# Costing methods and techniques

These variances can be drilled down to find specifically where in the manufacturing process the actual cost differences lie between standard and actual; for instance, labor cost variances, material cost variances, etc. Any company that has inventory has to assess its value for accounting purposes.

### How do you calculate standard cost?

To calculate the standard cost of direct materials, multiply the direct materials standard price of \$10.35 by the direct materials standard quantity of 28 pounds per unit. The result is a direct materials standard cost of \$289.80 per case.

This reserve has the effect of adjusting the company’s inventory balances to “actual,” which is appropriate under GAAP. If a company has a very complex manufacturing system, with multiple items being produced, it is often impossible to single out the standard costs for one product unit.

This costing method is a popular way of valuating inventory because it associates 2 actual costs (materials and direct costs) and only one estimated rate to the product. Terry can also use the normal cost per unit to determine a markup for sales. If Terry makes each coffee table for \$80.00 and wants to markup all items at a 100% rate, he would sell the coffee table for \$160.00. The costs that should have occurred for the actual good output are known as standard costs, which are likely integrated with a manufacturer’s budgets, profit plan, master budget, etc. The standard costs involve the product costs, namely, direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.

Indirect labor is classed as a fixed cost since it tens to stay constant even when factory output changes. The cost of security, for example, is likely to stay constant even if the factory shuts down temporarily. Absorption costing can cause a company’s profit level to appear better than it actually is during a given accounting period. This is because all fixed costs are not deducted from revenues unless all of the company’s manufactured products are sold. In addition to skewing a profit and loss statement, this can potentially mislead both company management and investors.

## Why Do Companies Use Standard Costs?

Direct labor is one component of the total manufacturing cost of a product, along with direct materials and manufacturing overhead. Manufacturing overhead refers to other expenses necessary for the item to be produced such as factory rent and depreciation. That is, manufacturing overhead is the indirect costs of production, including indirect labor. Direct labor is considered a variable cost because it changes depending on the number of units produced.

At the end of the year (or accounting period) if the standard costs are higher than the actual expenses, than the company is considered to have a favorable variance. If the company’s actual costs were higher, then the company would have an unfavorable variance.

Absorption costing is an accounting method that captures all of the costs involved in manufacturing a product when valuing inventory. The method includes direct costs and indirect costs and is helpful in determining the cost to produce one unit of goods. If feasible, at the end of every reporting period an analysis of purchase and production costs for capitalizability should be performed. When complete, capitalizable variances should be recorded in a “standard-to-actual” reserve within inventory on the balance sheet with the remainder being appropriately expensed through the income statement.

At the end of the accounting period, use the actual amounts and costs of direct material. Then utilize the actual amounts and pay rates of direct labor to compare it to the previously set standards.

• At the end of the accounting period, use the actual amounts and costs of direct material.
• When you compare the actual costs to the standard costs and examine the variances between them, it allows managers to look for ways to improve cost control, cost management, and operational efficiency.
• Then utilize the actual amounts and pay rates of direct labor to compare it to the previously set standards.

## How to Determine the Standard Cost Per Unit

Later, when the actual costs are determined, the company can see if it has a favorable budget variance (meaning, actual costs did not exceed standard costs) or unfavorable budget variance (the standard costs were exceeded). The product costs that make up normal costing are actual materials, actual direct costs and manufacturing overhead. The materials and direct costs are the true costs that are associated with producing the item such as raw materials (the materials that make up the product) and labor. A business that produces goods or services must develop and maintain accurate estimates of the cost of production.

## Makes It Possible for a Company to Set a Product Price

Analyzing a product unit can help a company determine its value, however, it would need to be done using actual costs as opposed to standard costs. Standard costs are estimates of the actual costs in a company’s production process, because actual costs cannot be known in advance.

### What is a standard cost for material?

Standard costs are usually associated with a manufacturing company’s costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead. Rather than assigning the actual costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead to a product, many manufacturers assign the expected or standard cost.

## Allows a Company to Budget

When you compare the actual costs to the standard costs and examine the variances between them, it allows managers to look for ways to improve cost control, cost management, and operational efficiency. Absorption costing takes into account all of the costs of production, not just the direct costs, as variable costing does. Absorption costing includes a company’s fixed costs of operation, such as salaries, facility rental, and utility bills.

It’s important to note that period costs are not included in full absorption costing. In other words, a period cost is not included within the cost of goods sold (COGS) on the income statement. Instead, period costs are typically classified as selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, whether variable or fixed. It is used by the management of the company for planning the process of future production, ways to increase the efficiencies, and to determine the reasonability of the actual costs of the period. However, the task of setting the standard cost of production is difficult one as it requires a high degree of technical skill and the efforts of the person responsible for setting the same.

Direct labor, meaning toe work required to actually make a product, is a critical component of manufacturing costs. Without knowing the direct labor cost, a business may overprice its goods and lose customers to competitors. Underestimating direct labor may lead to setting prices too low to allow for covering expenses and making an adequate profit. If the figures for direct labor are missing from a formula such as one used to set prices, it’s important to know how to find the necessary information.

Under full absorption costing, variable overhead and fixed overhead are included, meaning it allocates fixed overhead costs to each unit of a good produced in the periodâ€“whether the product was sold or not. The treatment of fixed overhead costs is different than variable costing, which does not include manufacturing overhead in the cost of each unit produced. Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), absorption costing is required for external reporting.

Having a more complete picture of cost per unit for a product line can be helpful to company management in evaluating profitability and determining prices for products. A standard costing system involves estimating the required costs of a production process. In addition, these standards are used to plan a budget for the production process. Standard costs are usually associated with a manufacturing company’s costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.

Rather than assigning the actual costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead to a product, many manufacturers assign the expected or standard cost. This means that a manufacturer’s inventories and cost of goods sold will begin with amounts reflecting the standard costs, not the actual costs, of a product. As a result there are almost always differences between the actual costs and the standard costs, and those differences are known as variances. The standard costs associated for a company’s products allows management to set benchmarks, so that the actual costs can eventually be compared. If not, and there is an unfavorable variance, then the company can try to determine efficiencies in the production process to lower those costs in the future.