What do we mean by profit?
09/04/2024

When most business owners refer to business profits, they are likely to mean the difference between sales and costs, and more concisely, that sales exceed costs.

However, the word “profits” can prove to be a moveable feast as HMRC, banks and traders will likely have a different interpretation.

For example, do costs include:

  • intangible overheads like depreciation;
  • the write-off of goodwill; or
  • taxation.

The distinctions can prove to be important especially if comparisons are being made for benchmarking purposes – comparing the results of a business with the results for the relevant industry sector.

Company accounts display sales, costs, intangible write-offs and corporation tax charges, but any dividends taken by directors as part of their remuneration package – most directors of small companies take low salaries and high dividends to save NIC costs – are not deducted as a cost in the Profit & Loss account. And so reported profits after tax are not the complete story; any dividends taken by working directors need to be considered as these will reduce retained profits.

The question, what is profit, is therefore dependent for its usefulness as an indicator of a businesses’ health, only if its definition is fully appreciated.


About us  

Our director-led service is supported by the expertise of our highly skilled staff. We believe that our reputation for technical excellence is one of the main reasons for the company’s continued growth. 

Since the 1960’s we have been looking after the financial needs of our diverse database of clients. The practice of today evolved from two long-established firms originating in Coventry (Luckmans) and Kenilworth (Duckett Parker) merging in 2000.

Our vision in 2000 was to combine the directors' expertise to the greatest advantage for you – our client. That ethos still holds true and has enabled us to build a relationship with our clients that lasts.

Legal

Registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Contact us

LDP Luckmans
1110 Elliott Court, Coventry Business Park
Herald Avenue
Coventry
CV5 6UB

+44 (0) 24 7662 7200
partners@luckmans.com
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