Understanding Cost of Goods Sold COGS

It does not include the electric bill to run an oven, packages for the bread, or anything the customer doesn’t need to enjoy the product. CoGS don’t include any part of the upkeep it takes to maintain the space where customers will find and buy an item. As a result, these are all expenses that contribute to the end cost of the product. During times of inflation, LIFO leads to a higher reported COGS on your financial statements and lower taxable income.

  • For instance, a high COGS can start to eat into your profit margins and make sustainable growth difficult.
  • While COGS is a very useful metric to look at, it can’t do everything.
  • Calculating your COGS helps you deduct those costs from the product you sell.
  • By being strategic about how you handle shipping costs, you can reduce your overall expenses and improve profitability without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction.
  • These will usually be related to labor and operational costs necessary to get products into the hands of customers, said Turner.

The cost is also important, as it impacts the tax details of a business’s expenses. In more detail, CoGS are the ingredients and materials that cost a business to provide it. Operating expenses and cost of goods sold are two different expenses that occur in your daily business operations.

It’s important for businesses to accurately determine which costs are eligible for inclusion in COGS in order to properly calculate profits and taxes owed. Consulting with an accountant or financial advisor may help clarify any confusion surrounding these calculations. Interestingly, employee payroll can be classified as either type of expense, depending on the specific type of labor involved.

What Is Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)?

The two main benefits of setting up a business are to solve customers’ needs and make a profit. In as much as business owners seek to create products or offer services that provide innovative solutions to their customer’s problems, they also want to make money while doing that. Calculating your COGS is essential for determining your gross profit margin, which is what’s left over after deducting COGS from your revenue.

  • Further, this method is typically used in industries that sell unique items like cars, real estate, and rare and precious jewels.
  • Let’s chat with marketing regarding new campaigns and with supply chain to ensure we can handle the added shipping volume without excessive delays in light of the pandemic.
  • At the end of the year, on December 31, 2022, your ending inventory is $6,000.
  • ShipBob’s inventory management software provides ecommerce merchants with visibility into key data and powerful analytics through the ShipBob dashboard.
  • For e-commerce companies, both revenue and COGS must be recognized when the product has shipped.

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on the specific circumstances. That cost does not contribute to the manufacturing of the business’ product, so it is not part of COGS. Cost of goods sold (COGS) includes any expenditure that was necessary for the manufacture of a product sold by a company. It is solely made up of direct costs and can reduce a company’s tax liability. While our 40% margin is standard for our industry, our competitors are outperforming us with 50%+ margins on similar products.

How do you calculate the COGS?

In addition to COGS, there are a few other formulas businesses will need to use to understand their overall profitability and business health. Since this method isn’t affected by net burn vs gross burn: burn rate guide for startups purchase or production date, the COGS is less likely to be impacted by cost fluctuations. While “cost of goods sold” and “cost of sales” sound similar, they are different things.

What is cost of goods sold?

Operating expenses are a much larger bucket, said Hillary Senko Cullum, a wholesale and retail consultant operating at HSC Advisors. Clover Reporting and other inventory management apps, like SKU IQ, can make it easy to pull these numbers right from your retail POS system and feed them into the COGS formula. To calculate your cost of goods sold, use our calculator below.

Whenever you pay for shipping out to your customer, this is not included in COGS but is a monthly expense. This expense of shipping to the customer is directly related to the sale of the product, so we include it in the Cost of Sales section and include it in the gross profit calculation. Brands with brick-and-mortar stores will usually have additional expenses which will need to be included in their total COGS. These will usually be related to labor and operational costs necessary to get products into the hands of customers, said Turner. A company must shrewdly budget for its operating expenses while maintaining its competitive edge. After all, these costs are incurred regardless of sales figures.


Cost of goods sold includes any direct costs that a business incurs in the manufacture, purchase and sale or resale of products. She buys machines A and B for 10 each, and later buys machines C and D for 12 each. Under specific identification, the cost of goods sold is 10 + 12, the particular costs of machines A and C. If she uses average cost, her costs are 22 ( (10+10+12+12)/4 x 2). Thus, her profit for accounting and tax purposes may be 20, 18, or 16, depending on her inventory method.

Information Needed to Calculate Cost of Goods Sold

In other words, the newest inventory is the first to leave the warehouse and get shipped to the customer. FIFO, or the “first-in-first-out” method, assumes that the first goods that are purchased or produced are the first to be sold. In other words, the oldest inventory is the first to leave the warehouse and get shipped to the customer. In all these scenarios, your financials will not accurately reflect your financial reality, and may result in under-reporting of your COGS. This means that your gross profit margin recorded will be higher than your actual profit, inflating your net income. Another limitation of COGS is that it’s relatively easy for unscrupulous accountants and managers to manipulate.

A business’s cost of goods sold can also shine a light on areas where it can cut back to make more profit. You might be surprised to find that you’re making less profit than you expected with certain products. By analyzing the cost of goods sold for certain products, you can change vendors to order cheaper materials or raise your prices to increase your profit.

This information can help you make better decisions on investments – whether you need to invest more in your operations or improve the way you manage your inventory. Reducing your cost of goods sold should be an ongoing process rather than a one-time endeavor as it helps you stay competitive while increasing profits over time. When it comes to lowering your cost of goods sold and reducing shipping expenses, there are several strategies you can try. For example, you could negotiate better rates with carriers or find ways to consolidate shipments so that each individual shipment is less expensive. If the company is paying the supplier for shipping, even when they forward that cost on to the member, it is still part of the COGS because the company does, in fact, incur a cost.

When prices are rising, the goods with higher costs are sold first and the closing inventory will be higher. First in, first out, also known as FIFO, is an assessment management method where assets produced or purchased first are sold first. This method is best for perishables and products with a short shelf life. Any property held by a business may decline in value or be damaged by unusual events, such as a fire. The loss of value where the goods are destroyed is accounted for as a loss, and the inventory is fully written off. Generally, such loss is recognized for both financial reporting and tax purposes.

When those raw materials are shipped to the place of business, even a home, the shipping costs count toward COGS. Examples of what can be listed as COGS include the cost of materials, labor, and the wholesale price of goods that are resold, such as in grocery stores, overhead, and storage. Any business supplies not used directly for manufacturing a product are not included in COGS. An important distinction to note is the difference between COGS and operating expenses (commonly referred to as OpEx). In the Zappos example, while the factory machinery is part of COGS, the electricity, factory supervisor’s salary, and rent are not.