Gross Sales vs Net Sales: Understanding Key Metrics

what is gross sales

There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL connecting the income statement and balance sheet command or malformed data. Suppose an eCommerce store had 200k total product orders in the past fiscal year.

what is gross sales

If there are minor issues with the delivered product after a sales transaction but it is still usable, the seller and customer might agree to a compromise. Rather than the customer having to return the goods, the seller could propose a partial refund against the paid invoice. If the deductions aren’t on the income statement, you’ll find them in your company’s contra accounts (an account used in a general ledger to offset the balance of a related account). To calculate your gross sales, simply multiply the number of units you’ve sold by the unit price.

Net sales are calculated by deducting returns, credits, discounts, and rebates from gross sales. This is an important distinction because the total figure doesn’t matter if there is a large return rate. For example, if a company has total sales of $1M and a 50% return rate, they really didn’t actually make $1M of sales. This distinction is particularly important in industries with high return rates or discounts like retail apparel. That is why total sales tells more about a company’s size than it does its profitability.

Gross Sales

If your gross sales are high but net sales indicate that one of your products is being returned more than usual, you can use this information to identify what’s wrong. Then, you can make changes to provide a better product or service to your customers. Gross sales and net sales will feature in your financial statements, specifically as the top line on the company’s income statement (also known as a profit and loss statement). Net sales is the sum of your gross sales minus any deductions, such as discounts, returns and allowances (we’ll look at these deductions in more detail later).

In closing, the net sales of our company in the period are $7.64 million. The discount adjustment can be calculated as the product of the two inputs. Increase online sales in any industry with 14 tried-and-tested tactics. For example, a key part of sales forecasting involves setting a realistic budget. Based on your gross and net sales, you can see where to allocate spending, how much to allocate and where spending might not be necessary.

what is gross sales

You might bundle your set gross sales KPI with qualified leads and most likely to close KPIs. This forces your reps to focus on high-budget and high-quality deals in tandem, motivating them to prioritize big business and high-value business equally. Compare your own figures with competitors to see how you’re performing in the marketplace and identify new opportunities and areas of improvement in your existing sales processes. As well as a general indication of your business’s financial health, net and gross sales can also be a benchmark for competitive analyses.

Free templates to track sales

In this context, “sales discounts” doesn’t refer to sales promotions, promotional discounts or rebates and seasonal offers, it only applies to the early payment discount. Sales discounts apply to any early payment discounts which are offered to customers when they pay an invoice within a specified period. When the income statement is finished, you can use this information to calculate your sales tax and inform your future sales activity. A good place to start is to understand your total sales and revenue, which involves keeping tabs on gross sales and net sales.

  1. This figure does not take into consideration any adjustments to the sales numbers.
  2. However, it doesn’t provide an overall view of a company’s financial condition.
  3. Gross Sales are defined as a company’s total revenue generated from all transactions that occurred over a specified period before any deductions, such as returns, discounts, and allowances.
  4. However, gross sales do not include operating expenses, tax expenses, or other charges, which are all deducted to calculate net sales.
  5. Nevertheless, analysts often find it helpful to plot gross sales, net sales, and the difference between both figures to determine how each value trends over a period.

While it can be tempting to rely on gross sales as a measure of performance (as it’s always going to be equal to or higher than the net sales), it can be misleading. If you’ve had to refund most of those sales, you’re not using accurate sales numbers for your forecasting. In this post, we’ll show you how to calculate your net and gross sales so you can create accurate sales forecasts. We’ll walk you through the formulas, outline their differences and show you how to identify issues or opportunities within the sales process.

How does Gross Sales Affect Business Decisions?

Get instant access to video lessons taught by experienced investment bankers. Learn financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel shortcuts. It is all in the way you set up the books so that your intended purpose is served correctly. However for the IRS all income from all sources  needs to be reported as income. Becoming a business owner means making some important decisions to realize your vision. For example, if 80% of allowances are due to a delay in shipping, you know where to look to put things right.

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The figure can be misleading when gross sales are presented on a separate line because it tends to overstate sales and inhibits readers from determining the total of the various sales deductions. While gross sales vs. net sales are terms that may be more familiar to accountants and investors, knowing what these mean as a salesperson or sales manager is still vital. It can give you a strong indicator of business performance and help identify any potential issues before they become serious problems. You could use these metrics to help steer this rep, and the team, in the right direction.

Gross sales are the total sales transactions within a specific period for a company. Net sales are calculated by deducting sales allowances, sales discounts, and sales returns from gross sales. The gross sales are simply the total amount of sales made during a period. This figure does not take into consideration any adjustments to the sales numbers. While the applicability of the total sales to a company’s true success is somewhat debatable, it’s a popular measure used in retail businesses to compare overall organizational size and annual growth.

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