Accounting Profit Vs. Economic Profit

Accounting Profit

We generally look at profits from accounting perspective. From the perspective of an accountant, profit is the difference between total revenue and total actual expenses incurred by the firm’s actors of production. These are the explicit costs incurred by the firm. Explicit costs are the monetary payments to resource owners.

Accounting Profits = Total Revenue – Explicit Costs

Let’s say the company earned a total revenue of $100,000, and their explicit costs such as raw material cost, labour cost, etc., were $80,000. The company’s accounting profit will be:

Accounting Profit = 100,000 – 80,000 = $20,000

Economic Profit

Economists on the other hand have a different view of what constitutes profits. They not only consider the explicit costs but also implicit costs (opportunity cost). Implicit costs are the returns foregone by not taking owners’ resources to market.

Economic Profit = Total Revenue – Explicit Costs – Implicit Costs

Let’s continue with our example. If the owners had invested this money elsewhere they would have earned $10,000 on it. This is the implicit cost. The economic profit will be calculated as follows:

Economic Profit = 100,000 – 80,000 – 10,000 = $10,000

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