What is Utilities Expense?

What is utilities expense

The classification and presentation of these expenses can be done as selling expenses, administrative expenses, etc. For businesses, utilities expense can vary widely depending on the nature and scale of operations. In most cases, utilities expense is considered a variable cost because it changes in proportion to the level of production or business activity. In short, the accrual basis of accounting accelerates the recognition of utilities expenses in comparison to the cash basis of accounting. However, over the long term, the results under both methods will be approximately the same. Knowing that utilities expenses average around $1,600 during winter months ($1,200 for electricity, $100 for water, and $300 for heating), BookNook’s management might look for ways to reduce these costs.

  1. Under the accrual basis of accounting, this account reports the cost of the electricity, heat, sewer, and water used during the period indicated in the heading of the income statement.
  2. By paying attention to utilities expenses and considering them in financial planning, BookNook can better manage its operating costs and improve profitability.
  3. They could consider energy-efficient lighting to reduce the electricity bill, or programmable thermostats to manage heating more efficiently.
  4. It means that cash basis accounting may mean the expense is recorded in a later period.
  5. Since 25/30th of the bill applies to the current month, which is $1,667, the controller of ABC concludes that the portion of the invoice applicable to the preceding month is immaterial, and charges the entire amount to the current month.

For example, In March, we record the estimated or consumption-based expenses for electricity, even though we receive the bill in April for the previous month. In business organizations, utility expenses encompass all the costs that contribute to sales, such as sales commission and manufacturing expenses. With the accrual basis of accounting, the total amount recorded as utilities expense reflects the cost of the actual usage of the utilities during the reporting period.

utilities expense definition

In a business context, utilities expense is considered an operating expense and is included in the income statement. Under the cash basis of accounting, the amount recorded relates to the cash paid within the period for the indicated items. Thus, the cash basis relies upon the receipt of a supplier invoice, and still only records the expense when the invoice has been paid.

With cash basis accounting, the total amount recorded for the use of utilities for each period is based on the amount of cash that’s been paid for said utilities during the period covered. It means that cash basis accounting may mean the expense is recorded in a later period. In Accounting, organizations consider all expenses that directly contribute to sales, profit, and the basic necessities of the organization as utility expenses, which should be accounted for. These include electricity, water, internet, telephone, and other variable expenses related to public use, which are necessary for running the business.

Cash Basis of Accounting for Utilities Expenses

Public utilities incur basic variable costs such as electricity, water, gas, internet, etc. Organizations using these utility records expenses based on their chosen accounting method, either accrual or cash basis. In the accrual system, the actual consumption of utilities is recorded, not just the received bills.

What is utilities expense

These expenses are calculated based on usage, and by optimizing consumption, it is possible to reduce costs. The cost incurred on public utilities such as electricity, water, gas, etc., and all other basic utilities necessary for commercial and household purposes, represents utility expenses. The accrual basis of accounting for utilities is the most commonly used accounting method.

Accounting for Utilities Expense

The portion of a utility invoice applicable to the current period may be so large that any residual balance applying to a different period is immaterial, and so can be charged to the current period. Utility expenses encompass public services required to operate a business or carry out household activities. In the context of household expenses, they encompass essential costs for comfortable living, such as water, electricity, gas, and maintenance. Utility expenses include machinery repair costs, selling commissions, and basic packaging expenses for commercial purposes.

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The utilities expense incurred by a company’s manufacturing operations is considered part of its factory overhead. As such, the expense is accumulated in a cost pool and then allocated to the units produced in the period when the expense was incurred. If not all units produced are sold in the period, this means that some of the utilities expense will be recorded as part of the inventory asset, rather than being immediately charged to expense. The account should record all utility expenses as expenses, debiting them in the profit and loss account. In an accrual accounting system, the profit and loss account should record the actual consumption of utilities, irrespective of whether the payment has been made to the supplier or the supplier has issued a bill. In the case of a business organization, utility expenses refer to the amount of money the organization spends on utilities to support the sale of goods or services.

Utilities Expense Under the Accrual Basis of Accounting

It does not matter whether an invoice has been sent by the utility supplier to the company. If there is an amount to be charged that applied to the previous month, it is charged to the current month. Under the accrual basis of accounting, this account reports the cost of the electricity, heat, sewer, and water used during the period indicated in the heading of the income statement. The amount of Utilities Expense for the sales function is classified as a selling expense and the amount used for administration is classified as an administrative expense. Utilities used in the manufacturing process will be part of the cost of the products manufactured. The accrual basis of accounting recognizes utilities expenses as incurred compared to the cash basis accounting method when the bills are paid.

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