Interest expense is one of the core expenses found in the income statement. A company must finance its assets either through debt or equity. With the former, the company will incur an expense related to the cost of borrowing. Understanding a company’s interest expense helps to understand its capital structure and financial performance.
Interest is often found as a separate line item below EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes). Alternatively, some companies may list interest in the SG&A section, depending on their accounting practices.
Most commonly, interest expense arises out of company borrowing money. However, another transaction that generates interest expense is the use of capital leases. When a firm leases an asset from another company, the lease balance generates an interest expense that appears on the income statement.
Where does the Expense Appear on the Income Statement?
Below is an example of where interest expense appears on the income statement:
Interest is found in the income statement, but can also be calculated using a debt schedule. The schedule outlines all the major pieces of debt a company has on its balance sheet, and the balances on each period opening (as shown above). This balance is multiplied by the debt’s interest rate to find the expense. Capital leases are not typically found in the debt schedule.