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Trading Account vs. Manufacturing Account: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 10, 2023
A trading account shows a company's buying and selling of goods, while a manufacturing account details costs involved in producing goods.

Key Differences

A trading account is a financial statement primarily used in businesses involved in buying and selling of goods. It reflects the direct expenses and revenue associated with trading activities. A manufacturing account, however, is used by manufacturing businesses and records the costs associated with producing the goods sold by the business.
In a trading account, the focus is on determining the gross profit or loss from trading activities by comparing the sales and the cost of goods sold. This account does not account for manufacturing costs but only the purchase and sale of finished goods. In contrast, a manufacturing account details the total cost of production, including raw materials, labor, and overhead expenses related to the manufacturing process.
The trading account helps in understanding the efficiency of a business in buying and selling goods, reflecting direct costs like purchase of stock and direct revenues from sales. A manufacturing account, on the other hand, is more concerned with the internal costs of production, providing insights into the efficiency of the manufacturing process.
In terms of financial reporting, the trading account forms part of the income statement and is directly linked to the profitability from trading operations. The manufacturing account, though, is an internal account, providing detailed insights into the production costs and is crucial for price-setting and cost control in manufacturing.
The primary purpose of a trading account is to ascertain the gross profit from trading activities, which is then used to cover operating expenses and provide net profit figures. The manufacturing account's purpose is to calculate the cost of goods produced, which is then transferred to the trading account to determine the cost of goods sold.

Comparison Chart


To determine gross profit/loss from trading
To calculate the cost of producing goods


Buying and selling of goods
Production costs including raw materials, labor, and overheads

Financial Statement

Part of the income statement
An internal account, not part of standard financial statements

Use in Business

Used by trading companies
Used by manufacturing companies

Primary Elements

Sales, cost of goods sold
Raw material costs, labor costs, production overheads

Trading Account and Manufacturing Account Definitions

Trading Account

Trading account reflects direct expenses and revenue from trading activities.
The trading account highlighted an increase in sales revenue over the past year.

Manufacturing Account

Manufacturing account is an internal account used for cost control and pricing decisions.
The data from the manufacturing account was used to revise product pricing.

Trading Account

A trading account is a financial statement showing the results of buying and selling goods.
The company's trading account showed a healthy gross profit this quarter.

Manufacturing Account

A manufacturing account helps in understanding the efficiency of the production process.
Analyzing the manufacturing account led to improvements in their production line.

Trading Account

Trading account calculates gross profit or loss by comparing sales and the cost of goods sold.
Their trading account revealed a decrease in gross profit due to higher purchase costs.

Manufacturing Account

Manufacturing account is used to calculate the total cost of goods produced.
The cost of goods produced, as per the manufacturing account, was higher this year.

Trading Account

Trading account is crucial for determining profitability from sales activities.
The trading account's results influenced their decision-making on pricing strategies.

Manufacturing Account

A manufacturing account records the costs associated with producing goods in a company.
Their manufacturing account showed a rise in production costs due to increased labor rates.

Trading Account

A trading account helps in analyzing the effectiveness of a business's trading operations.
By examining the trading account, they identified areas for cost reduction.

Manufacturing Account

Manufacturing account includes details of raw material, labor, and overhead expenses.
The manufacturing account indicated the need to streamline raw material procurement.


Is a trading account different from a profit and loss account?

Yes, a trading account calculates gross profit or loss, while a profit and loss account calculates net profit or loss.

What are the main components of a trading account?

The main components are opening stock, purchases, sales, closing stock, direct expenses, and direct revenues.

What is a trading account?

A trading account is a financial statement primarily used in business accounting to calculate the gross profit or loss of a business from buying and selling goods.

What are the key elements of a manufacturing account?

Key elements include raw materials, labor costs, manufacturing overheads, and work-in-progress.

What is closing stock in a trading account?

Closing stock refers to the unsold inventory at the end of an accounting period.

How does a trading account impact financial statements?

It provides the gross profit figure, which is a starting point for the profit and loss account.

Who needs to maintain a trading account?

Businesses involved in buying and selling goods, especially trading companies.

How does a manufacturing account differ from a trading account?

A manufacturing account focuses on the costs of producing goods, while a trading account deals with the buying and selling of goods.

Why is a trading account important?

It helps businesses determine the efficiency of their trading activities by revealing the gross profit or loss.

How is gross profit calculated in a trading account?

Gross profit is calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold (including direct expenses) from total sales.

What is a manufacturing account?

A manufacturing account is an accounting statement that shows the costs associated with the production of goods.

Who uses a manufacturing account?

It is used by manufacturing businesses to track the costs of producing goods.

How is the cost of goods manufactured calculated?

It’s calculated by adding the total cost of raw materials, labor, and overheads, and adjusting for work-in-progress.

Can service companies have a manufacturing account?

No, as they don’t engage in manufacturing goods.

Can service-oriented businesses have a trading account?

Generally no, as they don’t deal with goods but services.

Is a trading account mandatory for all businesses?

It’s essential for trading companies but may not be applicable for purely service-oriented businesses.

Does a manufacturing account show profit or loss?

No, it only shows the cost of production; profit or loss is determined in the trading account.

Why is a manufacturing account important?

It helps in determining the cost of production and setting the selling price of goods.

How does a manufacturing account affect pricing strategy?

By providing detailed cost information, it helps businesses set competitive yet profitable prices for their products.

Is a manufacturing account part of the final accounts?

Yes, it’s a preliminary step to prepare the trading and profit and loss account for manufacturing businesses.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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