written by | May 2, 2022

What are Operating Expenses (OPEX)?

Operating expenditure is one of the most significant accounting phrases. The operating expense is an expense that arises from the business's daily operations, and OPEX is a term that we use to describe it. The operating expense does not include charges unrelated to the organisation's primary operations. According to the laws, when a firm runs to make a profit, it can deduct operating expenses.

An operating expense is incurred to keep the organisation's day-to-day operations running smoothly. This does not include any costs that don't directly tie to the company's primary operations. Rent, utilities, inventory costs, payroll, employee benefits, equipment, legal fees, stationery costs, insurance, pension, advertising and marketing are all examples of operating expenses.

Did you know?

Operating expenditure must effectively manage operating expenses to run a successful firm and maintain a company's balance sheet structure. Business owners and anyone wanting a career in management or operations should understand what operational expenses are and how to manage them appropriately. An operating expense is a cost that a company regularly incurs as part of its usual operations.

Also Read: Revenue Expenditure: Definition, Types & Examples

Operating Expenses Meaning

Operating expenses, or OPEX, are the continuing costs that a company incurs as part of its usual operations. Selling, general, and administrative expenses are other names for them. These costs are directly related to manufacturing the company's goods or services.

The category of liabilities on a company's balance sheet represents operating expenses. Employee pay, buildings and utilities, tools, materials, equipment and marketing costs are all operating expenses examples. They are distinct from non-operating expenses, such as depreciation, lawsuit settlements, asset losses and restructuring costs, which don't relate to a company's main operations.

While operational expenses are inescapable for a business, it is nevertheless critical to carefully manage its budget to reduce operating costs, increase earnings and compete with other companies in the sector. Controlling operating expenditure can help a company's bottom line without sacrificing product or service quality.

The Importance of Operating Expenses

The following points highlight its importance:

  • Allows business owners to identify recurrent expenses that aren't required for daily operations and make necessary changes.
  • Operating can use these costs to determine a company's cost and stock-management efficiency. It isn't just about the expenses incurred by a company to generate income.
  • They're good for horizontal research because they accurately reflect a company's current performance.
  • Management must analyse financial reports regularly to gain a current financial picture of the company and, more precisely, account for its costs and revenue. As a result, identifying and changing inappropriate spending will be significantly easier.

Difference Between Operating and Non-Operating Expenses

  • Non-operating costs are expenses incurred through activities that are not necessarily related to the firm's fundamental operations. Operating expenses are all of a company's costs directly tied to its basic operations.
  • The most prevalent types of OPEX are payments, remuneration, sales and marketing, and other kinds of OPEX. Depreciation, amortisation, interest payments and the cost of borrowing are all examples of non-operational expenses.
  • They're common in nature and thought to be important for the smooth running of daily operations. Non-operational expenses, on the other hand, can include one-time or unexpected charges. For instance, the costs of reorganising a company, settling a lawsuit, etc.
  • Both of these costs are recorded on the income statement of the company. It is better to report operating and non-operating expenses separately. A quick look at the separate non-operational and operating expense lists will benefit both management and investors to assess a company's performance more efficiently.
  • It can, for example, help management discovers unjustifiable non-operational expenses. These expenses are high-interest debt payments and take the necessary steps to reduce them. Similarly, if a company's operating and non-operating expenses are high, investors will better understand its profitability and operational pattern.
  • It's worth noting that a company with high operating costs is more likely to have poor stock management. As a result, to boost efficiency, business owners must seek to lower their daily operating costs and apply cost-cutting methods.

Also Read: What Is Operating Income? How Is It Calculated?

Operating Expenses in Income Statement

A profit and loss statement, revenue statement, statement of financial performance, earnings statement, operational statement or statement of operations are all operating expenses in income statements. The revenue, or money collected from the sale of goods and services before expenses, is changed into net income. It also converts to the result after all revenues and expenses have been accounted for, also known as net profit, on a company's financial statement.

Multiple-step and single-step income statements are the most popular formats. Revenues are frequently given in great detail in the multiple-step style, with the Cost of Goods Sold deducted to show gross profit, operating expenses separate from other expenses and operating income separated from other income. All operating expenditures, including the Cost of Goods Sold, are integrated into a single component in the single-step format.

The operating expenses in the income statement determine profitability because the period's expenses are subtracted from the revenues. It is referred to as profit when net income is positive and a loss when it is negative. When the value of assets exceeds the value of liabilities, net income rises, and simultaneously, other assets may depreciate as liabilities rise.

Example of Operating Expenses

Here's an operating expenses example: look at the income statement of a manufacturing company. ABC Company produces a single product in this case. To go to market, the selling, general, and administrative costs are ₹15,000, ₹5,000 and ₹5,000, respectively.

That means the total cost of going to market is ₹25,000 in operating expenses.

Add all of your running expenses together to get the total operating expenses. The following is an example of a typical formula:

Accounting supplies office supplies, expenditures, insurance, licencing fees, legal fees, marketing and advertising payroll, salaries, repairs and equipment maintenance taxes and utility vehicle expenses.

Operating Expenses List

We can separate operating expenses into two basic categories in the income statement: Cost of Goods Sold and selling and general and administrative expenses. The Cost of Goods Sold is the cost or expenses while producing the commodities it sells. Under this section, we'll take a closer look at the various sorts of running operating expenses list that businesses typically incur:

Travelling Expenses

When firm employees incur travel expenses as part of their official obligations, such as an official visit, they are considered travelling expenses. Meeting with clients, selling prospects and attending official events are part of an official visit.

Office Stationery and Supplies

These are costs associated with purchasing office stationery and supplies for daily use by employees. This is charged to the company's profit and loss statement, much like other operating expenditures.

Utility Expenses

These costs include the office's water and power bills. They are classified as operating expenses since they assist the company's day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Telephone Expenses

These are expenses incurred while performing official responsibilities at the workplace or while utilising the office phone. Some employers will also pay for the employee's home phone and landline bills.

Property Tax

The company's property tax on the office facility likewise accounts for an operating expense.

Legal Expenses

The company's legal and professional expenses for obtaining expert advice on legal and professional matters are included in the operating expenses list.

Repair and Maintenance Expenses

The firm treats any expense incurred on repairing and maintaining an asset used for production or manufacturing activities as an operational expense.


Operating expenses impact a company's profitability and cash flow. Opex, meaning, is the expenses incurred by a firm not tied to product manufacturing. Payroll, rent, office supplies, utilities, marketing, insurance and taxes are these costs. Operating expenses are the costs of keeping a business up and running.

The higher the running expenses, the less money the company keeps. Controlling operating expenses is an important component of running a financially sound firm because it may significantly drain company resources. The income statement determines profitability because the period's expenses are subtracted from the revenues. It is referred to as profit when net income is positive and a loss when it is negative.
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Q: What is the difference between operating and non-operating expenses?


All costs incurred to bring a product or service to market are our operating expenses. Non-operating expenses are not directly related to normal business operations, such as relocation fees or debt repayment.

Q: What are some operating expenses examples?


Rent, wages, travel, utilities, insurance, maintenance and repairs, property taxes, office supplies, depreciation and advertising, are common running operating expenses examples for a business.

Q: What are operating expenses examples?


The following are common operating expenses examples:

  • Rent and utilities.
  • Wages and salaries.
  • Accounting and legal fees.
  • Overhead costs such as selling, general and administrative expenses 
  • Property taxes.
  • Business travel
  • Interest paid on debt.

Q: What is the operating expense meaning?


An operating expense, also known as an operating expenditure, or OPEX, is a cost incurred regularly to keep a product, business or system running. On the other hand, a capital expenditure is an expense of producing or procuring non-consumable pieces for a product or system.

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