Expenses are the out-of-pocket charges sustained by a company as a direct result of its regular activities. Both one-time and ongoing expenses impact a business’s bottom line and accounting practices; therefore, it’s important to distinguish between recurring expenses and nonrecurring expenses when analyzing financial statements.

Weekly, monthly, or yearly costs are all included in recurring expenses. These company costs may seem small when seen individually, but they may become significant over time. In addition, the quantity and size of your company’s recurrent expenditures will increase with its expansion.

Moreover, the subscription economy is expanding, so your company will need to monitor and control more subscriptions for services shortly. More than 45 percent of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services like SaaS and IaaS by 2024.

Due to the increasing volume of invoices for recurrent services, it is more important than ever that businesses keep tabs on these expenditures and make timely payments. If you don’t keep up with them, your recurring expenses will quickly become a severe strain on your resources. With this kind of expansion, tracking company operating costs with only a calendar and some Excel files is no longer possible.

Business owners must differentiate between fixed and variable expenditures to better plan for the future and save costs. Here, we’ll define recurring costs and one-time expenses, discuss their fundamental distinctions, and provide various instances.

What are Recurring Expenses?

General and administrative expenses are the typical, continuous costs associated with running a firm in the industry in which it has decided to operate. Therefore, companies will include these charges as indirect costs on their income statements and need to account for them in their balance sheets and cash flow statements.

General and administrative expenses are necessary to run a business, including executive compensation, employee wages or salaries, research and development costs, travel and related expenses, computer support services, and long-term depreciation of property, equipment, and other assets.

Indirect recurring expenses, such as rent, utilities, and insurance, comprise the bulk of typical recurrent expenditures. Therefore, they are often seen in the income statement after the computation of net revenue and are combined to get total operating income.

Depending on how they run their business, each enterprise will be responsible for handling the accounting of recurrent costs. Sometimes, companies may group their recurrent costs under a single heading, such as “SG&A” or “General & Administrative,” keeping many of their recurrent expenditures under wraps. In addition, the line items used to report on recurring expenses at certain businesses may be expanded to provide additional information.

The cash flow statement and balance sheet both include recurring bills and costs. These things will be classified as liabilities on the balance sheet. They may be further broken down into current liabilities and long-term liabilities. Recurring expenses are often shown as operational activities on the cash flow statement.

What are Nonrecurring Expenses?

In some ways, nonrecurring costs are more difficult to predict and budget for. Expenses labeled as unusual or one-time on a company’s financial accounts are ones the business does not anticipate recurring in the foreseeable future.

Many events might trigger nonrecurring charges, and these costs may be a significant distinction between GAAP and non-GAAP reporting.

Nonrecurring costs include those incurred during a merger, acquisition, purchase of the real estate, purchase of equipment, large-scale facility upgrade, severance pay costs associated with workforce reduction, or repair costs incurred as a result of a natural disaster or accident and may be required to be reported by companies.

It is common practice for businesses to modify GAAP net income for one-off costs. However, one common place to see these one-time expenditures is in the indirect costs column of the income statement, where they are treated as above-the-line expenses. In addition, nonrecurring expenses may be recorded as current liabilities or other types of short-term liabilities in the balance sheet. For example, non recurring expenses might appear in the cash flow statement’s operating, investment, or financing segments.

Investors should be aware of nonrecurring expenditures when reviewing a company’s financial statements because management has leeway in how they are reported and because they may considerably affect the profitability of a business within a given accounting period.

Nonrecurring Vs Recurring Expenses

Recurring Expenses Nonrecurring Expenses
Expenses that arise from typical operations are known as recurring or recurring expenses. When something extraordinary happens, such as a natural disaster or a significant theft, it might result in an expenditure that isn’t expected or budgeted for and isn’t considered a recurring expense.
Recurring expenses are different from occasional or periodic expenditures since they occur regularly. Rent and utility payments, for example, must be made on the first of every month. Expenses that are one-time only or do not reoccur often are considered nonrecurring—for instance, stock loss due to natural disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes.
Expenses that keep coming back up, or recurring expenditures, arising from the ordinary course of business. The reasons for one-time or exceptional costs in the company are as varied as the types of businesses themselves. To provide one example, the expenses incurred due to the construction of new offices are business-related. Still, those resulting from natural disasters are often classified as non-business-related.
Since they are the same every time, recurring expenses are profitable since their benefit is realized within a single accounting period or business cycle. Expenses that aren’t expected to be repeated anytime soon might be either recurrent or one-time. In this sense, the costs associated with purchasing new office equipment are mostly capital. In contrast, the losses incurred due to exchange or trade strikes may be primarily economic.
They are also amenable to cost management measures because they are based on the notion of recurring expenses. They are less practical through cost-control methods due to the arbitrary nature of the notion of non-repeating costs.
Utility expenditures that occur occasionally, sales and marketing expenses that occur often, depreciation expenses, etc., all fall under the category of recurring expenses. Examples of one-time expenses include the price of a famous suit that is very expensive or the cost of a complete rebuild after a natural disaster.
Regular expenses are different from occasional or periodic expenditures since they occur regularly. Rent and utility payments, for example, must be made on the first of every month. Expenses that are one-time only or do not reoccur often are considered nonrecurring. For instance, stock loss results from natural disasters like floods, fires, and earthquakes.
Recurring expenses are often not fixed. Therefore they may be reasonably estimated and often addressed on an ad hoc basis. In addition, these expenses help form the basis of a company’s cost plan or budget. When something extraordinary happens, such as a natural disaster or a significant theft, it might result in an expenditure that isn’t expected or budgeted for and isn’t considered a recurring expense.
Expenses that arise from typical operations are known as recurring or recurring expenses. On the other hand, one cannot anticipate or calculate nonrecurring or non-repeating costs since they are less predictable.
Overheads are often applied to the item costs to account for recurring or recurrent expenditures. Non-repeating expenses, such as one-time and consistently high quantum costs, often do not form the basis of the item cost.
Following their preference, recurrent expenses may be recorded in exchange or benefit and misfortune accounts. Whether capital or income, nonrecurring expenditures may be written off as an operating expense or capitalized in the income statement. A particular accounting remark in the financial reports or financial information is usually used to note these charges’ occurrence.

Though nonrecurring and recurring expenses share some similarities, there are some critical differences between the two to consider, including:

Effect on Income

It’s important to distinguish between recurring costs and one-time costs since they have distinct impacts on revenue. The total operating expenses of a firm are the ongoing expenditures that are incurred regularly.

A company’s fixed expenses are consistent regardless of whether it continues to use the service, switches to a new supplier, or lessens its reliance on the service. For example, suppose a business has been paying for insurance but has discovered a more cost-effective plan. In that case, the difference in the monthly insurance premiums is money that may be included as extra revenue.

Expenses that aren’t regular have a remarkable impact on revenue. For example, nonrecurring costs might have a higher short-term effect on a company’s profits than regular operating expenditures since they aren’t planned for in advance.

For instance, if a business has to hire a lawyer to manage the patent for a new piece of equipment, such costs might eat into the company’s profits for the period in question. However, since the payment to the lawyer is a one-time expense, unless it is large enough to force the firm into debt, it will not have a lasting impact on the company’s financial health.

Measuring Expenses

Businesses track recurring expenses that occur often and those that seldom happen in two separate ways. A corporation may measure its regular costs as a single total rather than a detailed list to simplify its books.

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A company may aggregate expenses, including rent, insurance, raw materials, and staff wages, into a single line item on its income statement. Expenses that aren’t regular are broken down into parts and documented with the total amount, description, and date paid.

Examples of Recurring Expenses

Typical instances of repeating costs in business include:

Tax Costs

Businesses pay taxes on income, sales, and specific industries. So even though they may rise and fall with the company’s revenue and the tax rate, firms must nonetheless account for taxes as a regular outlay.

Insurance Costs

Insurance is a standard company precaution; many get it for their buildings, employees, and corporate cars. Any insurance policies maintained by the corporation are reflected in the monthly, yearly, or semiannual rates shown.


Companies account for monthly lease or rental payments on equipment, cars, and other fixed assets as a regular operating cost. These fees are a consistent aspect of running a business and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Raw Materials Costs

To keep manufacturing going, certain businesses need consistent deliveries of raw materials from a supplier. As a result, the firm incurs ongoing expenses for procuring and transporting these supplies.


Companies compensate their workers by paying them a salary and offering them other advantages. There will always be a need to budget for these costs since the firm must pay its personnel regularly and include the price of labour in its overall operational expenditures.

Examples of Nonrecurring Expenses

For your reference, below are some typical company nonrecurring expenses:

Emergency Costs

Expenses incurred amid a natural catastrophe are one-time charges. This includes losses incurred from storms, floods, earthquakes, or the collapse of buildings or trees. In addition, damage to corporate cars, property, or employees may incur costs.

Property Purchases

The money spent on a new piece of property, or the interest paid on loan used to finance the acquisition, is a one-time expenditure for a business. The corporation may also add other costs, such as those associated with government inspections or real estate agents.

Vehicle Purchases

Unless it is involved in the sale or distribution of automobiles or automotive components, the acquisition of a car is recorded as a nonrecurring expenditure. One-time costs like this tend to be rare for companies.

Legal Fees

Legal costs, such as those for attorneys, court costs, filing fees, and other costs linked with disputes and court appearances, are recorded as one-time costs. On the other hand, a monthly retainer paid to an attorney or other legal practitioner may be recorded as ongoing business expenditure.

Machinery or Tool Purchases

Tool and equipment acquisitions are another one-time cost for a company. The corporation may invest several thousand dollars in new machinery or upgraded staff equipment.

How Does Moon Invoice Help to Automate Recurring Invoice?

Automatic billing schedules are commonplace for recurring charges. A client guarantees they will provide a company with their billing information and pay on time.

During an automatic payment, a customer’s credit card is automatically charged once a predetermined transaction has been processed. If the customer had always given their banking information and credit card number, the back-end process would be the same.

Instead, an official receipt is often sent to the buyer as evidence that their money has been received. When a business accepts periodic prompt payments, the process is often automated.

Here is how the process of issuing a recurring invoice works:

  • Pick up a flexible format to use as a basis for regular billing communications.
  • Modify the sample invoice by adding new data.
  • You may choose the interval between each bill.
  • The timing of the subsequent transmission has been set.
  • Accept the customer’s credit card or another suitable payment method.
  • Sending the bill after the agreed-upon time frame is a no-go.

After setting up, your recurring invoice may be issued manually depending on your delivery choices. Automating bills with software like Moon Invoice may save time and alleviate stress.

The most advanced implementations of this software let businesses manage the whole process, from generating project estimates to keeping tabs on employee time and payments. For example, suppose your business regularly bills customers using the same invoice. In that case, you may want to look into automated solutions and recurring fees.