In national accounts expenditures are defined as the values of the amounts that buyers pay, or agree to pay, to sellers in exchange for goods and services that sellers provide to them or to other institutional units designated by the buyers. The buyer incurring the liability to pay need not be the same unit that takes possession of the good or service.
In company accounts expenditure may be defined as consisting of all types of spending and could, as a consequence, be perceived as being a synonym for charges.
Note: Expenditure is defined in national accounts in a very broad sense. The System of National Accounts (SNA) includes all types of buyers and sellers, i.e. a worker is a seller of his labour force and an employer is a buyer of labour force.
System of National Accounts (SNA) 1993, (9.22), P. 207 and Eurostat