These lectures cover direct cost, indirect cost, product cost, period cost, variable cost, fixed cost, mixed cost, Traditional Versus Contribution Format Income Statement, sunk cost and opportunity cost.
Direct cost Vs Indirect Cost
Product cost and period cost
Variable cost | fixed cost |Mixed cost
Scatter-Graph and High Low Method
Traditional Versus Contribution Format Income Statement
Opportunity Cost and Sunk Cost
Regression Analysis to Analyze Fixed and Variable Cost
A direct cost is a cost that can be easily and conveniently traced to a specified cost object. An indirect cost is a cost that cannot be easily and conveniently traced to a specified cost object.
Direct Materials The materials that go into the final product are called raw materials. Direct materials are those materials that become an integral part of the finished product and whose costs can be conveniently traced to the finished product. Direct labor consists of labor costs that can be easily (i.e., physically and conveniently) traced to individual units of product. Direct labor is sometimes called touch labor because direct labor workers typically touch the product while it is being made.
Manufacturing overhead, the third manufacturing cost category, includes all manufacturing costs except direct materials and direct labor. Manufacturing overhead includes items such as indirect materials; indirect labor; maintenance and repairs on production equipment; and heat and light, property taxes, depreciation, and insurance on manufacturing facilities.
Nonmanufacturing costs are often divided into two categories: (1) selling costs and (2) administrative costs. Selling costs include all costs that are incurred to secure customer orders and get the finished product to the customer. These costs are sometimes called order-getting and order-filling costs. Examples of selling costs include advertising, shipping, sales travel, sales commissions, sales salaries, and costs of finished goods warehouses. Selling costs can be either direct or indirect costs.
Administrative costs include all costs associated with the general management of an organization rather than with manufacturing or selling.
For financial accounting purposes, product costs include all costs involved in acquiring or making a product. In the case of manufactured goods, these costs consist of direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.1 Product costs “attach” to units of product as the goods are purchased or manufactured, and they remain attached as the goods go into inventory awaiting sale. Product costs are initially assigned to an inventory account on the balance sheet. When the goods are sold, the costs are released from inventory as expenses (typically called cost of goods sold) and matched against sales revenue on the income statement. Because product costs are initially assigned to inventories, they are also known as inventoriable costs.
Period costs are all the costs that are not product costs. All selling and administrative expenses are treated as period costs. For example, sales commissions, advertising, executive salaries, public relations, and the rental costs of administrative offices are all period costs. Period costs are not included as part of the cost of either purchased or manufactured goods; instead, period costs are expensed on the income statement in the period in which they are incurred using the usual rules of accrual accounting. Keep in mind that the period in which a cost is incurred is not necessarily the period in which cash changes hands. For example, as discussed earlier, the costs of liability insurance are spread across the periods that benefit from the insurance—regardless of the period in which the insurance premium is paid.
Two more cost categories are often used in discussions of manufacturing costs—prime cost and conversion cost. Prime cost is the sum of direct materials cost and direct labor cost. Conversion cost is the sum of direct labor cost and manufacturing overhead cost. The term conversion cost is used to describe direct labor and manufacturing overhead because these costs are incurred to convert materials into the finished product.
A fixed cost is a cost that remains constant, in total, regardless of changes in the level of activity. Examples of fixed costs include straight-line depreciation, insurance, property taxes, rent, supervisory salaries, administrative salaries, and advertising.
A mixed cost contains both variable and fixed cost elements. To analyze mixed costs with the high-low method, begin by identifying the period with the lowest level of activity and the period with the highest level of activity.
The crucial distinction between fixed and variable costs is at the heart of the contribution approach to constructing income statements. The unique thing about the contribution approach is that it provides managers with an income statement that clearly distinguishes between fixed and variable costs and therefore aids planning, controlling, and decision making.
The contribution approach separates costs into fixed and variable categories, first deducting variable expenses from sales to obtain the contribution margin.For a merchandising company, cost of goods sold is a variable cost that gets included in the “Variable expenses” portion of the contribution format income statement. The contribution margin is the amount remaining from sales revenues after variable expenses have been deducted. This amount contributes toward covering fixed expenses and then toward profits for the period.
Opportunity Cost and Sunk Cost Opportunity cost is the potential benefit that is given up when one alternative is selected over another. For example, assume that you have a part-time job while attending college that pays $200 per week. If you spend one week at the beach during spring break without pay, then the $200 in lost wages would be an opportunity cost of taking the week off to be at the beach. Opportunity costs are not usually found in accounting records, but they are costs that must be explicitly considered in every decision a manager makes. Virtually every alternative involves an opportunity cost. A sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and that cannot be changed by any decision made now or in the future. Because sunk costs cannot be changed by any decision, they are not differential costs. And because only differential costs are relevant in a decision, sunk costs should always be ignored.