Definition of Selling General and Administrative SG&A Expenses Gartner Finance Glossary


Sometimes, SG&A will be a section, with items broken out in individual lines. If this is the case, then different line items will have differing forecast methods. For example, rent most likely will be a fixed dollar value every period. On the other hand, advertising expenses will vary with the strategic decisions a company makes during the given period.

  • It all depends on how the company wants to break out their operating expenses.
  • Whether they are entered by category or by a single line item, SG&A expenses are always recorded in the Operating Expenses section of your income statement.
  • Net/total revenue is always found at the top, then COGS is deducted to get the gross margin or gross profit.
  • On the other hand, your business’s general and administrative expenses include day-to-day costs (e.g., rent, utilities, etc.).
  • Below are two real-life income statement examples from Microsoft Inc.’s 10-K form and Netflix, Inc.’s latest 10-Q filing.
  • David Kindness is a Certified Public Accountant and an expert in the fields of financial accounting, corporate and individual tax planning and preparation, and investing and retirement planning.

Also known as operating expenses, SG&A is the overhead required to support operations. These expenses include rent, advertising and marketing, administrative costs, sales commissions, and utilities. Again, your selling expenses can include both direct and indirect costs of selling a product. On the other hand, your business’s general and administrative expenses include day-to-day costs (e.g., rent, utilities, etc.).

The SG&A ratio

What Is Sg&a In Accounting? necessary to remember that interest and taxes aren’t part of SG&A as they’re deducted from operating income. Any insurance costs that are necessary for operating a business. Advertising expenses come in lots of forms of goods or services promotion starting with good-old TV/Radio ads, billboards all the way to social network campaigns and collaborations with influencers. Restructuring and cost-cutting are required to reduce the expenses of Selling, General & Administrative costs. When such expenses increase too much without a rise in sales or a drop in sales, it is very important to reduce the SG&A costs. Research and development costs are not included in SG&A expenses. It is all the costs that are not related to the direct manufacturing of the product.

Most commonly, non- expenses include interest payments, tax provisions, and capital expenditures . COGS covers the expenses necessary to manufacture a product, including labor, materials, and related overhead expenses. SG&A covers almost every other operating expense, excluding R&D and depreciation and amortization. The individual costs making up a company’s SG&A are not usually shown. COGS differs from SG&A in that it includes the expenses necessary for product manufacturing, such as labor, materials, etc.

SG&A Full-Form Components: “Selling, General and Administrative”

SG&A expenses are not assigned to a specific product, and therefore are not included in the cost of goods sold . Importantly, reducing SG&A expenses means less revenue will yield more profit, which is why SG&A is often a target for cost-cutting measures.


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