Non-operating expenses are often considered to be the cost that a company must incur to fulfil certain monetary obligations. Other than that, these expenses are said to play a vital role when it comes to ascertaining the net earnings of a firm during any given period.

What are Non-Operating Expenses?

Essentially, non-operating expenses meaning can be explained as those costs which are not related to a firm’s core operations and are recorded in the income statement. Typically, one can subtract these expenses from a firm’s operating profits to ascertain its potential earnings.

Also, such expenses are known as peripheral or incidental expenses and tend to include recurring expenses like interest payments, cost of currency exchange, etc. Nevertheless, non-operating expenses often include costs which are somewhat uncommon and irregular in occurrence. For instance, costs incurred during restructuring or reorganising, charges levied on obsolete inventory, etc. are often treated as non-operating expenses.

It must be noted that recording non-operating expenses separately comes in handy for both stakeholders and potential investors. It helps them to gain a clear and detailed picture of the firm’s financial obligations and helps to estimate potential earnings.

Examples of Non-Operating Expenses

Depending upon the type of industry, a company may incur several types of non-operating expenses. Here are some of the most common non-operating expenses examples –

  • Interest expense
  • Obsolete inventory charges
  • Derivatives expense
  • Restructuring expense
  • Loss on disposition of assets
  • Damages Caused to Fire
  • Floatation cost
  • Lawsuit settlement expenses
  • Write-down of receivables or inventory
  • Write-off of intangible assets
  • Expropriation of property
  • Altered accounting principles
  • Discount on the issuance of shares and debentures
  • Amortisation of preliminary expenses.

Regardless, to understand the components of non-operating expenses and their extent successfully, individuals must also become familiar with the exclusions. In simple words, costs resulting directly from core activities are not included in non-operating expenses list.

Calculation of Non-Operating Expenses

One can easily compute the non-operating expenses of a firm by merely referring to the financial statement of a company. Like discussed, such expenses are recorded on the company’s income statement and offer a distinct idea about the costs rooting from activities other than core operations.

Take a quick look at this excerpt below to understand the treatment of non-operating expenses better.

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Particulars Amount (Rs.)
Total revenue 5,66,97,60,000
Cost of revenue 4,43,50,50,000
Gross profit 1,23,47,10,000
Operating expense
Selling, general and administrative expenses 19,59,20,000
Total operating expenses 60,40,40,000
Operating income or loss 63,06,70,000
Interest expense 15,51,40,000
Income before tax 55,22,70,000
Income tax expenses 15,39,00,000
Income from operations 39,83,70,000
Net income 39,58,80,000

Notably, the non-operating expenses of a company are subtracted from its operating profits to ascertain the earnings between taxes or EBIT. Subsequently, taxes are assessed to compute the firm’s annual net income.

Significance of Non-Operating Expenses

Before becoming familiar with the critical role of non-operating expenses, one must also become aware of the benefits of reporting the same accurately.

To begin with, by declaring non-operating expenses on financial statements, business owners benefit in these following ways –

  1. Establishing a bond of trust with existing and potential stakeholders through transparent transactions.
  2. Declaring non-operating expenses like – employee benefits, bonus, loan interest, etc. tends to add value to a firm’s financial reputation.
  3. Including non-operating costs in a company’s income statement allows business owners to prepare a more accurate and transparent financial report. In turn, it will help them to project future earnings on practical grounds.

That being said, the prominent role of non-operating expenses is as follows –

    • Non-operating costs prove useful in analysing the performance of a company and also help to estimate its potential earnings.
    • A detailed record of non-operating costs helps management to identify unwarranted expenses. With necessary adjustments, the management can reduce unessential expenses effectively.

Nevertheless, to make the most of the information pertaining to non-operating costs, individuals must make it a point to categorise expenses accurately.

Non-Operating Expenses versus Operating Expenses

Having a fair idea about the fundamental differences between operating and non-operating expenses make it easier to record them accurately.

Operating costs are defined as the expenses which are considered essential to run a business venture smoothly. Though such expenses do not form a part of the core production process, they are vital when it comes to selling products or services in the market.

On the other hand, non-operating expenses are the costs which arise from specific financial obligations of a firm and are mostly not related to its core operations. Now, such expenses can either be a regular occurrence or be inclined towards the unusual.

It must be noted that both types of expenses come in handy to gauge the proficiency of a firm and serves as a potent indicator. Typically, operating costs are considered to be controllable and can be adjusted easily as per requirement. On the other hand, non-operating costs are hard to control mostly owing to their irregular occurrence and often do not make it to management’s appraisal.

Also, there is a marked difference between the classification of the two expenses in financial statements. For example, operating expenses are reported directly under COGS in a profit and loss statement. Alternatively, non-operating costs are reported at the end of the profit and loss statement and are subtracted from operating cost.

Lastly, it must be acknowledged that some non-operating expenses may be treated as operating costs in some companies. Business owners must scrutinise the possibility of the same and manage the costs accordingly.