10 Difference between Turnover and Revenue (With Table)

What is the main difference between turnover and revenue? Turnover refers to the total volume of a business operation while revenue refers to the total income a business receives from its regular operations.

Many people tend to use turnover and revenue interchangeably in business. These terms mean the same thing in some context and this could be the reason behind the confusion. Businesses can earn more revenue by turning over their inventories.

This post explains the difference between turnover and revenue in accounting. Keep in mind that turnover could also mean business activities that do not generate sales income. Take the time to read through the entire article for better understanding.

Difference between Turnover and Revenue with Table

Basic Terms Turnover Revenue
Definition Total sales or gross income generated by a business during a specific period, often referred to as the top line of the income Income generated from the primary activities of a business, which may include sales, fees, subscriptions, and other sources.
Components Includes all sources of income, such as sales of goods or services, interest, and any other income streams. Primarily consists of income from the sale of goods or services, excluding other sources of income like interest.
Scope It can be broader and may encompass all forms of income, including non-operating It is more focused on income generated from core business operations.
Calculation Calculated by adding up all sources of income without deducting expenses. Computed by multiplying the number of units sold by the selling price of each unit (net sales).
Timing Turnover is typically used in financial statements and may be recorded at the end of a fiscal year. Revenue is commonly used in income statements and recognized during the period when goods or services are delivered or when they are earned.
Inclusions Includes both operating and non-operating income sources, such as interest income. Primarily includes operating revenue, which relates to the core business activities.
GAAP Considerations May not strictly follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and can vary in different regions or industries. Follows Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and has specific rules for recognition and reporting.
Profit Calculation Used to calculate gross profit by deducting the cost of goods sold (COGS) from turnover. Used to calculate net profit (profit after deducting all expenses from revenue).
Taxation Turnover can impact tax liability, as some regions tax based on total turnover. Revenue is a key factor in determining taxable income and tax obligations.
Industry Variations Term more commonly used in sectors like retail, manufacturing, and services. Widely used term applicable to various industries, including tech and finance.

What Is Turnover?

Turnover, in business and finance, refers to the total sales or gross income generated by a company during a specific period, typically a fiscal year.

It represents the sum of all income sources, including revenue from the sale of goods or services, interest income, and any other forms of income. Turnover is often referred to as the “top line” of a company’s income statement.

Examples of Turnover:

Retail Sales: If a clothing store generates $1 million in sales revenue over a fiscal year, this $1 million represents the turnover for that period.

Service Fees: A consulting firm earns $500,000 from service fees during a year. This $500,000 is part of the firm’s turnover.

Interest Income: A bank receives $100,000 in interest income from loans and investments within a fiscal quarter. This $100,000 contributes to the bank’s quarterly turnover.

Product Sales: An electronics manufacturer sells $5 million worth of smartphones during a year. The $5 million is included in the company’s annual turnover figure.

Turnover is a critical financial metric that provides an overview of a company’s total income before expenses are deducted. It is a fundamental indicator used in financial analysis and comparisons among businesses.

What Is Revenue?

Revenue, in the context of business and finance, represents the income a company generates from its primary activities, such as selling goods or providing services. It is the money earned by a company before deducting any expenses, taxes, or other costs.

Revenue is a key component of a company’s income statement and is often referred to as the “top line” because it is the first line item listed. Examples of Revenue:

Product Sales: A retail store sells $2 million worth of clothing during a fiscal year. The $2 million in sales revenue is a crucial part of the company’s overall revenue.

Service Fees: A consulting firm charges clients $150 per hour, and in a year, they bill clients for a total of $1.5 million in service fees. This $1.5 million represents the firm’s revenue.

Subscription Income: A streaming platform collects $10 per month from each subscriber, and it has 100,000 subscribers. The monthly subscription income of $1 million contributes to the platform’s revenue.

Advertising Revenue: An online news website generates $500,000 in revenue from advertisers who pay to display their ads on the site.

Revenue is a vital financial metric that reflects a company’s core business activities. It is used to assess a company’s financial performance, calculate profitability, and make comparisons within the industry or over different periods.

Main Difference between Turnover and Revenue

  1. Revenue represents the money a company receives, whether from its core operations or other sources. Turnover, on the other hand, is the total sales generated by a business within a specific timeframe.
  2. Turnover helps gauge how efficiently a company manages resources to plan and control production levels. Revenue, in contrast, showcases sales growth and overall profitability compared to previous periods.
  3. Turnover indicates how swiftly a company conducts its operations, including cash collection and product sales. Revenue signifies the income a company earns from product sales or non-operating activities.
  4. Ratios like inventory turnover, sales turnover, debtors turnover, and asset turnover reveal how many times items are replaced or converted in a year, aligning with the turnover concept. Conversely, revenue is used in calculating profitability ratios such as gross profit, operating profit, and net profit.

Similarities between Turnover and Revenue

  1. Both are financial metrics used to assess a company’s financial performance.
  2. Both encompass income generated by a company, including sales of goods or services.
  3. Both are components of a company’s financial statements, contributing to the top line or total income.
  4. Both are used for evaluating a company’s financial health and profitability.
  5. Both are used as essential financial indicators across various industries.
  6. Both metrics help in assessing a company’s performance and growth.
  7. Both are used in financial analysis and reporting, aiding in decision-making.
  8. Both can be used for benchmarking and comparing a company’s performance to industry standards.


The key difference between turnover and revenue lies in their focus and scope within financial analysis. Turnover primarily concentrates on assessing a company’s operational efficiency, resource management, and production control. It measures how swiftly a company replaces or converts its assets, reflecting its operational agility.

On the other hand, revenue is centered on the overall income generated by a company from its primary business activities, encompassing sales of goods or services. It signifies the company’s total income before any expenses or deductions, portraying its sales growth and profitability.

While turnover measures the frequency of asset turnover and operational speed, revenue provides a broader view of a company’s income sources.

Both metrics are essential for evaluating a company’s financial health, but they serve distinct purposes in financial analysis and decision-making, offering complementary insights into different aspects of a company’s performance and financial well-being.

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