Difference Between Operating and Non-Operating Income

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Operating and Non-Operating Income

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Generating money or profit for shareholders is one of the fundamental goals of any for-profit corporate enterprise. Operating Income and non-operating Income are two categories into which the overall money produced by a firm may be divided. Any firm must prioritize its operational revenue since it is the fundamental source of Income for which a business entity was created or evolved. On the other hand, non-operating Income, or the additional revenue a firm receives from engaging in certain other economic activities that cannot be regarded as the entity's primary business activity, is of secondary importance. An example of operational Income for a retailer is revenue from the selling of goods.

A merchant's key business operations are purchasing and selling goods, not renting out buildings or warehouses; thus, if the same merchant rents out the extra space in his warehouse to another merchant, the rental revenue he receives would be classified as non-operating Income. The ability to generate a profit is one of a business's top priorities. In the larger view, a company's revenue is a good indicator of its financial health. Operating and Non-Operating Income are the two forms of Income that a business may create. Compared to a firm that derives the bulk of its revenue from non-operating activities, one that performs better and earns more money from its main business operations is more advantageous. Evaluating a company's success requires differentiating between its capacity to earn from its primary business and profit from other activities or circumstances.

Operating Income Vs. Non-Operating Income

The method by which money is obtained is the primary distinction between operating and non-operating Income. While non-operating revenue is generated outside the company's principal business operations, operating Income is only generated through those operations. Operating Income is the overall revenue or profit generated by a company's main line of business. Every company's fundamental profit is its operating Income. Operating Income is always reported before non-operating Income in the income statement. A firm's overall revenue or profit from sources outside its main line of business is referred to as non-operating Income. Non-operating Income might take the shape of interest, rental, dividend, and other types of payments. Contrary to operational Income, small enterprises typically do not produce non-operating revenue.

Operating and non-operating Income can be separated into two groups in a business. Earnings before interest and taxes are another name for operating Income (EBIT). It is the revenue obtained from the company's main commercial activities. It displays how well the business performs in its ongoing daily operations. Gains and losses (expenses) from other activities or variables unrelated to the company's primary business operations are included in non-operating Income. Operating incomes are consistent and more likely to increase as the business grows. Therefore, operating Income offers more insight into the company's foundation and capacity for growth than non-operating Income.

Difference Between  Operating and Non-Operating Income in Tabular Form

Parameters Of Comparison Operating Income Non-Operating Income
Origin Principal activities of the company. Anything aside from the main enterprise.
Definition The money that a firm makes from its main commercial activity. The revenue that a firm receives from any non-core operations.
Types Income is generated by selling a company's core products or services. Some sorts include rental income, dividend income, etc.
Portion The majority of the business's Income comes from it. It just makes up a very modest part of Income.
Reliance The firm depends heavily on it. It does not rely on the firm.
Management Essential in administration and management. Not a candidate for long-term administration.
Decision-making It is essential in the decision-making and assessment process since management decisions immediately affect the outcomes of a company's operations. It is not extremely important to the company's decision-making process, yet it may still be handled or controlled.
Calculation Gross Income minus operating expenditures equals total revenue. Non-operating Income minus non-operating costs.

What Is Operating Income?

An accounting term known as operating Income quantifies the profit made from a company's activities after operating costs like salaries, depreciation, and cost of goods sold have been subtracted (COGS). Operating Income, also known as Income from operations, is the result of deducting all operating costs from a company's gross Income, which is equal to total sales minus COGS. A business incurs operating costs during regular operations, including office supplies and utilities. Therefore, the profit made from continuous activities is reported as operating Income. A company's operational Income is determined by deducting operating expenditures from its gross revenue. To avoid skewing a company's earnings in a particular year, one-time factors like taxes are excluded from operating income analysis.

Operating Income is not the same as the resulting profit because it does not take into account taxes, interest, or any other financial costs. Therefore, while a high operational income indicates significant profitability, the actual profit might be substantially lower. For instance, if a firm is successful and has a large operational income but has used a percentage of that money to pay down debt, the profit will be substantially lower. After subtracting operating expenditures, the business's total operating Income is determined. Selling, depreciation, and other administrative costs are among them.

Following are some prominent examples of such activities in various industries:

  • Sale of goods by a retailer or business like Walmart
  • Furniture manufacturers like Ashley Furniture Industries sell a variety of furniture kinds
  • Any ready-to-wear clothing can be purchased from a fashion shop like Toby.
  • UCSF Medical Center or another institution that offers medical services
  • An accounting firm like Deloitte LLC offers accounting and auditing services.
  • Advisory legal services from a law firm like Ropes and Gray
  • A web hosting firm like GoDaddy offers web hosting services.
  • Services for search engine optimization (SEO) offered by an SEO firm like Hoth

Concept Of  Operating Income

Operating Income indicates how much of a company's revenue will ultimately turn into profits. Operating Income, often known as the operating profit or recurring profit, is comparable to a company's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Operating Income and EBIT are quite similar, except that EBIT includes all non-operating Income that the firm makes. Investors might benefit from operational income analysis since it excludes taxes and other special elements that could affect net income or profit. An organization's management is generating more revenue while managing expenses, production costs, and overhead, which is why a company generating an increasing amount of operating Income is viewed favorably.

The following describes the operational income formula:

Operating Income is calculated as total operating revenue less cost of goods sold minus operating expenses.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A), depreciation and amortization, and other operational expenditures are operating costs. Non-operating Income, taxes, and interest costs are some examples of things not included in operational Income. Non-recurring expenses, such as money paid for a legal settlement, are also excluded. The operating margin, which measures a company's operational effectiveness, must have operating Income.

What Is Non-Operating Income?

The part of an organization's Income that comes from sources unrelated to its primary business operations is known as non-operating Income. It can cover dividend income, investment gains or losses, and gains or losses from currency exchange and asset write-downs. Incidental or peripheral Income are other names for non-operating revenue.

The part of an organization's Income that comes from sources unrelated to its primary business operations is known as non-operating Income. It may include dividend income, investment gains or losses, gains or losses from changes in foreign currency rates and asset write-downs. Investors can more easily judge how effectively a business converts revenue into profit when separated non-operating Income and operational Income.

Non-operating In a multi-step income statement, the non-operating income section is often located at the bottom of the income statement and is where income is frequently calculated and presented. Any non-operating costs or losses are subtracted from this section's total non-operating benefits or revenues before the net amount is shown as a line item beneath operational Income. It is essential to distinguish between operational and non-operating Income to fully comprehend the financial situation of the core firm.  However, not every company generates non-operating Income. Only businesses operated by huge corporations can generate additional revenue. The majority of small firms simply depend on operational earnings.

After taking into account typical small-scale expenditures, the final non-operating revenue is determined. Examples of these costs are asset sales, litigation settlements, and amortization.

Following are some instances of non-operating revenue and spending items used in the calculation of non-operating Income:

  • Dividends from other companies
  • Interest on investments made in different entities
  • Rental revenue from a building, hall, or other location
  • Gain from selling a fixed asset
  • Profit from the sale of an investment in the debt or equity securities of another firm
  • Gain from engaging in currency exchange transactions
  • A fixed asset's sale-related loss
  • loss from selling investments in debt or equity securities of other businesses
  • the loss brought caused by engaging in currency exchanges abroad

Concept of Non-Operating Income

Due to their capacity to demonstrate profitability compared to analyst projections and corporate guidance, earnings are arguably the most researched metric in a business's financial statements. The issue is that events unrelated to the regular operation of the firm might distort profit within an accounting period. For instance, there are times when a business will get a sizable, one-time sum of money through the sale of a sizable piece of equipment, real estate, or land, a wholly owned subsidiary, or investment securities. These gains can drastically affect a company's earnings and make it challenging for investors to gauge how well the firm's operations truly performed during the reported period on top of money gained from recurrent occurrences outside the business' primary line of activity.

Main Differences Between  Operating and Non-Operating Income in Points

  • The company's primary line of business generates operating revenue, while non-operating income originates from sources other than the primary line of business.
  • Operating Income, not non-operating Income, determines the company's financial health.
  • All businesses generate operational Income. However, small-scale enterprises do not generate non-operating revenue.
  • While non-operating Income is considered for short-term management, operating Income is essential for the company's decision-making and management.
  • While non-operating Income only makes up a small fraction of overall Income, operational Income makes up a significant portion.
  • Operating Income is a company's true profit before interest and tax expenses are deducted. Suppose a company has no extra non-operating revenue or costs to add or subtract from its operating Income. In that case, its earnings will be equal before interest and taxes (EBIT) and operating income. On the other hand, non-operating Income is whatever revenue a company obtains from its non-core operations. This money originates from any source that is different from the principal way the firm generates profits.
  • Non-operating Income includes, but is not limited to, interest income, rental income, dividend income, profit made on the sale of a fixed asset. Operating Income is the money derived from a company's primary business operations.
  • Operational Income Is essential in the decision-making and assessment process since management decisions immediately affect the outcomes of a company's operations. In contrast, non-operational Income is not extremely important to the company's decision-making process, yet it may still be handled or controlled.


Businesses are commercial entities that operate primarily with the goal of making money and constantly work to maintain their profitability in order to maintain their going concern status. Any business's primary sales or supply of services account for a sizable amount of its profits. Therefore, in order to further expand their firm, management must regulate these activities and make strategies to increase them in a positive way. Even while non-operating earnings are not essential, they can nevertheless be managed, particularly if management intends to expand the scope of its primary business. To make financial statements helpful for stakeholders, all company expenditure and revenue must be fully reported in the pertinent financial statements, regardless of the type of the firm.

Operating revenue is given top attention, and it only makes sense to do so, even if both operating and non-operating earnings are important in their own right. The company's primary businesses will make it competitive, and the revenue from them determines its financial situation. Non-operating incomes, on the other hand, make up a relatively small part of the company's overall long-term growth. The revenue level is not, however, as low as to be ignored. The image of invested revenue is significantly clearer when non-operating revenues are included. While the majority of small enterprises do not generate any additional revenue, huge corporations do. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes is a combined measurement of both incomes (EBIT). A final profit is derived after the process of reducing income tax from profits.


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"Difference Between Operating and Non-Operating Income." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 01 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-operating-and-non-operating-income-969>.

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