Difference Between Capital Expenditure and Revenue Expenditure

A business organisation incurs expenditures for various purposes during its existence. Some of these expenditures are meant to bring in more profits for the organisation in the long term while some expenditures are for the short term.

The main reason for incurring expenditure is to increase the efficiency of the business and drive in higher returns. Based on the nature of the expenditure they are categorised as Capital Expenditure and Revenue Expenditure

Meaning of Capital Expenditure

The expenditures that are incurred by an organisation for long term benefits are known as capital expenditures. These expenditures serve the purpose of increasing the capacity or capabilities of the long term asset by either enhancing or adding new assets to the organisation.

These expenditures are added on the asset side of the balance sheet. Capital expenditure is done mostly on assets such as land, equipment, furnishings or vehicles that help to drive benefits for the organisation by increasing the operating capability.

Meaning of Revenue Expenditure

Revenue expenditure is referred to as the expenditure incurred by an organisation to manage the day to day functions of a business which can include employee wages, inventory, rent, electricity, insurance, stationery, postage and taxes.

These are expenditures which neither help in the creation of asset nor they help in reducing the liabilities of a business. It is recurring in nature and is very essential for maintaining the daily operations of a business or organisation.

Revenue expenditures can be divided into two categories

  1. Expenditures for generating revenue for a business: These are expenditures that are essential for meeting the operational cost of a business and hence, can be classified as similar to operating expenses.
  2. Expenditures for maintaining revenue-generating assets: Such expenses are incurred by business towards repair and maintenance of the assets of an organisation to keep them in working condition without enhancing their lifespan. Such expenses can be towards repairing and repainting of assets.

Let us look into the key differences between capital expenditure and revenue expenditure to develop a clear understanding of their function in a business.

Basis of Comparison Capital Expenditure Revenue Expenditure
Definition Expenditure incurred for acquiring assets, to enhance the capacity of an existing asset that results in increasing its lifespan The expense incurred for maintaining the day to day activities of a business
Term Long Term Short Term
Value addition Enhances the value of an existing asset Does not enhance the value of an existing asset
Physical Existence Have a physical presence except for intangible assets Do not have a physical presence
Occurrence Non-recurring in nature Recurring in nature
Capitalisation Yes No
Impact on Revenue Do not reduce business revenue Reduces business revenue
Benefits Long-term benefits for business Short-term benefits for business
Appearance It appears as assets in the balance sheet and some portion in the income statement It always appears in the Income statement

This article helps you understand the difference between capital expenditure and revenue expenditure, which is invaluable for Commerce students. Stay tuned to BYJU’S for more such exciting articles.