The difference between revenue and sales.

The activities of a commercial organization can be characterized by its revenue and sales. What is their specificity?

What is business revenue?

Under the revenue of a commercial enterprise, it is customary to understand the amount (or a list of property in value terms) that it received as a result of sales or rendering of services within a certain period of time. Based on the difference between revenue and expenses (and sometimes only on the basis of the value of the first indicator), the amount of taxes that the company must pay to the state is determined. An exception is the taxation mechanism, in which the corresponding cash receipts to the company's account are not taken into account: such schemes should include, for example, the UTII system provided for by Russian legislation.

It should be noted that in accordance with some methods of financial analysis, revenue as an economically significant indicator can be reduced by taxes (in this case, it is referred to as “net revenue”).

The approach is widespread, according to which the revenue is classified:

  • into cash receipts from the main business of the firm;
  • for proceeds from investments (for example, in the form of proceeds from the sale of securities);
  • for revenue arising from changes in exchange rates (for example, when exporting goods).

All three types of financial receipts are combined into total revenue. But, as a rule, the efficiency of a business is assessed on the basis of those incomes that are associated with the main activities of the enterprise.

The firm's revenue can be calculated by two methods: cash and accrual. In the first case, it is fixed upon the fact that the company accepts funds to the current account or to the cash desk. In the second, it is calculated when the buyer of goods or consumer of services has obligations confirmed by contract or law related to payment for the delivered products or services.

The main condition for obtaining proceeds from the main activity, regardless of the specific method of its calculation, is the sale of goods or services. Let's consider its specifics in more detail.

What is implementation?

This term corresponds to the line of business of a commercial enterprise, which is associated with the supply of goods or services produced or resold by it to the market. In fact, we are talking about meeting the demand generated by consumers. At the same time, the interaction between them and suppliers within the framework of the implementation may imply not only the actual purchase and sale of goods or services, but also, for example, the organization of their delivery (providing conditions for the provision, when it comes to services), storage, promotion through available channels sales, etc.

The end result of the sale of a good or service is the receipt by an authorized person of payment for the delivered deliveries, which, in fact, forms the proceeds from the main activity (or, if we are talking about the cash method of fixing income, this will be the acceptance of obligations by the buyer on payment for goods or services).It can be noted that, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, cannot be recognized as implementation, in particular:

  • transactions that are associated with currency circulation;
  • transfer of the firm's resources to its successors in the framework of the reorganization of an economic entity;
  • transfer of firm resources to NPOs to carry out non-commercial activities;
  • transfer of investment property under a partnership agreement, as well as into mutual funds established in cooperatives;
  • transfer of property within the framework of concession legal relations;
  • transfer of the resources of a business entity to one of the participants upon leaving the business;
  • transfer of apartments to citizens within the framework of privatization;
  • operations of seizure of property, handling of ownerless things.


There is more than one difference in revenue from sales. This is due to the fact that these terms, although they are used, as a rule, in the same context, nevertheless mean different things.

Revenue is the cash flow received by an organization as a result of a business. At the same time, it is not always associated with sales. The proceeds, as we noted at the beginning of the article, can be, in particular, investment.

Implementation is the part of the business that is most significant in terms of the firm's acquisition of revenue from its core business. It is almost always associated with the sale of goods and services.

Having determined what the difference between revenue and sales is fundamentally, we will reflect the conclusions in a small table.



Revenues Sales
What do they have in common?
Successful sale of a product or service is the main condition for the appearance of proceeds from the main activity of the company
What is the difference between them?
Represents the amount of money received by the organization as a result of commercial activitiesRepresents the line of business of the firm, which is associated with the sale of goods and services
Not always associated with the sale of goods and services (maybe, for example, investment)Almost always associated with the sale of goods and services