Difference Between Liability and Expense (With Table)

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Today all kinds of subjects and studies exist in the world from the study of rocks that is geology to the study of dark matter and string theory, from the literature review to the study of numbers.

Excelling in these subjects determines your status in the outside world, one of the most adaptive yet harrowing accounts or bookkeeping issues. Accounts seem to be a complicated subject, but excelling in them can lead to the world’s highest-paid jobs.

Accounting is the very soul of the corporate world. Every business in the world maintains its books to determine transaction, no of expenses the liabilities and assets the firm holds. All the terms like the asset, liability, balance sheets, revenue, all these rose from the accounts and play a vital role in every business’s functioning. 

Many terms in the accounting world have created confusion, and one of them is the Liability and Expense.

Liability vs Expense

The difference between liability and expense is that liability is the obligations that every business holds and must pay them in a particular period. Expenses are the small costs incurred in a single financial year and are based on day-to-day expenditure and are paid on sight and do not exceed over a long time. Liabilities are also current and non -currently based on period; an example of liability are bank loans, creditors etc. example of expenses are salaries, insurance, advertisements and petty expenses.

Comparison Table Between Liability and Expenses

Parameters of ComparisonLiabilityExpenses
MeaningThese are the obligations held by every firm in a single or more than one financial year and are required to pay in a particular period else it can affect the firm’s goodwill.These are the day-to-day costs that are occurred in a single financial year and are cleared within a single year. These expenses are ordinary and happened to bring revenue.            
Reflected InThese liabilities are reflected in the balance sheet.These expenses are reflected in the profit and loss account.
NatureLiabilities are not immediate and do not occur naturally.Expenses are very immediate and can occur at any time.            
TypesThere are two types of liability that are current and non-current.Expenses are not classified further.
Effect on GoodwillIf the expenses occurring on liabilities are not paid on time can affect the reputation and the goodwill of the firms, lesser the penalty more the goodwill.Expenses, occurring in nature and are paid in a specifying period; these do not affect the goodwill and cannot be minimized.
Reason to OccurLiability generally occurs to generate an asset or make a huge capital expenditure.Expenses occur to generate revenue for the company that the source of money.
Types of TransactionLiability is the non-cash meaning they are not paid in monetary value these re the obligations that the company holds.These are cash transaction, meaning they are paid in real cash at real-time.

What is Expense?

Expenses are the day-to-day cost caused in one financial year and are paid off in a single year. These expenses occur and can never be stopped because this is how the firms work.

 Expenses refer to those costs like salaries, interest on the loan, life premiums wages etc. These expenses are usually reflected in the debit and the credit side of the profit and loss account.

The expenses never affect the Goodwill of the firm. All the costs and have to be paid within a specified period, for example, the salaries have to be paid every month the life premium has to be paid after every three months or four months. The expenses generally occur for the functioning of assets to generate revenue. For example, the workers who are the expense of the form are going to work on the asset that is the firm’s machinery to generate the revenue or income for the company.

 In other words, the expense is a cost for operating a firm and keep the business running non-payment of the form can lead to the increasing or the piling of costs and can ultimately lead to misfunctioning of the company.

What are Liabilities?

Liabilities are the held-up obligations by any companies in its balance sheets. Liabilities can be tangible or intangible; real liabilities can be touched like a mortgage machine and non-tangible like a bank loan.

Liabilities are also further classified as current or non-current liabilities; current liabilities are those liabilities which are and have to be paid within one year. For example, short term bank loans outstanding money to creditors. Non-current liabilities, for example, long term bank loans bought up mortgage machinery etc.

Liabilities are bought up to attract more assets into the companies. Liability such as bank loan will help us buy machinery and plant worth a lot of money that will generate revenue or income for the company.

But the liabilities also affect the company’s Goodwill more than the liability is less the Goodwill of the firm.

But if the liabilities are lesser, the company’s creditworthiness increases by itself, meaning the banks and other creditors will be willing to extend the loans to the firm. Example of liabilities is loans and creditors.

Main Differences Between Liability and Expenses

  1. Liabilities refer to the obligation that companies or firms hold to generate assets and have to be paid in a specified period. In contrast, the expenses are the day-to-day costs paid by the companies and are paid on the spot to generate revenue.
  2. Liabilities can be classified as current or non-current, current liabilities are the liabilities that have to be paid within a year and non-current are those which can differ for more than a year whereas the expenses are not classified.
  3. Liabilities are reflected in the firm’s balance sheet with the assets that have to match further, whereas the expenses are reflected in the firm’s profit and loss account.
  4. They are accrued meaning the expenses that have to be paid but not paid and then squared off and then finally paid whereas the costs are paid on the spot or maximum a particular period examples salary paid every month.
  5. The lesser the firm’s liability in its name, the more goodwill or the reputation increases and the creditworthiness that automatically makes the bank extend more loan to the firm. In contrast, expenses can never be avoided and always occurring; they don’t affect the goodwill.


Every subject and study in the world today are vital as it helps us understand the working. Accounts are one of the most and take up research in the business world as it helps to determine the company’s reputation. 

Many terms that came out of accounts are complicated yet confusing. Liability is the company’s obligations, and expenses are the day-to-day cost that helps generate revenue or income.