If you are in a retail or wholesale business, you can check the accuracy of your gross profit figure. First, divide gross profit by net receipts. The resulting percentage measures the average spread between the merchandise cost of goods sold and the selling price.
Next, compare this percentage to your markup policy. Little or no difference between these two percentages shows that your gross profit figure is accurate. A large difference between these percentages may show that you did not accurately figure sales, purchases, inventory, or other items of cost. You should determine the reason for the difference.taxmap/pubs/p334-020.htm#en_us_publink100025307
Joe Able operates a retail business. On the average, he marks up his merchandise so that he will realize a gross profit of 331/3% on its sales. The net receipts (gross receipts minus returns and allowances) shown on his income statement is $300,000. His cost of goods sold is $200,000. This results in a gross profit of $100,000 ($300,000 − $200,000). To test the accuracy of this year's results, Joe divides gross profit ($100,000) by net receipts ($300,000). The resulting 331/3% confirms his markup percentage of 331/3%.