difference among gain, profit, income, revenue


New Member
Argentina - Spanish
I need to know the exact difference among some words that seem to mean the same: gain, income, benefit, earnings, profit and revenue.
I think that all but revenue have the same meaning: money entry minus costs.
And then revenue means: gross money entry.

Can anyone confirm if I'm right ??

Thank in advance for any help :)
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Gain = amount of money gained over what was had at the beginning.
    Profit = the amount of money earned onces costs are detracted.

    Revenue = the amount of money earned (as the result of operations, an action, etc.)
    Income = the amount of money earned (usually fixed; within a period -- e.g. personal income from salary, investments, etc.)

    Earnings = the amount of money earned from a job/action/operation, etc.

    Benefit = depends on the context.


    Senior Member
    As accounting professors often say, "It all depends...".

    Are you interested in the common colloquial uses of these words, or their
    meanings in accounting and finance? Customs change from country to country.

    Here are some AE (US) descriptions of the words in your list:

    gain= the difference between starting and ending amount. This may be for a corporation, an individual, an account, or something else. It may be a quantity or a percentage. That all depends (ah, that accounting professor term again) on context.

    income= In the US, this is often used to mean profit. It may be a gross or net figure, and is usually labeled as "net income" if it is gross revenue less expenses, depreciation and taxes.

    benefit= depends entirely on context. This is not generally an accounting or finance term used on Income Statements or Balance Sheets or other formal documents.

    earnings= May be used to represent net profit, either or a corporate or per share of equity basis.

    profit= Gross revenues less expenses, or in the case of net profit, the same less taxes and depreciation.

    revenue= Careful with this one. In colloquial use it may be used in many ways. In accounting terms, revenue is money received or booked. It is not the same as profit.
    Get confirmation from a BE speaker, but in BE this is sometimes called turnover.
    It is a gross amount, with no deductions for expenses or capital depreciation.

    You should verify your use of these words in an accounting or finance glossary for the variety of English you wish to use.
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