Process costing is one accounting method typically provided by carriers that mass produce very comparable or identical commodities or systems of output. It’s typical in manufacturing industries where the expenses of developing each unit of output are really similar, and it no make feeling to shot to track prices for every individual unit transparent the production process. Because that example, process costing is provided by oil service providers that create millions that gallons of fuel and by processed food carriers that do millions of identical packages that snacks.

What Is procedure Costing?

With procedure costing, companies recognize item cost by tracking the expense of each phase in the production process, instead of tracking costs for every individual item. After adding up the cost of every the steps in the process, they divide the complete cost by the variety of items. This is called the expense per unit. For example, a document company could track the expense of each stage in the procedure of transforming wood pulp right into reams of paper, then division the complete cost through the number of reams to obtain the cost per ream.

Key Takeaways

process costing is an important product costing technique for production companies the mass develop a big volume of comparable products or systems of output. Process costing is widely supplied in sectors such together oil refining, food production, chemistry processing, textiles, glass, cement and paint manufacture. as soon as using process costing, companies recognize item expense by tracking the price of each phase in the manufacturing process, then divide the complete cost by the variety of items produced. Companies can calculate expenses using several various methods, including weighted average costing, conventional costing and an initial in, first out (FIFO) costing.

Process Costing Explained

Homogeneous item are products that can not be differentiated from one another — for example, a bin the screws that the very same size and type. These comparable products every generally circulation through a variety of stages during the manufacturing process. To use the process costing approach to accounting, companies recognize the direct costs and also manufacturing overhead because that each the those stages.

These stages incorporate direct and also indirect costs. Direct costs are those directly incurred for production, such together raw products and maker operators’ wages. Overhead often includes indirect prices such as tools maintenance and facility rent, and the salaries of governmental staff who aren’t directly associated in do the products.

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

At many companies, a various department handles each stage in the production process. Every department prepares a report the details its direct materials, straight labor and manufacturing overhead costs. The firm then aggregates this reports to analyze complete product cost.

Process vs. Job Costing

Two the the main methods of identify the expense of every product are process costing and also job costing. Procedure costing doesn’t rely on tracing the costs of each individual item transparent the manufacturing process, for this reason it’s specifically useful for markets that mass develop identical items and also cannot quickly trace every item’s costs. Job costing, in contrast, tracks all direct and also indirect expenses for each item or project. This is more commonly offered by providers that offer custom products or services and price every one individually. Because that example, a construction firm that makes custom homes needs come know exactly how much it expenses to build each residence so it deserve to charge an proper amount and track whether each home-building task is profitable.

Importance of procedure Costing

Process costing is particularly important in the oil, chemical, lumber, textile and food handling industries. Obtaining a take care of on production costs allows these suppliers to collection the best prices for your products and also determine whether costs are tracking in line v projections. They can use process costing to analysis the prices of each action of the production and also distribution procedure and usage the info to identify locations where they have the right to reduce costs.

Why Use procedure Costing?

Process costing is the logical an option for keeping tabs ~ above product expenses in industries where the individual systems of output room uniform and also individually not worth a an excellent deal — such together reams of document or party of soda — and where it’s impossible or difficult to trace production costs for every individual unit. Instead, the price of products manufactured (COGM) is developed using procedure costing. This usually shows up on your income statement.

Monitor profit margins: For markets that market in high volume and also operate v narrow profit margins, also a slight adjust in procedure costs deserve to make a big difference come a company’s profit. Procedure costing allows companies to home in top top the expense of each production stage and also target certain departments for improvement.

Inventory control: relying on the form of business, you might be compelled to report inventory come the IRS for taxes purposes. For huge companies developing thousands or even millions that products, this can be a challenging task. However, process costing can help simplify it. Every item produced is valued and also each department tracks things like products purchased.

Uniformity in reporting: With procedure costing, each department will track their very own costs and all those will be rolled as much as arrive at an in its entirety cost to develop a specific number of items. Because all costs have come be included together, lock all have to be reported in the same manner and with the same price codes. This helps carry uniformity come reports and also makes it much easier to track prices over time.

Using the process Costing Method

Process costing entails tracking the number of units passing v the production process during a offered period, collecting price information because that each stage and then making use of the gathered information to calculation per-unit cost. Having accurate per-unit-costing helps with pricing commodities appropriately, which have the right to lead to enhanced revenue and better profit margins.

5 steps in process Costing

To accurately estimate the price of producing each unit, procedure costing takes right into account occupational in progress — item that have entered however not perfect the production process — at the start and also end of every period. Right here are five primary actions in procedure costing.

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Analyze inventory: analyze the flow of items during the duration to determine the quantity of inventory in ~ the start of the period, how plenty of items were started during the period, how many were completed and also transferred out and how many were incomplete at the finish of the period.

Calculate identical units: process costing offers the ide of tantamount units to account because that items that space unfinished in ~ the end of each period. For this step, main point the number of incomplete systems at the end of the duration by a percentage representing their development through the manufacturing process. Because that example, if there are 2,000 devices of inventory quiet in progress and also they’re 75% complete, lock are indistinguishable to 1,500 units for process costing purposes (2,000 x .75 = 1,500).

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

Calculate price per unit: division the total cost through the variety of units. This calculation has both perfect units and equivalent units. So, if a business completed 4,000 products and also another 1,000 units got halfway through production, the applicable costs would be separated by 4,000 + (1,000/2) = 4,500 units. If all the costs included up across all departments to develop those devices was $16,875, merely divide the price by the number of units to arrive at $3.75 per unit produced.

Allocate expenses to complete and incomplete products: Allocate prices for the completed and ending work-in-progress inventory to the equivalent accounts. This helps determine how much money is tied up in current work-in-progress inventory. In the above example, since the indistinguishable of 500 units room in progress and it cost $3.75 to develop each unit, the work-in-progress inventory cost is $1,875 (500 x $3.75). And also the complete product inventory cost is 4,000 x $3.75 = $15,000.

Types of procedure Costing

In process costing there space three different ways to calculation costs: weighted average, typical costing and first-in first-out (FIFO). Carefully choosing the an approach that finest meets your business needs is a best bookkeeping practice.

Weighted median costs: This is the simplest method of calculating cost. Companies add all expenses for the current period and divide by the total number of units completed and transferred out, to add the identical units the work-in-progress at the end of the period. It’s used for instances where cost fluctuations from duration to duration are minor.

Standard costs: This method uses an approximated standard price for each process stage instead of yes, really costs. Companies generally use this an approach when it’s too an overwhelming or time-consuming to collect present information around the real costs. The can additionally be valuable for businesses the make a wide selection of items and find it complicated to attribute specific costs to each of the products. The estimated totals are compared to yes, really totals after a manufacturing run is finished, and the distinction is added to a variance account.

First in, an initial out (FIFO): The most complex process costing approach, FIFO is used to obtain an ext precise product costing, especially in situations where costs change significantly from one period to the next. FIFO assumes the the an initial units in (i.e., job-related in progress at the start of the current period) space the very first to be completed. When calculating costs for the present period, it excludes prices incurred during the previous duration for those start work-in-progress units.

Examples of procedure Cost Accounting

Process cost accounting is supplied in situations where the systems of product space homogenous. Take it a look at a couple of examples of just how it works in these fictitious companies. (The companies are not real.)

Bubblez’n’More is a seltzer bottling agency specializing in unique flavors. The sodas pass with several manufacturing departments. Throughout the current month, the filling department accumulation $25,000 of direct material costs and also $50,000 that conversion costs (consisting of straight labor and also 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 by unit calculation for the month) and $1.00 because that conversion prices (conversion prices divided by unit output). The company performs comparable calculations for the labelling and also packaging departments and finds that all at once it spent $100,000 to produce 50,000 bottles in one month. The unit price = $100,000/50,000 = $2 per unit.

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Reams-a-Plenty makes file products from timber pulp. Raw products move through the production cycle in a constant flow, finishing with the manufacturing of similar packages that paper. This month, that completes 150,000 packages. Life materials full $50,000, or $.33 per package. Conversion expenses are $100,000, or $.67 per package, making up $70,000 in straight labor and also $30,000 for overhead, consisting of maintenance expenses, insurance money costs and also electricity. The complete cost is $150,000, and with 150,000 devices produced, that is cost-per-unit is $1.

Pros and also Cons of procedure Costing

For certain varieties of manufacturers, procedure costing is the many practical and also efficient accounting method for identify product costs. Still, this method has both benefits and disadvantages. It can be daunting to that s right assign prices to work-related in progress, because that example. Think about the complying with pros and cons.

Pros of procedure costing:

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

Ease the use: For service providers making many similar goods, procedure costing is an ext practical and also simpler to use than other cost bookkeeping methods, together as project costing, which requires tracking the expense of every item and component part, together with managing payroll, various other materials and also overhead. Flexibility: procedure costing can assist companies enhance their to work to alleviate costs, therefore they deserve to offer assets at much more competitive prices. That highlights the expense of each action in the manufacturing process, helping providers target redundant, outdated or inefficient processes. Standardized: process costing applies the exact same standardized costing technique each period, enabling companies come compare alters in expenses over time. This helps suppliers ensure that expenses are in line v budgeted expenses and also identify areas for investigation.

Cons of procedure costing:

Potential flaw of procedure costing incorporate inaccuracy.

Errors: procedure costing identify the expense of every unit based on the as whole costs of departments or stages involved in manufacturing. Errors can be caused by consisting of non-production expenses in the calculation. Time consuming: Calculating equivalent units can be time consuming. Management accountants have to determine how much down the heat in the production process these unfinished items are and assign costs accordingly.

Cost circulation in procedure Costing

With process costing, suppliers track the flow of costs from room to department, fairly than tracking costs for every individual item. Every department adds straight labor and manufacturing overhead costs, add to the expense of any kind of raw products it uses. Companies may use different work-in-process perform accounts because that each department or stage in the process.


Manage process Costing v

Process costing assigns costs to different departments in your business, and also it accounts for various cost locations including materials and also payroll. Those costs are then rolled up to identify an overall dollar figure and also used to discover the price-per-unit. Every departments must use uniform reporting and also not twin count efforts. Enterprise source planning (ERP) software application can help with this process. It bring data native various company software modules from roughly your firm — such as supply chain management, jae won management and payroll management — right into one digital space. By save data from disparate areas of your agency in one digital ecosystem, girlfriend can an ext easily monitor data and also costs from throughout the manufacturing procedure and store tabs top top expenses and profitability. ERP communication with combined financial monitoring software also assist you more expertly, easily and accurately perform procedure costing. By working along with the same information throughout the business, prices can quickly be tracked by department and roll up into macro-level process costing reports.’s ERP suite help manufacturers manage every aspect of their business, from supply chain management and also procurement come order fulfillment and also customer relationship management (CRM). The completely integrated financial administration solution helps businesses accelerate your financial close, provides solid expense management and also real-time visibility right into the company’s gaue won performance. And also it can aid you an ext expertly, easily and also accurately perform procedure costing. By working together with the exact same information throughout the business, expenses can quickly be tracked through department and roll up right into macro-level procedure costing reports.


Process costing is critical accounting an approach for manufacturers that make big volumes of identical items, together as carriers in the food processing, oil and also chemicals industries. Because that these companies, it deserve to be difficult or difficult to directly allocate costs to every item together it moves with the manufacturing process. Process costing permits companies to calculation item expenses by adding up the expenses of each step in the production process, then separating by the variety of items. To ensure accuracy, companies need to encompass only product-related expenses from every department affiliated in the process and effectively allocate expense to work-in-progress at each stage. Financial management software, particularly platforms incorporated into a larger ERP tool, can help track expenses by department, and also generate rundown reports and store historical data to monitor trends over time.