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Glossary

Selling, General, And Administrative Expenses

Selling, General, and Administrative (SG&A) Expenses refer to the operating costs associated with non-production activities, including sales, marketing, administrative, and other general business expenditures.

What are selling, general, and administrative expenses?

Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses represent the expenditures a company faces in facilitating the sale of its products or services. This encompasses various costs, such as marketing, advertising, sales personnel expenses, and general administrative overhead like maintaining a corporate headquarters, accounting, legal services, and employee benefits. Monitoring SG&A expenses is crucial for understanding their impact on a company's profitability, considering they can significantly affect its financial health.

How to calculate selling, general, and administrative expenses

Calculating SG&A involves a straightforward process. It encompasses the summation of all individual expenses falling under this category. These could be salaries, advertising, office supplies, and rent. To calculate individual expenses, determine the cost per unit and multiply it by the number of units produced or sold. This method provides the total cost of that specific expense. For instance, if a company spends $1,000 on marketing in a month and sells 10,000 units, the total marketing cost would amount to $10,000.

Examples of selling, general, and administrative expenses

SG&A expenses constitute normal operational costs not directly tied to the production of goods or services. Common examples include salaries for administrative staff, office rent, marketing expenses, professional fees (e.g., accounting or legal fees), and travel and entertainment costs. Accurate tracking and reporting of these expenses are essential for a precise representation of a company's net income, preventing undue impact on the bottom line due to these expenses.

The difference between selling, general, and administrative expenses and operating expenses

Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses are costs directly linked to a company's sales efforts, such as advertising, marketing, and commissions. On the other hand, general and administrative expenses are not directly associated with sales but are part of the company's overall operations, covering expenses like salaries, rent, and utilities. Operating expenses comprise both SG&A and general and administrative expenses.