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Capital Expenditure vs. Revenue Expenditure: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 16, 2024
Capital Expenditure is spending on acquiring or improving fixed assets, while Revenue Expenditure is spending on day-to-day operations and maintenance.
Capital Expenditure vs. Revenue Expenditure

Key Differences

Capital Expenditure (CapEx) refers to funds used by a company to acquire, upgrade, and maintain physical assets like property, buildings, technology. Revenue Expenditure (RevEx), on the other hand, is the spending on operational costs such as rent, utilities, and salaries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 16, 2024
CapEx typically involves large investments in assets that will benefit the business over a long period, while RevEx represents the short-term expenses necessary for the immediate functionality of a business.
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CapEx usually appears on the balance sheet and contributes to the future earning capacity of the company. In contrast, RevEx is recorded on the income statement and relates to expenses incurred during the current accounting period.
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Jan 16, 2024
The benefits of CapEx are enjoyed over several years, as these expenditures usually have a lasting impact on the company’s operations. RevEx, however, offers benefits that are consumed within the same accounting period.
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Jan 16, 2024
CapEx can be depreciated over the life of the asset, while RevEx is fully expensed in the accounting period in which it is incurred.
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

Acquisition or improvement of fixed assets
Daily operational costs and maintenance
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Duration of Benefit

Long-term benefits
Short-term, immediate benefits
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Financial Statement

Appears on the balance sheet
Recorded on the income statement
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Depreciation

Can be depreciated over the asset’s life
Expensed in the same accounting period
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Examples

Purchasing machinery, building renovations
Utility bills, salaries, office supplies
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Capital Expenditure and Revenue Expenditure Definitions

Capital Expenditure

Capital Expenditure is spending on acquiring or improving long-term assets.
Building a new factory is a capital expenditure for a manufacturing company.
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Revenue Expenditure

Revenue Expenditure does not result in a significant future benefit.
Purchasing office supplies like paper and ink is a revenue expenditure.
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Capital Expenditure

Capital Expenditure includes spending on assets with a useful life extending beyond the current year.
Upgrading the company's production line is a significant capital expenditure.
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Revenue Expenditure

Revenue Expenditure is necessary for the immediate functionality and maintenance of business.
Regular repairs and maintenance of machinery are considered revenue expenditure.
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Capital Expenditure

Capital Expenditure is often a large, one-time expense for long-term benefits.
The acquisition of land for business expansion is a form of capital expenditure.
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Revenue Expenditure

Revenue Expenditure includes expenses that are fully expensed within the accounting year.
Paying for electricity and water utilities are examples of revenue expenditure.
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Capital Expenditure

Capital Expenditure is an investment in physical assets or fixed assets.
Buying new computers for the office is considered a capital expenditure.
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Revenue Expenditure

Revenue Expenditure is spending on operational costs and routine maintenance.
Monthly rent payments for office space are a type of revenue expenditure.
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Capital Expenditure

Capital Expenditure enhances the future earning capacity of a company.
Investing in research and development is a capital expenditure for technology firms.
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Revenue Expenditure

Revenue Expenditure is the cost of running day-to-day business operations.
Employee salaries and wages fall under revenue expenditure.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How does Capital Expenditure affect a company’s financial health?

It's a long-term investment that can enhance a company's earning capacity.
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Jan 16, 2024

What is Capital Expenditure?

It's the spending on acquiring or upgrading long-term assets of a company.
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Is Revenue Expenditure recurring?

Yes, it recurs regularly and is necessary for day-to-day business operations.
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Can Capital Expenditure be financed through loans?

Yes, companies often finance CapEx through loans or external funding.
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Are marketing expenses Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

They are usually Revenue Expenditures, being part of operational costs.
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What is Revenue Expenditure?

It's the spending on daily operational costs and routine maintenance.
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Are employee training costs considered Revenue Expenditure?

Generally, yes, as they are part of operational costs.
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Can Capital Expenditure improve a company's market value?

Potentially yes, as it can enhance the company's future profitability.
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Are taxes considered Revenue Expenditure?

Yes, taxes are operational costs and classified as Revenue Expenditure.
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Is purchasing a building a Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

It's a Capital Expenditure as it’s a long-term asset investment.
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How is Capital Expenditure treated in accounting?

It's capitalized on the balance sheet and depreciated over the asset’s life.
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How does Revenue Expenditure affect profit?

It's deducted from revenue, directly affecting the net profit.
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Is inventory purchase a Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

It's generally considered Revenue Expenditure, as it's part of operational inventory costs.
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Is repairing machinery a Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

Routine repairs are Revenue Expenditure, but major upgrades can be CapEx.
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Can a small business have Capital Expenditures?

Yes, any business can have CapEx when investing in long-term assets.
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Do companies prefer Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

It depends on their strategy, financial status, and operational needs.
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Can Capital Expenditure be deferred?

In some cases, companies may defer CapEx to manage cash flow.
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Are software upgrades Capital or Revenue Expenditures?

Major upgrades can be CapEx, but routine software expenses are RevEx.
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Does Capital Expenditure impact a company’s cash flow?

Yes, it involves significant outlay and can affect short-term cash flow.
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Is rent a Capital or Revenue Expenditure?

Rent is a Revenue Expenditure, as it's a regular operational cost.
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Jan 16, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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