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What is COS?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

Definition of COS

In accounting, the acronym COS could indicate either cost of sales or cost of services.

The income statement of a manufacturer or a retailer might use the term cost of sales or it might use the term cost of goods sold, cost of products sold, or cost of revenue to describe the amount that it is subtracting from its sales revenue to report the amount of its gross profit or gross margin.

Companies that provide services will use the term cost of services or cost of service revenues to report the direct costs associated with providing services to its clients/customers.

Example of COS

The income statements of companies will not use the acronym COS. Instead, the companies will show the words cost of sales and/or cost of services. For example, the income statements of Apple and Intuit report both cost of products and cost of services.

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About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

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