing their operations to improve their bottom line. Selling, general, and administrative expenses are not used in production. Selling expenses are related to the activities that generate sales revenue. Selling expenses are categorized into indirect and direct expenses. SG&A is one of the line items requiring detailed examination when comparing company cost structures and profitability. The break-even point for a company, which is where revenue earned equals the expenses incurred, can be adjusted most easily and efficiently by changing the SG&A cost component.


The calculation excludes interest expense since interest is reported as a “non-operating” expense (i.e. non-core). Likewise, the taxes paid to the government are also not included under the same rationale. SG&A will not include interest expense since interest expense is reported as a nonoperating expense. SG&A expenses as a percent of revenue are generally high for healthcare and telecommunications businesses but relatively low for real estate and energy. For example, companies are often required to maintain insurance and may find it impossible to operate without incurring a cost of maintain its headquarters.

Indirect selling expenses occur throughout the manufacturing process and after the product is finished. Additionally, we will also examine the impact of SGA expenses on a company’s financial statements and overall business performance. Research and development (R&D) expenses are also included in operating expenses. R&D expenses are costs related to the innovation of new products or services.

By keeping close tabs on SG&A expenses, a company can more efficiently manage its overhead, make cost-cutting decisions, and remain profitable. Sometimes, operating expenses are listed under an “operating expenses” heading, though this is not always the case, as seen in these examples. Accounting for SG&A is relatively simple, though it’s important to separate other expenses such as R&D, COGS, non-operating expenses, and depreciation and amortization. Most commonly, non-operating expenses include interest payments, tax provisions, and capital expenditures (CapEx). COGS covers the expenses necessary to manufacture a product, including labor, materials, and related overhead expenses.

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