Process costing is one accounting technique typically supplied by carriers that mass create very comparable or identical products or devices of output. It’s common in manufacturing sectors where the costs of creating each unit of calculation are an extremely similar, and also it doesn’t make feeling to try to track costs for each individual unit throughout the manufacturing process. Because that example, procedure costing is supplied by oil suppliers that produce millions the gallons of fuel and by handle food suppliers that make millions of similar packages that snacks.

What Is process Costing?

With process costing, companies determine item cost by tracking the cost of each phase in the manufacturing process, instead of tracking expenses for each individual item. After adding up the cost of all the procedures in the process, they division the total cost by the number of items. This is referred to as the expense per unit. For example, a file company can track the price of each phase in the process of turning wood pulp into reams that paper, then division the total cost through the variety of reams to gain the price per ream.

Key Takeaways

procedure costing is vital product costing an approach for production companies that mass produce a huge volume of similar products or units of output. Process costing is widely supplied in sectors such together oil refining, food production, chemistry processing, textiles, glass, cement and also paint manufacture. once using process costing, companies determine item price by tracking the price of each stage in the manufacturing process, then divide the complete cost through the variety of items produced. Companies have the right to calculate prices using several different methods, including weighted average costing, standard costing and very first in, an initial out (FIFO) costing.

Process Costing Explained

Homogeneous items are commodities that cannot be identified from one one more — for example, a bin the screws the the exact same size and type. These similar products every generally flow through a variety of stages during the manufacturing process. To use the process costing method to accounting, companies identify the straight costs and also manufacturing overhead for each of those stages.

These stages encompass direct and also indirect costs. Direct costs are those directly incurred for production, such together raw materials and machine operators’ wages. Overhead often consists of indirect expenses such as devices maintenance and also facility rent, and also the salaries of bureaucratic staff that aren’t directly affiliated in making the products.

Companies often malfunction these expenses into direct materials and conversion costs. Direct materials are the materials consumed at each stage; conversion costs are process-related expenses such together payroll and also manufacturing overhead.

At countless companies, a different department handles each phase in the production process. Each department prepares a report that details its straight materials, straight labor and manufacturing overhead costs. The agency then aggregates these reports to analyze complete product cost.

Process vs. Project Costing

Two of the primary methods of identify the expense of each product are process costing and also job costing. Process costing doesn’t depend on tracing the prices of each individual item throughout the production process, for this reason it’s specifically useful for sectors that mass produce identical items and also cannot conveniently trace every item’s costs. Project costing, in contrast, tracks all direct and indirect costs for each item or project. This is much more commonly offered by carriers that offer custom commodities or services and also price every one individually. Because that example, a construction agency that makes custom dwellings needs to know precisely how lot it prices to construct each residence so it deserve to charge an ideal amount and also track whether every home-building job is profitable.

Importance of process Costing

Process costing is specifically important in the oil, chemical, lumber, textile and food handling industries. Getting a manage on production costs permits these service providers to set the right prices for their products and determine whether costs are tracking in line through projections. They have the right to use process costing to analysis the expenses of each step of the production and distribution procedure and use the info to identify locations where they have the right to reduce costs.

Why Use process Costing?

Process costing is the logical an option for keeping tabs on product prices in industries where the individual systems of output room uniform and also individually no worth a great deal — such as reams of file or party of soda — and also where it’s difficult or daunting to map production costs for every individual unit. Instead, the price of items manufactured (COGM) is produced using procedure costing. This usually shows up on your income statement.

Monitor profit margins: For sectors that sell in high volume and also operate with narrow profit margins, also a slight change in procedure costs deserve to make a big difference to a company’s profit. Procedure costing allows companies to residence in top top the cost of each production stage and target specific departments for improvement.

Inventory control: depending on the type of business, you might be required to report inventory come the IRS for taxation purposes. For large companies developing thousands or also millions of products, this have the right to be a difficult task. However, process costing can assist simplify it. Each item developed is valued and each department tracks points like materials purchased.

Uniformity in reporting: With process costing, every department will certainly track their own costs and also all those will certainly be rolled as much as arrive at an overall cost to create a specific variety of items. Due to the fact that all expenses have to be added together, they all need to be reported in the very same manner and with the same cost codes. This helps bring uniformity to reports and also makes it less complicated to track expenses over time.

Using the process Costing Method

Process costing requires tracking the number of units passing with the production process during a given period, collecting cost information for each stage and also then making use of the collected information to calculation per-unit cost. Having accurate per-unit-costing helps with pricing assets appropriately, which have the right to lead to improved revenue and much better profit margins.

5 actions in procedure Costing

To accurately calculation the expense of developing each unit, process costing takes right into account work in development — item that have entered however not completed the production process — in ~ the start and end of every period. Right here are 5 primary procedures in process costing.

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Analyze inventory: analysis the flow of items during the duration to identify the amount of inventory in ~ the beginning of the period, how countless items were started during the period, how plenty of were completed and also transferred out and also how many were incomplete in ~ the end of the period.

Calculate indistinguishable units: procedure costing provides the principle of equivalent units to account for items that room unfinished at the end of each period. Because that this step, main point the variety of incomplete systems at the finish of the period by a percentage representing their progression through the production process. Because that example, if there are 2,000 devices of inventory quiet in progress and they’re 75% complete, castle are identical to 1,500 devices for process costing objectives (2,000 x .75 = 1,500).

Calculate applicable costs: full the expenses for all manufacturing stages, consisting of both direct materials and conversion costs.

Calculate price per unit: division the complete cost by the number of units. This calculation consists of both perfect units and equivalent units. So, if a company completed 4,000 products and another 1,000 units gained halfway v production, the applicable expenses would be split by 4,000 + (1,000/2) = 4,500 units. If every the costs added up throughout all departments to create those devices was $16,875, merely divide the cost by the variety of units to come at $3.75 every unit produced.

Allocate expenses to complete and incomplete products: Allocate expenses for the completed and also ending work-in-progress inventory to the equivalent accounts. This help determine how much money is tied increase in present work-in-progress inventory. In the over example, due to the fact that the identical of 500 units are in progress and it price $3.75 to develop each unit, the work-in-progress inventory cost is $1,875 (500 x $3.75). And the finish product inventory expense is 4,000 x $3.75 = $15,000.

Types of procedure Costing

In process costing there space three various ways to calculation costs: load average, conventional costing and first-in first-out (FIFO). Carefully picking the an approach that ideal meets your organization needs is a best accounting practice.

Weighted median costs: This is the simplest method of calculating cost. Companies add all prices for the current period and division by the total variety of units completed and transferred out, plus the identical units the work-in-progress in ~ the end of the period. It’s provided for situations where expense fluctuations from period to period are minor.

Standard costs: This technique uses an estimated standard price for each process stage instead of yes, really costs. Companies frequently use this an approach when it’s too difficult or time-consuming to collect existing information about the actual costs. The can likewise be helpful for businesses that make a wide selection of items and find it difficult to attribute an exact costs to every of the products. The estimated totals are contrasted to really totals ~ a manufacturing run is finished, and also the distinction is added to a variance account.

First in, an initial out (FIFO): The most facility process costing approach, FIFO is used to obtain more precise product costing, specifically in situations where costs adjust significantly indigenous one period to the next. FIFO assumes that the an initial units in (i.e., work in development at the start of the present period) room the an initial to be completed. Once calculating prices for the existing period, the excludes expenses incurred throughout the previous period for those start work-in-progress units.

Examples of process Cost Accounting

Process cost audit is offered in circumstances where the devices of product room homogenous. Take a look at a couple of examples of just how it works in these fictional companies. (The service providers are no real.)

Bubblez’n’More is a seltzer bottling company specializing in distinctive flavors. The sodas pass v several production departments. During the existing month, the pour it until it is full department accumulates $25,000 of direct material costs and $50,000 that conversion costs (consisting of straight labor and factory overhead). For the period, the department procedures 50,000 bottles. The every unit cost for the filling department in April is $.50 for direct materials (direct material expenses divided through unit calculation for the month) and also $1.00 because that conversion prices (conversion prices divided by unit output). The company performs similar calculations because that the labelling and also packaging departments and also finds that in its entirety it spent $100,000 to create 50,000 party in one month. The unit price = $100,000/50,000 = $2 every unit.

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

Pros and Cons of process Costing

for certain types of manufacturers, process costing is the many practical and efficient accounting method for identify product costs. Still, this method has both benefits and disadvantages. It deserve to be an overwhelming to that s right assign prices to occupational in progress, for example. Take into consideration the adhering to pros and also cons.

Pros of process costing:

Process costing deserve to be easier to use than other costing methods, and it can assist companies zero in on locations for potential cost cutting.

Ease the use: For carriers making many similar goods, procedure costing is more practical and also simpler to use than various other cost bookkeeping methods, together as task costing, which entails tracking the cost of each item and component part, together with managing payroll, various other materials and overhead. Flexibility: procedure costing can assist companies enhance their to work to reduce costs, for this reason they deserve to offer assets at more competitive prices. It highlights the price of each action in the production process, helping suppliers target redundant, outdated or inefficient processes. Standardized: procedure costing applies the very same standardized costing technique each period, allowing companies come compare alters in prices over time. This helps companies ensure that expenses are in line with budgeted expenses and also identify areas for investigation.

Cons of procedure costing:

Potential disadvantages of procedure costing encompass inaccuracy.

Errors: procedure costing identify the expense of every unit based on the overall costs of department or stages connected in manufacturing. Errors can be resulted in by including non-production costs in the calculation. Time consuming: Calculating identical units deserve to be time consuming. Administration accountants have to determine how far down the heat in the production process these unfinished goods are and also assign costs accordingly.

Cost circulation in process Costing

With procedure costing, suppliers track the flow of expenses from room to department, rather than tracking prices for each individual item. Each department adds straight labor and also manufacturing overhead costs, to add the expense of any kind of raw materials it uses. Companies may use separate work-in-process inventory accounts for each room or phase in the process.


Manage process Costing v

Process costing assigns costs to various departments in her business, and also it accounts for miscellaneous cost areas including materials and also payroll. Those prices are climate rolled up to identify an in its entirety dollar figure and used to find the price-per-unit. Every departments must use uniform reporting and not twin count efforts. Enterprise source planning (ERP) software application can aid with this process. It brings data native various organization software modules from approximately your company — such together supply chain management, gaue won management and payroll administration — right into one digital space. By save data indigenous disparate locations of your agency in one digital ecosystem, you can much more easily track data and costs from transparent the manufacturing process and keep tabs ~ above expenses and profitability. ERP communication with integrated financial monitoring software also assist you more expertly, easily and accurately perform procedure costing. By working together with the very same information across the business, prices can easily be tracked by department and also roll up right into macro-level procedure costing reports.’s ERP suite help manufacturers regulate every facet of their business, from it is provided chain management and procurement to order fulfillment and customer relationship management (CRM). The fully integrated financial administration solution helps businesses accelerate your financial close, provides strong expense management and also real-time visibility right into the company’s gaue won performance. And it can aid you much more expertly, easily and also accurately perform procedure costing. By working along with the very same information throughout the business, costs can conveniently be tracked by department and roll up into macro-level procedure costing reports.


Process costing is crucial accounting method for manufacturers the make big volumes of similar items, together as companies in the food processing, oil and also chemicals industries. For these companies, it deserve to be difficult or impossible to straight allocate costs to every item together it moves with the production process. Procedure costing allows companies to estimate item prices by including up the prices of each action in the production process, then splitting by the number of items. To ensure accuracy, companies require to include only product-related costs from each department associated in the process and appropriately allocate expense to work-in-progress at each stage.

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Financial administration software, particularly platforms combined into a larger ERP tool, can assist track prices by department, as well as generate rundown reports and also store historical data come monitor fads over time.