Calculating Gross Sales: A Step-by-Step Guide With Formula 2023

In a business, mostly a person sells and deals with a product or service, and for his business, the single most important factor that will ensure its growth is the increasing profits or gain. A company can also compare their gross and net sales with other companies in the same industry in order to detect problems earlier rather than dealing with a financial burden later on. In simple words, net sales stand for the amount you generate in sales after deducting all the expenses during the sales process. Of course, you only want to see your business flourish; without an accurate value for your gross sales and net sales, it would simply be impossible. Just like forecasting the weather, forecasts generally talk about the future. In businesses, sales forecasting is primarily essential in identifying possible hurdles in order to lessen its effect or completely prevent it from happening.

  • This calculation is raw – it just looks at one aspect of your sales.
  • If you can track your gross and net sales, you already have one key performance indicator (KPI) covered.
  • If you want an accurate calculation of your business, you need to know the difference between gross and net sales.
  • If you’re not sure what they are and how they differ from each other, you’re not alone.

Net sales and gross sales are two metrics that your sales team or business use to measure your company’s revenue. The main difference between net sales and gross sales can be of interest to an analyst. If the difference between both figures is gradually increasing over time, it can indicate quality problems with products that are generating unusual allowances and large sales returns.


For example paying 5% less if the buyer pays within 10 days of the invoice note. The discount only applies upon seeing the receipt of cash from the customer since it’s a mystery to the seller on which buyer will get the discount. You cannot know about only gross sales and make plausible forecasts from them alone. Using only one sales number will provide you with misleading numbers for forecasting, especially when you are refunding most of your sales.

  • Gross sales can be a particularly important metric in many industries, including the retail sector as they show the total amount of sales generated by your business over a particular period.
  • Tracking your gross sales provides a way to measure the total amount of revenue made by sales teams.
  • Thus, allowing you to reassess your overall performance in the business, most especially in your sales process.
  • The discount only applies upon seeing the receipt of cash from the customer since it’s a mystery to the seller on which buyer will get the discount.
  • While gross sales are about the amount you have generated before the deductions, net sales are what remains once all the deductions, discounts, and sales are made.

Using the gross and net sales as common key performance indicators (KPI), you can hold your sales representative accountable for the company’s growth and sales. Other than a general indication of a business’s financial health, net sales can also be used as a benchmark to compare with other companies of the same industry. For example, your company can send a customer an invoice for $6,000 to be paid within 30 days.

Sales Allowances

A return authorization number — or RA — allows sellers to track a return from its outset to its end. However, in spite of its product’s popularity, Battery Operated Light Up Hooting Owl Pest Deterrent LLC needs that money as soon as possible. In this case, the company might offer the retailer a 2% discount for paying off the invoice sooner. Here, we’ll take some time to understand what gross and net sales are, what differentiates the two from one another, and what they can show about the health of a business.

Calculation of Gross Vs. Net Sales

While gross sales aren’t exceptionally reliable, they come hand in hand with calculating net sales. The amount of refund needs to be removed from the total amount of the gross sales generated. Focused sales teams toward profitable sales opportunities, resulting in improved success rates.

This figure is the value of their gross sales because it includes only revenue, not costs. A company may elect to present its gross sales, deductions, and net sales information on separate lines within its income statement. If you’re experiencing an increase in returns, start by identifying the main cause. Usually, there are return authorizations in place to record the reason for a return. If that’s the case, you’ll be able to see whether there are any opportunities to improve the manufacturing, quality control, delivery and other sales processes to reduce the number of returns. For example, if your net sales figures are considerably lower than your competitors, there’s cause for investigation.

How to Calculate Net Sales

On the other hand, revenue and gross sales are similar terms that represent the total income generated from sales. However, revenue may be calculated after deducting any returns, discounts or allowances. Accurately tracking and analyzing these metrics can help businesses identify areas for improvement, optimize their sales strategies and make informed decisions to drive growth and profitability. While gross sales are about the amount you have generated before the deductions, net sales are what remains once all the deductions, discounts, and sales are made. A company or business can use these metrics to calculate its profits. The net sales metrics are also mentioned in the income statement of the business.

Gross sales also help to evaluate the overall business size and annual growth. As you can see, analyzing gross sales is more valuable for gaining insight into the growth of a company rather than its profitability. Moreover, gross sales often are considered when developingpricing strategies to ensure a competitive market price. While a surface-level review of monthly sales figures can make you feel like you’re on top of the world, don’t get excited quite yet.

Example of How to Use Gross Sales

Once the income statement of the company is ready, you can use it to evaluate your sales tax and other sales activities in the future. A wrong calculation of gross sales figures would ultimately impact the calculation and accuracy of the net sales figure of an organization. On the other hand, a wrong calculation of net sales figures will not impact the calculation and accuracy of the gross sales figure. This is because of the fact that the gross sales figure is calculated before the calculation of the net sales figure. If comparing gross sales vs net sales is the goal, all the values of the company’s gross revenue, net sales, and deductions can be presented separately in one income statement.

Gross sales are always higher than the net sales due to the fact that net income is derived from deductions made from the gross sales. Gross sales are the total amount of sales without any deductions while Net sales are the total amount of sales after deductions from the gross sales. This is where your knowledge of gross sales and net sales comes into play.

The gross sales include any sales transactions that generate revenue and exclude all costs, expenses, and other charges. Tracking your gross sales provides a way to measure the total amount of revenue made by sales teams. In the same view, net sales gives insight into the effectiveness of your team’s sales tactics as well as the quality of your products or services. Using both gross and net sales, you can understand how well your sales team is performing and how they can sell better. Gross sales is a metric for the total sales of a company, unadjusted for the costs related to generating those sales.

Thus, if sales are to be reported separately from the income statement, the amount should be reported as net sales. That refund would constitute a return, and that amount would be deducted from gross sales when calculating net sales. 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.

Although business owners and financial analysts track gross sales, it is not enough to use your gross revenue to gauge your company’s overall performance. It is an important tool that will allow you to calculate other sales metrics such as net sales and the company’s gross profit margin. Needless to say, net sales are almost always lower than gross sales.

Gross sales vs. net sales: Key differences explained

Gross sales are the amount an organization earns by selling the units or services by deducting a few expenses or items that include sale returns and sales allowances etc., or in other words. To determine whether its profit or sale, it is important to calculate the total sales of the business. When the deductions are high then there is a reduction in Net sales and vice versa. Therefore it is important for such people to understand the difference between gross sales and net sales so as to get the most out of the data. Gross sales is the total amount of money that is received while net sales is the total amount after certain deductions have been made.

Analyzing these three deductions that create the difference between gross sales and net sales can be of great interest for businesses looking to identify the source of financial issues and revenue gaps. For example, If the difference between number of net and gross sales is steadily increasing, it can indicate problems with products’ quality that lead to unusuallylarge sales returns and allowances. Let’s dive deeper into why it is important to consider both gross and net sales when you evaluate your business, and what insights each metric can reveal to you.

Gross sales isn’t a particularly accurate metric when considering the health of a business or its sales processes. If you only consider gross sales — separate from the rest of an income statement — you might see a considerable overstatement of a company’s sales figures. When it comes to measuring business performance, it’s important to understand the difference between gross revenue vs. sales and revenue vs. gross sales. Gross revenue represents the total income generated by a business, while sales refer to the revenue generated from selling products or services. These deductions make the difference between net sales and gross sales. If a company does not record sales allowances, sales returns, and sales discounts, their net sales value, and gross sales value will be the same.