Process Costing Articles

process costing

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Processes may include the preparation of raw materials, molding, assembly, painting, dyeing, packaging, and many other steps along the way. At the end of a month , the total cost of each process during that period is tallied, and then is divided by the total output quantity. Let’s return to the example of a company that makes tailored suits on a per-order basis. Client A may be of shorter and slimmer build, but want their suit made from a more luxurious and expensive material, while the taller, bulkier Client B may request a less expensive material. Client C wants a custom monogram added to their order, which adds on additional time to the total order, and therefore costs you more in wages and overhead.


Those costs are then rolled up to determine an overall dollar figure and used to find the price-per-unit. All departments must use uniform reporting and not double count efforts. Enterprise resource planning software can help with this process. It brings data from various business software modules from around your company — such as supply chain management, financial management and payroll management — into one digital space. By storing data from disparate areas of your company in one digital ecosystem, you can more easily track data and costs from throughout the manufacturing process and keep tabs on expenses and profitability. ERP platforms with integrated financial management software also help you more expertly, easily and accurately perform By working together with the same information across the business, costs can easily be tracked by department and roll up into macro-level process costing reports.

That is, the production and processing of products begin in Department A. From Department A, products go to Department B. Department B inputs direct materials and further processes the products. Then Department B transfers the products to Finished Goods Inventory. In a process company, factory overhead represents those costs not directly assigned to one function.

Major Characteristics of Process Costing

All the items of process costing i.e. materials, labour and overheads are collected in process wise. Products have to be sold, and they are sold one at a time. So it is important for companies to know the unit cost of the products. This unit cost should include all costs when setting a selling price. Identify whether each company listed in the following would use job costing or process costing. Because each job at Custom Furniture Company results in a unique product and has different material and labor requirements, the company uses a job costing system. Fifth, allocate the relevant costs to the units of product completed and to the units of product remaining in the work-in-process account.

process costing

Many companies use some type of system to determine the minimum value of produced products. Process costing is an allocation system companies use to allocate cost for homogeneous items produced by a company, explains Accounting Coach. Homogeneous products represent items that are very similar or indistinguishable from each other.

Steps of Process Costing

Financial management software, particularly platforms integrated into a larger ERP tool, can help track costs by department, as well as generate overview reports and store historical data to monitor trends over time. Homogeneous items are products that cannot be distinguished from one another — for example, a bin of screws of the same size and type. These similar products all generally flow through a number of stages during the production process.

  • This becomes the raw material of the subsequent stage until the final stage of completion.
  • On a production line, if one product is 40% complete and a second one is 60% complete, this is the equivalent of 100% complete for one unit .
  • Under the FIFO method , costs are tracked based on specific units.
  • Manufacturing overhead often includes indirect materials, indirect labor, and the utilities used to run the production equipment.
  • This gives managers even more control over the manufacturing process.

The management has clearly defined process cost centers and the accumulation of costs such as cost of material, cost of labour and overheads by the cost centre. Remember, this is accounting; we are recording and reporting on costs, and trying to have the costs parallel the actual flow of production through the manufacturing process.

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