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Retained Earnings And Net Profit: What Is The Difference?

Retained Earnings And Net Profit

You’ve most likely come across these two words on the monthly basis and financial statements. Perhaps you’re not certain about what are retained earnings and what is net profit, how they vary, or whether it matters. Have you ever wondered What is the difference between Net Profit and Retained earnings?

Retained earnings might go two ways. A part of a company’s profit that is kept or retained from net profits at the close of a reporting period and saved for potential use as shareholder equity is referred to as retained earnings. Retained profits are also an essential part of corporate interest in determining a company’s book value. Whereas, The net profit of a corporation is also known as its net profits, net sales, or bottom line. It reflects a company’s financial position after all its investments have been deducted from its gross income.

Notably, it pays for all of a firm’s financial activities other than tax payments. Company owners may prevent miscalculations and create solid financial plans by basing their decisions on this basic principle.

Here is a quick example for this: Difference between Net Profit and Retained Earnings

For instance, if the difference between net sales and expenditures is $1,500, add it to the retained earnings account to cancel the income summary account. To close the dividend account, debit the period’s dividends to the retained earnings account. Retained profits are the part of a company’s net profits that management keeps for internal purposes rather than paid out as dividends to shareholders. In a nutshell, remaining earnings are the sum of earnings that are yet to be distributed to owners.

What are retained earnings?

What are retained earnings? The value of net income left over by the company after dividends have been paid out to shareholders is retained earnings (RE). A company receives payments, which may include profits and losses.

Profits allow the business owner(s) or group management a lot of leeway in deciding how to spend the extra cash. This benefit is frequently distributed to customers, but it can often be invested back money into the firm to help it prosper. The income that is not returned to owners is referred to as deferred profits.

This is what is leftover from your net earnings when you paid out dividends to shareholders. It is also known as member money. It also contains your retained earnings up to this stage.

Shareholders: shareholders are the people who invest their stocks or equity within your business.

Dividends: dividends are the Revenue distributed back to the shareholders. Sometimes they distribute as cash, or sometimes the firms even offer a dividend investment program (DRIP) for their shareholders to reinvest into the business at cheaper rates. Have you ever wondered how to calculate retained earnings? We will further elaborate how to find retained earnings.

How to calculate retained earnings?

BP= beginning period

C= Cash dividends

S= Stock dividends

Retained Earnings formula:

RE = BP + Net Income (or Loss) – C – S

How to calculate retained earnings? Here is an example

Suppose your company started its business on January 1, 2020. Your retained earnings account has $0 as of January 1, 2020, because so far, you do not have any retained earnings.

Now let’s assume you have earned $1000 as net income in January and did not issue any dividends.

Therefore on February 1, you have $1000 as your retained earnings:

Current retained earnings + Net income – Dividends = Retained earnings

$0 + $1,000 – $0 = $1000

So, you earned $1000 as profits and retained all of them. 


  • Dividends may be paid to company owners (shareholders) in the form of income money that has been allocated (fully or partially) to them.
  • It may be used to broaden current company activities, such as the manufacturing capability of existing goods or adding additional sales reps.
  • It can be used to introduce a new model or version, such as a refrigerator manufacturer expanding into the production of air conditioners or a chocolate cookie manufacturer introducing citrus- or pineapple-flavored versions.
  • The funds will be used for any potential merger, takeover, or alliance that may result in better market prospects.
  • It can also be used to buy back shares.
  • The proceeds will be used to pay off any unpaid loans (debt) owed by the company.

What is Net Profit?

The net profit is also known as its net profits, net sales, or bottom line. It reflects a company’s financial position after all its investments have been deducted from its gross income.

Difference Retained Earnings And Net Profit

Notably, it pays for all of a firm’s financial activities other than tax payments. Company owners may prevent miscalculations and create solid financial plans by basing their decisions on this basic principle.

Typically, the net benefit in the balance sheet is reported at the bottom line of the financial statement.


You will calculate a company’s net profit by reading the financial statement and using the following simple calculation:

Total revenue – Total expenses = net profit

After calculating a company’s gross sales from all income sources, net profit is calculated by deducting all costs over a given duration. This straightforward estimate must take into account all money that comes into and out of a company.

If a company’s charges and losses exceed its profits, it is considered a net loss rather than a net profit.

A variety of factors can influence a company’s net profit. Inadequate financial reporting, declining Revenue, and bad customer service, for example, may all result in low profits or a loss.

Example of Net Profit Calculation:

Suppose an eCommerce firm has #=$350,000 as Revenue with a cost of sold goods $50,000, leaving them with a gross profit of $300,000. If $75,000 is reserved for salaries, $25,000 for opening expenses, and $5,000 for taxes. These numbers are subtracted by the gross profit and leaving $195,000 as of the net income.


Please Note: Your net profit is not a measure of how much money you made in a given time frame. This is due to the fact that your income statement will contain a number of non-cash charges, such as depreciation and amortization.


Net profit is essential to understand and care about because it illustrates your business’s success. In reality, it is a much more important statistic than profits since there is no point in making a large number of purchases if they do not result in a profit.Net gain also indicates how much cash you have left to pay the owners and reinvest in the company. Some of the other reasons include:

The Revenue – to determine how much tax you would pay.

Banks and other borrowers – banks and other organizations that lend to companies use net profit figures to get a clearer view of the company to determine the loan’s suitability. The net benefit would give them an idea of the willingness to pay.

Competitors – Since you are a limited corporation, your opponents will be able to access your net profit by analyzing the tax return you file. This will give them a more outstanding picture of the company and its growth.

Investors and owners – net profit is critical whether you are looking for money or whether you have shareholders. A healthy and reliable net profit result would reassure investors that they will get a return.


This article’s medium tried to differentiate between net profit and retained earnings by overviewing both, mentioning the formulae, and demonstrating an example of each. We also elaborated on where retained are utilized and why net profit is essential for your business.

Author Bio: 

Elena James is a Business analyst and digital marketer. She helps small businesses to grow with the best business ideas and digital marketing strategies. Currently working as a business analyst at eBetterBooks.


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