Process Costing Definition, Examples, Features & System

process costing method

Product costs must be transferred from Finished Goods to Cost of Goods Sold as sales are made. This requires a correct and accurate accounting of product costs per unit, to have a proper matching of product costs against related sales revenue. The per-unit costs are then split according to the number of units completed & units that are under process. A weighted average of units means the summation of the product of the rate and quantity of each item.

What is process costing and its types?

Types of process costing

There are three different kinds of process costing: weighted average costs, standard costs, and First-in First-out (FIFO). There is no Last-in, Last-out (LIFO) method of process costing, as the basic principle of process costing is that the first unit produced is the first unit used.

Even two sticks made sequentially may have different weights because the wood varies in density. These types of manufacturing are optimal for the process cost system. While both systems produce a cost of goods sold for a given period, Process Costing focuses on the product’s progression through various stages of production. Job-order costing focuses on a specific product or service produced for a given customer. Process costs are expensed as incurred; job-order costs are capitalized. Process costs represent a higher level of accuracy than job-order costing, but they are also more complex and time consuming to develop. Process Costing, also called job-order costing, assigns total manufacturing costs to the units being produced.


The total cost is $150,000, and with 150,000 units produced, its cost-per-unit is $1. Figure 4.1 «A Comparison of Cost Flows for Job Costing and Process Costing» shows how product costs flow through accounts for job costing and process costing systems. Table 4.1 «A Comparison of Process Costing and Job Costing» outlines the similarities and differences between these two costing systems. Review these illustrations carefully before moving on to the next section. In a process cost system, costs are maintained by each department, and the method for determining the cost per individual unit is different than in a job order costing system.

The third step is to account for all the costs that are incurred during the whole production process. Whereas, a wine manufacturer would not be able to call their units complete until they have passed the aging and bottling stage which would take a long time in the production process. And while there are different costing methods out there, process costing remains one of the more popular ones. Profit and loss are calculated after considering the opening and closing balances of finished stock. Process accounts are helpful for the valuation of raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods.

Examples of Process Costing

It allows companies to track product cost performance by production location or department—information that can be used to help determine which products are most profitable. A student’s first thought is that this is easy—just divide the total cost by the number of units produced. However, the presence of work-in-process inventories causes problems. The final step is to designate the costs for the complete and incomplete products.

process costing method

Process costing is a method of assigning manufacturing costs whereby the cost of each unit produced is assumed to be the same for every unit. Cost of manufacturing such as (direct materials cost + direct wages + direct overhead) per piece.

BUS105: Managerial Accounting

Now that we have all costs for producing complete and incomplete units, we divide it over the finished items and the equivalent units of work in progress. For example, if we make 500 units and have an ending WIP balance of 100 units at a 70% completion rate, we will calculate the cost per unit over 570 units. When we have a large mix of products, it can be hard to assign actual costs in a timely manner. In such cases, we can use standardized costs to calculate the total production cost for all units. We estimate it based on historical cost data and apply it to production.

Cost Accounting: What It Is And When To Use It – Forbes

Cost Accounting: What It Is And When To Use It.

Posted: Thu, 18 Aug 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

For example, process costing is used by oil companies that produce millions of gallons of fuel and by processed food companies that make millions of identical packages of snacks. With process costing process costing, products typically move from department to department in a “production line” format instead of the materials and labor coming to the product at one location .

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