How to Calculate Net Income Formula and Examples Bench Accounting

how to calculate net income

Businesses use net income in financial modeling to predict their future performance based on past performance. Financial modeling can be used to forecast revenue, expenses and cash flow, helping businesses make budgeting decisions about capital investments, staffing and other resource requirements. And there are multiple important metrics you should track that can offer valuable insight. But perhaps the most important is net income, which indicates whether your company has made a profit. But it’s more complicated to calculate than just looking at your bank account balance. To better understand your company’s financial strength, you can invest in accounting software like QuickBooks Online.

When these are subtracted, net income can be drastically reduced. Gross profit, operating profit, and net income refer to a company’s earnings. However, each one represents profit at different phases of the production and earnings process. Businesses use net income to calculate their earnings per share.


Some small business taxpayers without inventory qualify to use the cash method of accounting instead of accrual accounting to compute net income on their tax returns. They can choose the same cash method for business financial statements to maintain only one set of books. The IRS sets the rules for allowing cash method accounting for income taxes. Ask your CPA firm to determine the right accounting method for your company. When calculating net income, you find the difference between total revenue and total expenses. When you bring in more revenue than expenses, you’ll have a positive net income.

how to calculate net income

You need to know your revenue and expenses to find the net income. As a quick refresher, total revenue is the amount generated for the given period of your calculation. This is your operating income, which you can find by adding up the income generated from sales or services. An How to set up as an independent contractor in the Czech Republic important distinction and commonly confused term with net income is gross income. Misunderstanding these numbers can lead to significant issues when budgeting or preparing for a quarter. Because costs are not considered, gross profit is not a useful measure of profitability.

What is net vs gross income?

On the income statement, net income is revenue minus costs and expenses (including income taxes) which equals profit (or loss if negative). Net income is a component in the calculation of retained earnings in shareholders’ equity on the balance sheet. On a cash flow statement, net income is reconciled to cash flow from operating activities. As stated above, your company’s net income is the result of subtracting your expenses from your total revenue. It is a critical metric that investors and lenders consider when considering whether to invest in your business or lend you money.

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