What Is The Distinction Between Capital Expenditures And Revenue Expenditures?

Jul 20, 2022 By Susan Kelly


Revenue and capital outlay are two different things. These decisions include whether the business will use the purchase in the short-term or the long-term. A business utilises capital to purchase, maintain, and improve tangible assets like real estate, buildings, and machinery.

Spending On Capital Projects And Generating Revenue

Revenue expenditures are transient costs incurred within the recent accounting period, often one year. The costs necessary to maintain a firm's operations are known as revenue expenses. Consequently, they are very similar to operating expenses. In other words, an item of revenue expenditure is an amount spent on an item that will be directly linked with the profits reported on the income statement for the current quarter.

Large investments a firm makes to grow or maintain its business and produce more profits are known as capital expenditures. Purchases of long-term assets with a useful lifetime of many years and a lifespan of more than a year are referred to as capital expenditures. The word "capital expenditure" describes the sum of money used to considerably improve or purchase a long-term property, such as machinery or buildings. The property's cost is typically reported under the title Property Plant and Equipment and entered into a balanced account. The property's original cost, excluding the cost of the land, will be divided by the years the asset will be in use. The account for contra-assets: The depreciation expense for each period is also credited to collect depreciation.

Features of Capital Expenditure

  • To acquire new capital assets or update current ones.
  • Despite the fact that the company makes a capital investment during the recent accounting year, the benefits last for many years. They cover a large number of accounting years.
  • These are one-time expenses. They do not happen frequently.

Features of Revenue Expenditure

  • Since they are regular company expenses, they are recurrent.
  • This will cover the day-to-day operations of the company.
  • for preserving income-generating potential

Capital Expenditure Examples

The amount spent on assets to purchase or upgrade them is known as a capital expenditure. The whole quantity spent on capital expenses for an accounting year is disclosed in the statement of investment flows.

Revenue Expenditure Examples

Sales, maintenance, repair, and general administrative costs can all be categorized as revenue expenditures.

Use Variations

The revenue expenditures cover all regular costs associated with keeping an asset in excellent functioning order without materially extending or extending its useful life. Existing asset maintenance and repairs are considered revenue expenses. A business may forego capital expenditures in favour of recurring revenue costs.

Fixed assets may be purchased with capital expenditures. These are material possessions like machinery. The amount of capital expenditures frequently exceeds revenue. Whatsoever, there are certain exceptions to this rule.

Timing Variations

To be charged as expenses, capital expenditures are gradually depreciated over an extended frame of time. Based on the asset, depreciation costs may continue for up to ten years. In the present and shortly after, expenses are adjusted for revenue expenditures.

Consumption Variations

A capital expenditure item is regarded as being used up during the fixed asset's beneficial life. So, revenue expenditure item is considered to be quickly consumed.

Size Variations

Another problematic difference is that capital expenditures are more likely to be monetary than revenue expenditures. It is so that an item that exceeds specified threshold values is not immediately labelled as a revenue expense. Large sums of money, however, can still be regarded as revenue expenditures if they are directly connected to revenue payments transfer or period costs.

The Difference In Accounting Treatment


Revenue expenditures and processing expenses are listed in the income statement. These costs are subtracted from its revenue to calculate the company's net income for the time frame. In a similar year as the charges, revenue expenses may be fully deductible for tax purposes. The expenses reduce the loss and thus the taxable revenue for that tax period.


The investing component of the cash flow statement, which covers cash outflows and purchases for capital expenditures, is shown. The CFS displays all cash inflows and outflows for a specific time frame. For instance, a business that makes equipment acquisitions is required to disclose the cash withdrawals on the CFS. The financial balance sheet's section devoted to total assets must include the equipment. Because long-term assets have the potential to create income for the company over time, businesses cannot deduct the entire cost of an asset in the year it is incurred. Rather, they should depreciate the asset annually to recoup the cost.


Capital Expenditures vs. Revenue Expenditures: What's the Difference? Capital expenditures are expenses made to boost both immediate and long-term economic gains. Capital expenditure is a long-term share that a business undertakes to produce future financial rewards. The expense we routinely incur to proceed with the firm is revenue expenditure.

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