Process costing is an accounting an approach typically supplied by service providers that mass develop very similar or identical products or units of output. It’s common in manufacturing sectors where the costs of producing each unit of output are an extremely similar, and also it doesn’t make feeling to try to track costs for every individual unit throughout the manufacturing process. Because that example, process costing is provided by oil providers that create millions of gallons the fuel and also by handle food service providers that do millions of similar packages the snacks.

What Is process Costing?

With procedure costing, companies identify item cost by tracking the cost of each phase in the production process, rather of tracking costs for every individual item. After including up the expense of all the actions in the process, they divide the total cost by the number of items. This is dubbed the cost per unit. For example, a document company might track the expense of each stage in the process of turning wood pulp right into reams the paper, then division the total cost by the number of reams to acquire the price per ream.

Key Takeaways

procedure costing is crucial product costing method for production companies that mass develop a huge volume of comparable products or devices of output. Procedure costing is widely used in markets such together oil refining, food production, chemistry processing, textiles, glass, cement and paint manufacture. when using process costing, companies determine item cost by tracking the expense of each stage in the manufacturing process, then division the complete cost through the variety of items produced. Companies deserve to calculate expenses using several different methods, consisting of weighted average costing, standard costing and first in, an initial out (FIFO) costing.

Process Costing Explained

Homogeneous items are assets that cannot be distinguished from one an additional — for example, a bin that screws that the same size and type. These comparable products all generally flow through a variety of stages throughout the manufacturing process. To usage the procedure costing technique to accounting, companies identify the straight costs and also manufacturing overhead for each that those stages.

These stages include direct and also indirect costs. Direct expenses are those directly incurred because that production, such as raw products and maker operators’ wages. Overhead often contains indirect costs such as devices maintenance and also facility rent, and the salaries of bureaucratic staff who aren’t directly connected in making the products.

Companies often failure these prices into direct materials and conversion costs. Direct materials are the materials consumed at every stage; conversion costs are process-related prices such as payroll and manufacturing overhead.

At countless companies, a various department handles each phase in the manufacturing process. Every department prepares a report the details its direct materials, straight labor and also manufacturing overhead costs. The agency then aggregates these reports to analyze total product cost.

Process vs. Job Costing

Two of the main methods of identify the cost of every product are process costing and job costing. Process costing doesn’t rely on tracing the costs of every individual item throughout the manufacturing process, for this reason it’s particularly useful for sectors that mass create identical items and also cannot quickly trace every item’s costs. Task costing, in contrast, tracks all direct and indirect costs for every item or project. This is more commonly offered by service providers that market custom products or services and price each one individually. For example, a construction agency that renders custom residences needs come know precisely how lot it costs to construct each home so it can charge an proper amount and also track whether every home-building task is profitable.

Importance of process Costing

Process costing is specifically important in the oil, chemical, lumber, textile and food processing industries. Getting a handle on manufacturing costs allows these companies to set the best prices for their products and determine whether prices are tracking in line through projections. They can use process costing to analysis the expenses of each action of the production and distribution procedure and usage the info to identify areas where they can reduce costs.

Why Use process Costing?

Process costing is the logical choice for maintaining tabs top top product costs in markets where the individual systems of output space uniform and individually no worth a an excellent deal — such together reams of document or bottles of soda — and where it’s impossible or daunting to trace production costs for every individual unit. Instead, the cost of goods manufactured (COGM) is created using process costing. This usually shows up on your earnings statement.

Monitor benefit margins: For industries that offer in high volume and operate v narrow profit margins, even a slight change in process costs can make a huge difference come a company’s profit. Process costing allows companies to house in on the expense of each production stage and target particular departments because that improvement.

Inventory control: depending on the form of business, you may be forced to report inventory come the IRS for tax purposes. For big companies creating thousands or also millions that products, this deserve to be a challenging task. However, process costing can assist simplify it. Each item developed is valued and also each room tracks things like products purchased.

Uniformity in reporting: With process costing, each department will certainly track their very own costs and also all those will be rolled approximately arrive in ~ an overall cost to develop a specific number of items. Because all costs have to be included together, castle all need to be report in the very same manner and with the same expense codes. This helps bring uniformity come reports and also makes it less complicated to track expenses over time.

Using the procedure Costing Method

Process costing involves tracking the number of units passing through the production process during a offered period, collecting expense information because that each stage and also then making use of the gathered information to calculation per-unit cost. Having accurate per-unit-costing helps v pricing assets appropriately, which deserve to lead to boosted revenue and better profit margins.

5 steps in procedure Costing

To accurately calculation the price of developing each unit, process costing takes right into account job-related in progression — item that have entered yet not perfect the production procedure — at the start and end of each period. Right here are 5 primary steps in procedure costing.

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Analyze inventory: analyze the circulation of items throughout the period to determine the lot of inventory in ~ the beginning of the period, how many items were started during the period, how many were completed and also transferred out and how plenty of were incomplete at the end of the period.

Calculate equivalent units: process costing uses the concept of indistinguishable units come account for items that are unfinished in ~ the end of every period. Because that this step, multiply the variety of incomplete systems at the end of the duration by a portion representing their progression through the manufacturing process. For example, if there space 2,000 devices of inventory quiet in progress and they’re 75% complete, castle are tantamount to 1,500 devices for process costing objectives (2,000 x .75 = 1,500).

Calculate applicable costs: complete the expenses for all production stages, including both straight materials and also conversion costs.

Calculate cost per unit: divide the complete cost by the number of units. This calculation consists of both completed units and equivalent units. So, if a organization completed 4,000 products and also another 1,000 units obtained halfway through production, the applicable costs would be split by 4,000 + (1,000/2) = 4,500 units. If all the costs added up throughout all departments to produce those devices was $16,875, simply divide the expense by the variety of units to come at $3.75 every unit produced.

Allocate costs to complete and incomplete products: Allocate prices for the completed and also ending work-in-progress inventory to the corresponding accounts. This help determine exactly how much money is tied increase in present work-in-progress inventory. In the above example, due to the fact that the tantamount of 500 units space in progress and also it cost $3.75 to produce each unit, the work-in-progress inventory expense is $1,875 (500 x $3.75). And also the complete product inventory price is 4,000 x $3.75 = $15,000.

Types of process Costing

In procedure costing there are three various ways to calculate costs: weight average, conventional costing and first-in first-out (FIFO). Carefully picking the method that finest meets your service needs is a best audit practice.

Weighted mean costs: This is the simplest method of calculating cost. Companies include all costs for the current duration and division by the total variety of units completed and transferred out, plus the identical units the work-in-progress at the finish of the period. It’s offered for situations where expense fluctuations from period to duration are minor.

Standard costs: This an approach uses an estimated standard cost for each procedure stage rather of really costs. Companies frequently use this method when it’s too daunting or time-consuming to collect present information around the actual costs. The can also be useful for businesses the make a wide range of items and also find it challenging to attribute an accurate costs to every of the products. The estimated totals are compared to actual totals after a production run is finished, and also the difference is included to a variance account.

First in, an initial out (FIFO): The most complex process costing approach, FIFO is provided to obtain more precise product costing, specifically in instances where costs change significantly from one period to the next. FIFO assumes that the first units in (i.e., occupational in progress at the start of the current period) are the an initial to it is in completed. As soon as calculating prices for the current period, the excludes prices incurred during the previous period for those start work-in-progress units.

Examples of procedure Cost Accounting

Process cost bookkeeping is provided in circumstances where the devices of product are homogenous. Take it a look at a few examples of how it works in these fictional companies. (The suppliers are no real.)

Bubblez’n’More is a seltzer bottling firm specializing in distinctive flavors. The sodas pass with several manufacturing departments. Throughout the current month, the pour it until it is full department accumulation $25,000 of direct material costs and also $50,000 the conversion prices (consisting of direct labor and also factory overhead). For that period, the department processes 50,000 bottles. The every unit cost for the pour it until it is full department in April is $.50 for direct materials (direct material costs divided by unit calculation for the month) and $1.00 because that conversion prices (conversion expenses divided through unit output). The agency performs similar calculations for the labelling and also packaging departments and also finds that in its entirety it spent $100,000 to develop 50,000 party in one month. The unit price = $100,000/50,000 = $2 per unit.

Reams-a-Plenty makes paper products from lumber pulp. Raw products move through the manufacturing cycle in a consistent flow, ending with the manufacturing of identical packages that paper. This month, the completes 150,000 packages. Life materials full $50,000, or $.33 per package. Conversion prices are $100,000, or $.67 every package, consisting of $70,000 in direct labor and also $30,000 because that overhead, consisting of maintenance expenses, insurance costs and electricity. The full cost is $150,000, and with 150,000 devices produced, the cost-per-unit is $1.

Pros and also Cons of procedure Costing

for certain varieties of manufacturers, procedure costing is the most practical and also efficient accounting method for determining product costs. Still, this method has both advantages and disadvantages. It deserve to be challenging to accurately assign costs to work in progress, because that example. Take into consideration the following pros and also cons.

Pros of procedure costing:

Process costing have the right to be easier to usage than various other costing methods, and also it can help companies zero in on areas for potential expense cutting.

Ease of use: For suppliers making many comparable goods, procedure costing is much more practical and also simpler to use than other cost bookkeeping methods, together as task costing, which involves tracking the expense of each item and also component part, in addition to managing payroll, other materials and overhead. Flexibility: process costing can assist companies boost their to work to minimize costs, therefore they can offer products at more competitive prices. The highlights the price of each step in the manufacturing process, helping service providers target redundant, outdated or inefficient processes. Standardized: procedure costing applies the same standardized costing method each period, permitting companies come compare alters in costs over time. This helps carriers ensure that prices are in line v budgeted expenses and identify locations for investigation.

Cons of procedure costing:

Potential defect of process costing incorporate inaccuracy.

Errors: process costing determines the expense of every unit based upon the as whole costs of department or stages involved in manufacturing. Errors have the right to be resulted in by including non-production expenses in the calculation. Time consuming: Calculating tantamount units can be time consuming. Administration accountants have to determine how far down the line in the production process these unfinished items are and also assign costs accordingly.

Cost flow in procedure Costing

With process costing, companies track the circulation of costs from department to department, rather than tracking prices for each individual item. Every department adds direct labor and also manufacturing overhead costs, add to the price of any type of raw materials it uses. Companies may use different work-in-process list accounts for each room or phase in the process.


Manage process Costing with

Process costing assigns expenses to various departments in your business, and it accounts for assorted cost locations including materials and also payroll. Those costs are then rolled up to recognize an in its entirety dollar figure and used to find the price-per-unit. All departments need to use uniform reporting and also not twin count efforts. Enterprise source planning (ERP) software application can assist with this process. It bring data indigenous various service software modules from approximately your firm — such as supply chain management, jae won management and also payroll management — right into one digital space. By save data from disparate areas of your agency in one digital ecosystem, you can an ext easily monitor data and also costs from transparent the manufacturing procedure and keep tabs top top expenses and profitability. ERP communication with incorporated financial management software also help you more expertly, easily and also accurately perform process costing. By working along with the exact same information across the business, expenses can quickly be tracked by department and roll up right into macro-level process costing reports.’s ERP suite helps manufacturers regulate every facet of your business, from it is provided chain management and also procurement come order fulfillment and customer relationship management (CRM). The totally integrated financial management solution help businesses accelerate their financial close, provides solid expense management and real-time visibility right into the company’s gaue won performance. And it can aid you an ext expertly, easily and accurately perform procedure costing. Through working in addition to the same information throughout the business, costs can easily be tracked by department and also roll up right into macro-level process costing reports.


Process costing is an important accounting an approach for manufacturers that make large volumes of the same items, such as service providers in the food processing, oil and chemicals industries. Because that these companies, it can be complicated or difficult to directly allocate prices to every item as it moves v the production process. Process costing enables companies to estimate item prices by adding up the costs of each action in the production process, then dividing by the number of items. Come ensure accuracy, companies require to encompass only product-related costs from every department associated in the process and appropriately allocate expense to work-in-progress at every stage.

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Financial monitoring software, an especially platforms combined into a larger ERP tool, can aid track prices by department, and generate rundown reports and also store historical data come monitor trends over time.