Standard cost accounting Wikipedia

(i) Basic Standard – This standard is fixed for the base year. In it, all the principles of statistics apply which are used in Index numbers. These standard can be used where routines and operations are well established and working concessions do not change. The major limitations of Standard Costing are that it is not suitable for all industries and products, its method of cost setting is complex and time-consuming, and that it requires the services of experts. If every unit of production is different in nature and quality, then standard costing is unsuitable. This is because, in such cases, standardization of various elements of cost is not possible.

The standard costing technique is used in many industries due to the limitations of historical costing. If the standard costing system has not been properly designed, many problems are likely to crop up. Supposing, in a concern, material costs are of vital importance whereas undue emphasis has been laid down on labour costs, the system would not bring desired results. Again scientific techniques and market research largely solve the problem.

  • Toward the end of the fiscal year, standards often become less reliable because time has passed and the environment has changed.
  • Aids in product pricing – Standard costs are an important aid in pricing the products of the concern.
  • Knowing what is expected, and when it is expected, allows for better plans and performance.
  • Basically, management calculates how much each step in the production process should cost based on the market value of goods, median wages paid per employee, and average utility rates.

The standard cost is the average or anticipated cost of producing an item under normal circumstances. In other words, it’s what a business would normally spend to produce goods or services. The standard cost can be adjusted over time to account for variances between the anticipated and actual costs of production.

Standard Costing (Explanation)

Establishing a standard costing system for materials, labor, and overheads is a complex task, requiring the collaboration of a number of executives. A standard is a predetermined measure relating to materials, labor, or overheads. It is a reflection of what is expected, under specific conditions, of plant and personnel.

Volume of production – Fixed overhead standards will vary when volume of production varies, estimate a volume of production that can be achieved. Expected sales capacity should be considered for fixing volume of production. Industries where standardised and uniform work of repetitive nature is done are suitable for introduction of standard costing. Standard costing system is of little use or no use where works vary from job to job or contract to contract.

What is Standard Costing – Essential Conditions for Effective Standard Costing

Finding differences (variances) between actual costs and standard costs. These variances may be favorable as well as unfavorable or adverse. After the March 1 transaction is posted, the Direct Materials Price Variance account shows a debit balance of $50 (the $100 credit on January 8 combined with the $150 debit on March 1). A debit balance in any variance account means it is unfavorable. It means that the actual costs are higher than the standard costs and the company’s profit will be $50 less than planned unless some action is taken. Standard costs are a nice jumping-off point for setting your sales price.

STANDARD COST: Definition, Benefits, and Limitations

Since standard costs are determined in advance of production, they become an important yardstick for managerial planning. The control aspect of standard costs comes into play when actual production occurs. Under this situation, prices are determined on the basis of standard costing because, by that time, the producer does not know the actual cost of production.

(4) To control overall elements of cost affecting sales as well as production. This technique, if implemented in conjunction with the system of budgetary control, provides better and more successful functions of the business. Standard Costing is used to minimize costs, improve quality, and increase efficiency. It also enables managers to compare actual results with expected results. For this purpose, management must take great care to study past information and data.

(2) The standard costing should be in consistent with the technical process of production of enterprise. They may be used either with a job order or process cost accumulation method, or some combination thereof. There is a greater practicability of setting standards for a continuous flow of like units than for unique job orders. Before one can clearly understand the concept of standard costing, the term “standard” needs to be understood. According to Webster’s New International Dictionary, standards are bases for measurement or comparison. They are established by authority, custom or general consent as a model or example of that which is proper and adequate for a given purpose.

The variance will be calculated by the company after comparing it to actual costs. When one entity purchases goods from another entity under the same ownership, a sales price is charged, just as it would be to an outside customer. In this case, the sale is made to another entity as part of the production process rather than to the end-user. These prices are generally used when selling goods between divisions of the same company, especially when there are international segments.

(7) The recording process of standard costs should be easy and clear. It does not, however, mean by this that standard costing is intended to control costs, and beyond this, it does not achieve anything else. Standard costs are the conclusions of managers and accountants as what something should cost. It is used to motivate employees to work efficiently because variances and responsibility can be identified more easily – National Association of Accountants, U.S.A. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.


Standard costs must be established properly, thereby promoting confidence between management and operations. Several definitions of standard costing have been published in the literature. No business can predict every expense it will encounter in a year, particularly manufacturers who purchase materials from vendors who change their prices periodically.

The object of standard costing is to plan operations systematically in advance to improve processes, methods and procedures. The purpose is also to secure low costs as well as keeping spoilage, waste and loss to the minimum. In reality, it may cost slightly more to produce one batch of product than another, depending on the material cost and how efficiently the workers produce it. But standard costing can give you a rough estimate of how much your inventory is worth. Simply multiply the standard cost of each item by the number of items you have.

The next step is the classification of accounts of expenses, revenue, or assets under suitable headings and codes e.g., Direct Material OA to OA5. Installation of standard costing system for accomplishing the desired objectives require existence of certain pre-requisites. Cost consciousness – Since standard costing system lays down targets before executives and workmen, it infuses cost consciousness among all.

This type of standard costing believes the perfect condition when there is no interruption and wastage during production. They believe that there is no machine breakdown, worker what do “debtor” and “creditor” mean :: iowa people’s law library tea break, or any error in the production process. Therefore, the production will be able to maximize their capacity which almost impossible to happen in real life.

This is because in the manufacturing process, it is impossible to predict the demand of a product or all the variables that will affect the costs of manufacturing it. These standards can then be used in establishing standard costs that can be used in creating an assortment of different types of budgets. Nearly all companies have budgets and many use standard cost calculations to derive product prices, so it is apparent that standard costing will find some uses for the foreseeable future. In particular, standard costing provides a benchmark against which management can compare actual performance. Standard costing is the practice of substituting an expected cost for an actual cost in the accounting records. Subsequently, variances are recorded to show the difference between the expected and actual costs.

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