When there is no obvious start or finish because the manufacturing process is endlessly repetitive, the management turns to a process costing system to accumulate and allocate manufacturing costs. As opposed to the other costing techniques, process costing is a method where the cost of products is determined on the basis of different levels of production. Process costing is a form of operations costing used where standardized homogeneous goods are produced. This costing method is used in industries like chemicals, textiles, steel, rubber, sugar, shoes, petrol, etc. It is assumed in process costing that the average cost presents the cost per unit.

The job costing is useful for the businesses like accounting & law firms, medical services, the film-making industry, and the construction industry, etc. The physical flow of the units can be calculated by reviewing the documents that record the flow of the completed units in and out of the production system. The actual flow can be calculated depending on the policy of the company which can be the FIFO method and AVCO method as well. The process costing system allocates the cost of running the process to the batch of the products. It assumes that equal cost is incurred in each unit of production in the batch.

A process costing system accumulates the costs of a production process and assigns them to the products that the business outputs. There is no last in, first out (LIFO) costing method used in process costing, since the underlying assumption of process costing is that the first unit produced is, in fact, the first unit used, which is the FIFO concept. We know that, there will be Work in progress during the opening and closing of a period and thus an organization needs to decide on the cost flow assumptions. For computing costs under process costing the organization can use either the FIFO or weighted average cost flow assumption. Having touched upon process costing, take next steps with our comprehensive resources on cost accounting.

Cost assigned to units produced or in process are recorded in the inventory asset account, where it appears on the balance sheet. When the goods are eventually sold, the cost is shifted to the cost of goods sold account, where it appears on the income statement. The main benefit of Process Costing is that it provides information that can be used to make critical business decisions. For example, managers using this system can assess profit margin by product and isolate problem products before they become major issues. Process Costing also allows companies to set prices according to production costs. Under process costing, the procedure used to manufacture a product is divided into well-defined processes.

  1. As a result, unit cost of each process is obtained by averaging the total cost of each process.
  2. For example, managers using this system can assess profit margin by product and isolate problem products before they become major issues.
  3. Process Costing is the cost accounting method in which production overhead is equally allocated to each product due to their similarity and mass production.
  4. Direct labor is the labor involved in the production process, while indirect labor supports the production process but is not directly involved.
  5. The process costing method determines the cost of each production stage, from raw materials to finished goods.
  6. 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.

Then, when the products are eventually sold, the cost is shifted to the cost of goods sold account on the income statement. The following are the various elements used in process costing and how they are treated in the books of accounting under process costing. Cost per unit in every stage or process entails summation of the total cost for that particular process level and divided with the total production. Process costing also has difficulty detecting cost fluctuations due to changes in production volume and product mix.

The cutting process involves the costs related to direct material, direct labor, and the overheads related to the cutting department. Consider the equivalent units of the production are 10,000 units and the cost per unit is USD 3 per unit in the cutting department. Process costing follows a simple and easy calculation method; even non-accountant can understand it easily. Although it goes through many assembly lines as it incurs costs such as direct material, direct labor, and overhead, we can just sum up all costs and divide them by the total output of each process line.


It can make it difficult for management to understand what drives cost variances from period to period. The FIFO method assumes that the costs of the first units produced are assigned to the first units sold or transferred out of the production process. As a result, the costs of the last units produced are given to the units remaining in inventory. Process Costing, also called job-order costing, assigns total manufacturing costs to the units being produced. Process Costing is a system of product cost allocation used in merchandising and industry. The main objective is to allocate total manufacturing costs to the various products according to the proportion of resources consumed by each product.

It is common in industries that produce homogenous products and can help identify areas where costs can be reduced and efficiency can be improved. The standard cost method assigns predetermined costs to the different stages of production https://business-accounting.net/ based on estimates of the cost of producing one output unit. These predetermined costs are then compared to the actual expenses incurred during the production process, and any differences between the two are recorded as variances.

Process costing for a single product is a method of costing one main product at the end of the process of production. Under process costing, there are three ways in which valuation of produced units are done or assigned cost. Process costing is employed by the industries whose production process is continuous and repetitive, as well as the output of one process is the input of another process. So, chemical industry, oil refineries, cement industries, textile industries, soap manufacturing industries, paper manufacturing industries use this method. Process costing is used for products produced in large quantities that are identical, such as bricks or soda cans. On the other hand, job costing is used for unique or custom-made products, such as custom-designed wedding dresses.

But in reality, when production process starts, there are many cases where the producer will experience availability of some unused raw materials either in the beginning or at the end of the year or both. On the same breath, output can either be complete or partially finished. Process costing helps businesses make informed pricing decisions by providing an accurate estimate of the cost of production. This information helps determine the selling price of the product, which is essential for profitability. Process costing is relatively easy to understand compared to other cost accounting methods.

Coca-cola is a carbonated drink bottling company that specializes in unique flavors. The carbonated drinks that the company produces pass through several production departments. Sometimes process costing for a single product is dominated by a situation whereby the normal loss equals the actual loss incurred at the end of the production process. In this case, no abnormal loss or abnormal gain at the end of the production process. Process costing is a method of cost accounting used to calculate the cost of producing a product or service in a manufacturing environment where products are made in large quantities and indistinguishable.

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All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Yes, many services are produced in a manner similar to manufacturing goods. For example, when an airline provides transportation for passengers the way it would produce any product. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Loss of the same nature may be treated as normal in some industries and abnormal in others.

Process Costing Definition

In process costing, the cost of materials is tracked and allocated to each production stage in which they are used. After identifying and calculating the costs, the cost per unit can process costing definition be determined by dividing the total cost of production by the number of units produced. For instance, the business needs to track the resources that have been put in the process.

The value of units representing abnormal gain is debited to process accounts and credited to an abnormal gain account. This is a statement that is used in cost accounting to express the cumulative cost as per inputs used, equivalent units and cost per unit. Process costing helps in budgeting as it provides an estimate of the cost of production for a specific period. It can help prepare budgets and financial forecasts for business planning and decision-making. On the contrary, the job order costing is used for the production which is customized and the products are not similar to each other.

It makes it hard for management to adjust prices according to market demands since they do not have visibility into these costs. Overhead costs include all indirect costs, such as rent, utilities, and depreciation, not directly related to the production process. Once a cost per unit has been determined, it must be split between finished goods ready to be sold or shipped and unfinished products still in progress on the assembly line.

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