My teacher has asked me to give a presentation about an imaginary company. According to the instruction, I should introduce both income and turnover of that company, but I was really confused about the difference between these two words.

After some googling, I found "income" means "money received, especially on a regular basis, for work or through investments.", whereas "turnover" means "the amount of money taken by a business in a particular period." However, the difference is still not clear to me. Does a company's "income" include its "turnover" in some sense, or vice versa?

The instruction is posted here as the context:

Your dream company:

  • What is your company called?
  • ......

Figures for the last year:

  • What was its turnover?
  • How was this divided up by region(country)?
  • What was its final income?
  • What % was spent on Research & Development(R&D)?
  • It's possible you misheard, since "overturn" is no business term I know. "Income and Expenses" would be more likely. – Andrew Oct 7 '16 at 4:05
  • 1
    Perhaps what your teacher actually said was turnover, although without more context that is just a guess. Can you use the edit key to provide more of your teacher's presentation? Also, can you tell us if your teacher is a native English speaker? – P. E. Dant Oct 7 '16 at 5:22
  • @P.E.Dant Yes, I did mean "turnover". That was a mistake in my question, and I've fixed it now. Our teacher teacher is not a native English speaker. Instead, she is a Chinese giving us lessons on BEC vantage. – Dianafreedom Oct 7 '16 at 6:08
  • "How does this divided up" should read "How does this divide up" or "How was this divided up" or "How did this divide up". That could be made into a separate question. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '16 at 12:03
  • @TRomano That was a mistake, it should be "How was this divided up by region(country)?". – Dianafreedom Oct 7 '16 at 14:52

The amount of money a company produces by selling items is called its


which also can be referred to as

sales (AmE)



is the amount of money a company makes after certain reductions, e.g. cost of goods sold.

So, income includes turnover in its calculation.

Here is an example Income Statement which shows Turnover as a top-line item


  • Turnover as I understand it is always net in EU and Asian usage, see for instance here. – P. E. Dant Oct 7 '16 at 6:31
  • Usage and terminology can vary as accounting practices may vary. There can be several different "types" of turnover: inventory turnover, sales turnover, etc... Usually in a broad sense Turnover = Sales = Revenue if any of those three terms are increasing the company is selling more stuff. There are also different measures for income which can also be called earnings. This number is usually expressed after Cost of Goods Sold, it can be labelled with additional adjectives earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), net income, retained earnings, etc... – Peter Oct 7 '16 at 8:34
  • @P.E.Dant Your source says net of all discounts and sales taxes -- monies either never collected or collected on behalf of the government. It's definitely not net of cost of goods and other expenses. – Thomas Taylor Oct 7 '16 at 10:05
  • There is also employee turnover, which refers to the frequency with which employees leave the company and need to be replaced. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '16 at 12:01
  • @ThomasTaylor I omitted the word sales after _ net._ I don't know what "dudamobile" is, but they have it: Turnover is the net sales generated by a business, while profit is the residual earnings of a business after all expenses have been charged against net sales. – P. E. Dant Oct 7 '16 at 17:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.