Accounting for Commission Income and Expenses Beginner Guide

is sales commission an expense

If your company is earning commission, then it’s considered revenue (we’ll touch on this in more detail in the next section). In this article, we will answer basic questions like, “What is commission income? ” and then look at revenue recognition for commission income so you can ensure your books are always accurately reflecting your team’s sales and commissions.

When it comes to accounting for sales commissions, the way you execute will depend on whether you use the cash basis or accrual basis method. Sales commission typically lines up in the category of selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) or operating expenses, both of which classify as period costs. Also known as flat-rate commissions, fixed-rate commissions, or commissions, a single-rate sales commission is variable pay earned off a fixed percentage of every closed deal.

For example, a company that manufactures bolts spends more on raw materials and labor when producing 10,000 units compared to producing 5,000. However, salespeople work 40 hour weeks, so their salaries are paid regardless of sales level for a period. In most cases, the operating expense of a sales commission will be categorised under SG&A (selling, general, and administrative). A tiered sales commission structure is an excellent choice for organizations wishing to motivate top performers. In this structure, reps are rewarded with higher commission rates as they hit specific deal thresholds or revenue benchmarks.

Have peace of mind during sales commissions accounting

This implies that if a firm has more fixed expenses, profit margin will be held when there is a fall in sales which is likely to add a level of risk to the companies’ stocks. Equally fixed costs will also allow a company to experience the increase in the home office deduction profit as and when the income increases, they are applied at a constant cost level. A company that seeks to increase its profit by decreasing variable costs may need to cut down on fluctuating costs for raw materials, direct labor, and advertising.

Another possibility is that sales commissions could be classified as other operating expenses. This is because they are often incurred as a result of business operations, but don’t necessarily fit into any other specific category. For example, if a business pays commissions to sales staff based on the number of sales they make, this would be an operating expense. Another possibility is that sales commissions could be classified as interest expense.

  1. Variable costs increase or decrease depending on a company’s production volume; they rise as production increases and fall as production decreases.
  2. On Oct 17, we held a customer roundtable with Xactly Commission Expense Accounting (CEA) customers.
  3. So, if your salesperson makes a sale today, but only gets their commission check during next month’s pay day, you will be recognising the revenue at the time of the sale this month.
  4. Usually, companies that primarily earn commission income must classify these revenues under sales or operating income.

Indirect costs would include the wages of office workers, security personnel, or employees who maintain factory equipment. Another important thing to note is that sales commissions should never be recorded as the cost of a product. Lastly, as part of the ASC 606 accounting regulations, you need to correlate each commission to a customer and may need to be able to amortise the expense.

How to Record Sales Commissions as an Expense?

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is sales commission an expense

ABC Co. recorded the revenues from those laptops under its primary revenues. The Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) introduced a revenue recognition standard called ASC 606 which was initiated some years back. For some companies, the commission expenses may also fall under the cost of goods sold.

These revenues help fund their operations while also generating profits. For companies that focus on profits, making revenues through operations is highly crucial. As is the case when commissions are paid, commissions are recorded as soon as they are earned under the accrual basis of accounting. Since ASC requires every deal and earnings to be tracked annually, this information must be readily available and accessible to auditors. So, carefully consider how you record sales commissions in your accounting system.

How to Record Sales Commissions as Income?

You may be wondering why the ASC 606 regulation came to be in the first place because it seems to complicate the process of sales commission accounting. While it does complicate the process manually, you can utilise an automation solution to make it easy again. Along with the compliance impact, the regulation calls for those accounting for sales commissions to identify and track commissions with immense detail. If the commissions are part of the company’s core operations, then the commissions earned are considered operating revenue. If it’s not part of the core operations, then it’s recorded as other income. If you’re looking to better understand your sales commission accounting treatment or see how to calculate commission income using automation solutions, then you’re in the right place.

Simplify commission accounting

These are some of the main concerns and necessities you’ll need to take care of when adhering to ASC 606 regulation, without having to get too deep into the technicalities. Financial automation solutions take care of all these considerations for you. To ensure that you are adhering to ASC 606 regulation, there are some key considerations to be aware of. Your top sales performers are crucial to your organization’s success, yet retaining them is always tricky, with recruiters regularly slipping into their DMs.

A commission is an amount paid to a broker for facilitating a sale or transaction. It may fall into commission income or expense based on the source. Usually, the accounting for commission income and expense differs based on several factors. A variable cost is a corporate expense that changes in proportion to production output. Variable costs increase or decrease depending on a company’s production volume; they rise as production increases and fall as production decreases.