Glossary definition

What is an expense?

Expense

In accounting, an expense refers to any cost that contributes to a company’s overall cost of doing business. That is, any costs incurred as a result of a company’s attempted or successful revenue production. Expenses may include cash, cash equivalents, and depreciation.

Some common examples of expenses include:
• Employee wages
• Rent or property lease
• Utility bills
• Advertising
• Cost of goods sold

Every company faces unavoidable expenses, meaning costs that are necessary to maintain normal business operation. A more general expense definition is any cost an individual or organization incurs within a specified period.

From cash flow challenge to smart money management

90% of business failures are caused by cash flow problems. Discover how to go from having a cash flow challenge to smart money management.

Download Guide
Tax prep strategies for Small Business Owners

Subscribe to our Sage Advice Newsletter

Get our latest business advice delivered directly to your inbox.