what is process costing

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what is process costing

The underlying of ABC costing are cost drivers used to determine the basis of cost absorption. For example, the rent of a factory may be absorbed basis the area occupied by each machine.

Steps In Process Costing

This costing method is used in industries like chemicals, textiles, steel, rubber, sugar, shoes, petrol, etc. Process costing is also used in the assembly type of industries. It is assumed in process costing that the average cost presents the cost per unit.

With process costing, the management can have a view of the cost consumption at each stage of the process. This makes it easier to evaluate deviations in process costs and quickly call out on drop-in process efficiencies or a sharp rise in material prices. It provides a bird’s eye view of the entire production facility. Periodic comparison of cost sheets and line item wise analysis fuel important managerial decisions. For example, a sudden increase in raw material prices may prompt a change in vendors. Drop-in electricity overheads may indicate power savings from purchase of new machine. The Process Costing method requires no specific journal entries, which means we generally don’t need to adjust our chart of accounts when we implement it within our production operations.

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Process costing assigns expenses to different departments in your business, and it accounts for various cost areas including materials and payroll. Those costs are then rolled up to determine an overall dollar figure and used to find the price-per-unit.

Does Coca Cola use process costing?

For example, Coca-Cola may use process costing to track its costs to produce its beverages.

The overhead cost per unit number has now transformed into an overhead cost per equivalent unit number. To reiterate, this allows the overhead cost we allocated to ending WIP units to be scaled by those ending WIP units’ percent completion. You cannot calculate the total output of the period by just taking the sum of completed units and work in process because units in the work-in-process inventory are not 100% complete. There is an indispensable loss in the production process (“normal loss”). This may be due to the qualities of the material used for production (e.g., losses from evaporation).


In job costing, direct and indirect costs are assigned to all processes involved in one particular job. Instead of lunchboxes, suppose your business builds custom houses. Each house has a lot of processes that go into it, and no two house-building jobs are exactly the same. To make the most of your costing system, create an annual budget and cost for both direct and overhead costs. On a monthly basis, if you use job costing review each completed job and compare the budgeted cost to your actual cost. If you use process costing review your cost by batch instead of individual job. If you find that actual costing more than 10% higher than your budget, revisit your budget to determine whether or not your assumptions are reasonable.

what is process costing

A job costing system is used by companies that produce unique products or jobs. Process costing systems track costs by processing department, whereas job costing systems track costs by job. Again, the weighted average method rips away the $15,000 of conversion costs from the beginning WIP units. The units in beginning WIP are treated as if they had no work done on them at all and are left with all the other units completed this period. In simple words, process costing is a cost accounting technique, in which the costs incurred during production are charged to processes and averaged over the total units manufactured. For this purpose, process accounts are opened in the books of accounts, for each process and all the expenses relating to the process for the period is charged to the respective process account.

In What Types Of Industries Is Process Costing Adopted?

To determine the average cost per unit for the period, the total cost of each process is divided by the total production. Your Applied overhead costs include any cost that cannot be directly assigned to a cost object, such as rent, administrative staff compensation, and insurance. But these costs are not directly a part of the costs explicit only to this project – they are costs relevant to the general operation of the business rather than one job. So, you will need to estimate just how much of these overhead costs need to be applied to this project in particular. Could be at any stage of the production process at the end of a month. Using equivalent units would be appropriate in this example. It is applied for various industries like chemicals and drugs, oil refining, food processing, paints and varnish, plastics, soaps, textiles, paper etc.

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Please note that some information might still be retained by your browser as it’s required for the site to function. Oil is pumped from the ground, transported, refined, and placed in storage. Throughout the process it is stirred, cracked, and blended so that it is not possible to trace a tank of gasoline back to a specific barrel of oil. Products are manufactured in large quantities, but products may be sold in small quantities, sometimes one at a time , a dozen or two at a time , etc. Brainyard delivers data-driven insights and expert advice to help businesses discover, interpret and act on emerging opportunities and trends. The second part of this complication is non-uniform consumption.

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Equivalent units- Equivalent units are the unfinished goods that remain at the end of an accounting period. These must be accounted for in cost accounting and are often an estimate or guess. Any inaccuracies translate to inventory management challenges and determining the number of finished products available for sale. Easy to use- Since there’s standardized products and processes, so too are the costs, making process costing systems easy to use. But the type of costing you choose to look at will impact how you collect that information. The cost of the units representing normal loss is borne by the good units produced.

what is process costing

Then Department B transfers the products to Finished Goods Inventory. Fourth, calculate the amount of cost assigned to the completed units of output and the equivalent of completed units of output still in the ending inventory. For example, if a company completed 2,000 units, and left 1,000 units half-finished, then divide the applicable costs by 2,500 units.

These are the necessary expenditures and can be fixed or variable in nature like the office expenses, administration, sales promotion expense, etc. Weighted AverageThe weighted average formula is simply summing up the products of each value with its respective weightage. Here, more significance is given to the weightage of the values rather than the variables themselves. By submitting this form, you agree that PLANERGY may contact you occasionally via email to make you aware of PLANERGY products and services.

Note in the above graphic the familiar inventory categories relating to raw materials, work in process, and finished goods. However, rather than observing work in process as being made up of many individual/discrete jobs, see that it instead consists of individual/discrete processes like melting, skimming, and extruding. Ore is introduced in the melting stage, alloys in the skimming stage, etc. . This necessitates the employment of a separate Work in Process account for each major manufacturing activity.

Process Costing Explained

In Chapter 4, I made a parenthetical comment about dividing overhead evenly between individual product units. If all the product units are the same, each product unit is probably responsible for the same amount of overhead cost. To spend time or money on deciding each unit’s responsibility for overhead costs down to the micro-penny is a waste. The total number of units produced during a given period is calculated. By dividing the total cost of a process by the total number of units produced, the cost per unit can be obtained.

It is important to identify relevant and reliable cost drivers for different types of costs. For instance, square footage of floor space might be used to allocate heating and air conditioning costs. Costs usually go process costing through a series of steps in the allocation process. Overhead costs are not treated as a single item in ABC systems. Costs are pooled by type or activity, and allocated to production using different cost drivers.

Furthermore, maintaining separate systems and policies means that additional money and time must be spent to cross-train employees. Through the implementation of a process costing system, a company will ensure that every department, regardless of function, operates in a uniform manner. This will allow members of the manufacturing supply chain to be in sync with one another. The second step in calculating process costing is to convert any inventory that was considered as in-process at the end of the period to an amount of equal units. This version assumes that all costs, whether from a preceding period or the current one, are lumped together and assigned to produced units.

  • A separate account is opened for each process to which all incurred costs are charged.
  • This standardization and uniformity enable quick computation of the per-unit costs.
  • The different calculations are required for different cost accounting needs.
  • Conversion costs are $100,000, or $.67 per package, comprising $70,000 in direct labor and $30,000 for overhead, including maintenance expenses, insurance costs and electricity.
  • Translate the work-in-progress items into equivalent units of finished goods by multiplying the number of unfinished items by their percentage of completion.
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