How to Calculate Cost of Goods Sold


Triston Martin

Feb 18, 2024

To run a successful business, it is important to understand the basics of accounting. One of the most important concepts for business owners to understand is the "cost of goods sold." This term refers to the direct costs associated with producing or acquiring products that are sold by a company. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of what the cost of goods sold is, and outline how you can calculate it yourself.

What is the "cost of goods sold" and why is it important to track it

The cost of goods sold (COGS) is an accounting term used to describe the total direct costs associated with producing a product or service. This includes any material, labor, and overhead expenses that go into manufacturing and selling a particular item.

An accurate calculation of COGS is essential for understanding the financial performance of your business and can be used to calculate important financial metrics such as gross margin and net profit. An accurate calculation of COGS helps identify areas for cost savings and can be used to make informed decisions about pricing, inventory management, and product production.

How to Calculate Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

To accurately calculate your cost of goods sold (COGS), you will need to consider both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are those that can be directly attributed to a product or service, such as the cost of materials or labor used in production. Indirect costs are more broad-based and include items like rent, utilities, and administrative staff salaries.

To calculate the COGS for a specific product or service, you will need to add up all direct costs associated with its production. This includes raw materials, labor, and any other costs that are necessary for creating the item. You should also factor in any overhead expenses incurred during production, such as electricity or facility rental fees.

What are some common expenses that go into the cost of goods sold calculation

The cost of goods sold (COGS) is the direct costs associated with producing a product or service. Common expenses that go into COGS calculations include materials and supplies, labor costs, freight out, storage fees, and any other direct costs associated with making the product or providing the service.

In addition to these direct expenses, COGS also includes indirect expenses such as overhead, manufacturing costs, and any other associated costs that are necessary to produce the good or services. This includes things like rent and utilities for the facility where the product is made, depreciation of machinery and equipment used in production, insurance on any property used in production, advertising costs related to the product/service, and any other costs necessary to make the product or provide the service.

How can you reduce the cost of goods sold for your business

Reducing the cost of goods sold is one of the most important aspects to consider when running a business. By reducing your costs, you can improve product margins and increase profits. Here are some tips on how you can reduce your cost of goods sold:

1. Reduce Purchasing Costs

An effective way to reduce purchasing costs is to take advantage of bulk purchases, negotiate discounts from suppliers, and review your current contracts with vendors.

2. Analyze Inventory Levels

An analysis of inventory levels can help you identify where unnecessary costs may be incurred. An effective way to analyze inventory is to use an inventory management system that tracks stock levels and helps you manage your supply chain more efficiently.

3. Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses

An effective way to reduce the cost of goods sold is to eliminate any unnecessary expenses that the business may be incurring. This could include reviewing the current processing and labor costs or taking steps to limit storage costs by utilizing cloud-based software solutions.

4. Streamline Productivity

An effective way to reduce the cost of goods sold is to streamline the production process. This could include implementing automation and other forms of technology which can improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with labor.

By taking steps to reduce your cost of goods sold, you will be able to increase profits and maximize returns for your business. It is important to remember to keep track of all expenses and regularly review your cost of goods sold to ensure your business is operating as efficiently as possible.


How do you calculate COGS from the cost of goods sold?

The cost of goods sold (COGS) is calculated by subtracting the cost of products purchased from the operating expenses incurred in selling those products. This calculation can be done on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis and should include any taxes and fees associated with purchasing the goods. COGS can also be determined by adding up all purchases made during the period and then subtracting any inventory that has not yet been sold.

What is the cost of goods sold Example?

A cost of goods sold example would be a store that sells furniture. The COGS for this business would include the cost of purchasing the inventory, any taxes and fees associated with buying the items, and any operating expenses related to storing and shipping the furniture. This includes costs such as rent or mortgage payments on a warehouse, wages paid to staff, and any other expenses related to selling the inventory.

What is an Overview of the Cost of Goods Sold?

The cost of goods sold, otherwise known as COGS, is a key component in understanding the profitability and success of a business. It is the direct cost associated with producing and selling products or services. This includes all costs related to purchasing inventory, such as raw materials, components, labor costs, shipping expenses, and other related overhead costs.


I hope this guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the specifics of the “Cost of Goods Sold” and how to calculate it. An accurate calculation of this figure is essential for you to make smarter financial decisions, improve your margins and become more profitable in your business operations. By taking the time to properly understand the Cost of Goods Sold, you can ensure that you remain competitive in the marketplace.

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