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What is an Overhead Expense?

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We work with small business owners and entrepreneurs. Some are seasoned, others are just growing their side hustle. Their skills are varied and they have a wide variety of talents. We often get asked to explain the ins and outs of financial reports and have found that providing our favorite clients with a working knowledge of accounting terms is helpful. With that end in mind, we’re sharing that expert knowledge with you. So if you’re looking to get a better grasp on your small business books, want to understand your financial reports so you can make better business decisions, or even are just starting out and want to do it right… you can check out our word of the week and start expanding your working financial knowledge.

What Is An Overhead Expense?

First things first. If you’re wanting to know more about your business expenses we have to start at the beginning. You can read more about Expenses here. An overhead expense is one of two types of business expenses and includes the costs of running your business. These costs could include but aren’t limited to rent, utilities, employee wages and more. These type of costs ARE NOT related to the COGS but instead are things that do not generate revenue. Overhead expenses are costs that have to be paid even if business is slow and a smart business owner keeps some cash to fulfill these obligations just in case there’s a month or two that go by where profits might not be what they’d like.

How Does Knowing Your Overhead Expenses Help?

Knowing your overhead costs can help you set your prices for the products you sell or the services you render so that you’ll end up with profits. Factoring in the overhead will show you just how much money your business needs to bring in so you can stay afloat or even grow. You can also use your overhead expenses to help you figure out your net profit or bottom line. Knowing what you’re spending on overhead expenses can be the first step in strategizing a way to bring those costs down. Simply reducing the amount you put towards overhead expenses can increase your net profit.

Ben Sutton

Ben Sutton

Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.

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