The differences between CAPEX and OPEX
CAPEX and OPEX are two concepts linked to the way in which the expenses incurred by the company will be included in its accounting and financial balance sheet. OPEX (Operating Expenses) corresponds to operating expenses. CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) corresponds to investment expenditure. These two terms, CAPEX and OPEX, refer to different categories of expenditure depending on their use and management rules.
H2: Difference between operating and capital expenditure (OPEX/CAPEX)
Operating expenses (OPEX) or running expenses are the current expenses of the company to ensure the functioning of the services. These expenses concern the purchase of goods and raw materials, the purchase of administrative supplies, rentals, subcontracting, social security charges, maintenance, repairs, leasing fees, etc. These expenses appear as expenses in the company's income statement. As a result, they do not impact the company's debt capacity and are deductible from taxable income.
Unlike operating expenses, capital expenditures (CAPEX) correspond to the acquisition of a durable good. It can be a tangible investment such as real estate, production tools, computer equipment ... It can also be an intangible investment such as patents, business goodwill, licenses. Finally it can be a financial investment with the purchase of shares, bonds... These investment expenses ensure the development of the company in the short and medium term. From an accounting point of view, they increase the value of its assets.
The software license, OPEX or CAPEX?
The evolution of technologies means that the question is not clear-cut. The development of the cloud and the availability of a large number of applications in SaaS mode to companies are changing the situation. These new technologies allow companies to allocate their expenses differently depending on their technology choices and their financial and accounting strategy. In this context, your software license is a capital expenditure (CAPEX) and can benefit from depreciation rules if :
The amount of the investment is greater than or equal to 500 €.
The application is installed locally on your company's servers and client stations (on-premise mode).
The data is hosted on your infrastructure.
On the other hand, if the licenses are in SaaS mode (Software as a Service, based on cloud technology), it is then an operating expense (OPEX) financed in rental mode.
Used software license is a capital expense
A professional software licence acquired on the secondary market is a capital expenditure (CAPEX). European legislation provides a legal framework for transactions carried out on the secondary market for software licences. It prohibits the resale of leased licences and SaaS-type subscriptions, which would then be an operating expense (OPEX). These licences are not eligible because the rights of use are limited in time and linked to the payment of a subscription. Licences in SaaS mode include a right of access to the publisher's servers which is not transferable.
Investing sustainably with Softcorner pre-owned licenses
As Europe's leading provider of pre-owned B2B software licenses, Softcorner enables you to implement innovative, cost-effective and efficient management of your software assets. By integrating the secondary market, you will be able to acquire used software licenses that are legally compliant and complete (executables, license keys, documentation). They will also allow you to equip your collaborators at a lower cost (up to 80 % discount depending on the licenses).
Softcorner also offers you the possibility to sell your unused software following a reduction in the number of users, the migration of your applications or technological changes. Uninstalling licenses frees up resources and optimizes your infrastructure. The secondary market gives you greater flexibility and security, allowing you to adapt your software portfolio while keeping your capital expenditure under control (CAPEX).