What Are The Differences Between Process Costing And Job Costing?

difference between job costing and process costing

It accumulates the cost of components and then assigns these costs to a product or project once the components are used. Process costing is used to ascertain the cost of a product at each process or stage of manufacture. There is always some work-in- process at the beginning as well as at the end of the accounting period. It requires more forms and details regarding materials and labour due to the need for the allocation of labour to so many orders and material is issued in bulk to departments. Proper control is comparatively difficult as each product unit is different and the production is not continuous. Unit costs are computed by department on the department production report.

Companies use different costing systems for determining the cost of custom products than they do for determining the cost of mass-produced products. When products are custom ordered, knowing the cost of the materials, labor, and overhead is critical to determining the sales price.

What Is An Example Of Process Costing?

The second stage includes filling cleaned and sanitized bottles before placing a cap on each bottle. In the third stage, filled bottles are inspected, labeled, and packaged. Ken Boyd is a co-founder of AccountingEd.com and difference between job costing and process costing owns St. Louis Test Preparation (AccountingAccidentally.com). He provides blogs, videos, and speaking services on accounting and finance. Ken is the author of four Dummies books, including “Cost Accounting for Dummies.”

difference between job costing and process costing

When products have gone through all three stages of production, they are shipped to a warehouse, and the costs are entered into finished goods inventory. Once products are delivered to retail stores, product costs are transferred from finished goods inventory to cost of goods sold.

If the cost increases, it results in abnormal loss, and if it reduces beyond the expected margin, it is called abnormal profit. The diagram shown above shows how the costs in a process costing system build up over each process and add to the finished goods or the completed product at the end of the final process. Process costing is used in businesses where the goods are produced in a series of continuous or repetitive operations or processes. The units in a process costing system have to be homogeneous or identical.

In contrast to job costing, process costing is used in standardized production processes where the units manufactured are identical in nature. In a setting of this nature, the costs will be assigned to different departments or workgroups.

Costs are likely to be accumulated at the department level, and no lower within the organization. The difference between the two methods is in the treatment of fixed manufacturing overhead costs. Under the direct costing method, fixed manufacturing overhead costs are expensed during the period in which they are incurred. Work in progress refers to the costs of incomplete products, including materials and labor. Typically, businesses are unlikely to use work in progress with job order costing. However, in process costing, businesses might record work in progress when products transfer between departments. For unique products, the job costing method is used whereas for standardized products process costing method is used.

Definition Of Job Costing

Job costing requires more record keeping whereas process costing requires less record keeping. To measure the cost of a product, various cost techniques are used. Job costing is used when goods are produced against only special orders. Process costing is used to determine the cost of each process involved in product making. It’s important to note that the costs bookkeeping that go into work in process are actual costs, and the actual costs may differ from your budget. Accounting software packages allow you to input your budget assumptions, post your actual costs, and keep track of any differences. If you think a job costing system applies to you, follow the steps above to capture all of your costs and to price your product.

Job costing is concerned with the cost of an individual job or batch regardless of the time taken to produce it. The total cost of each process is divided by the total production for the process to calculate the average cost per unit for the period. The materials, labor, and overhead cost should be considered for each meal option. Direct material costs may include the cost of the protein, grain, and vegetable option, as well as the cost of the packing containers. Since a typical tax return can vary significantly from one taxpayer to the next, H&R Block provides a service that they customize for each customer. Its cost data are collected via a job order cost system, which is designed to allow for individualized products or services. E.g. DRA Company manufactures plastic bottles, and the production process operates with 3 departments and produced 6,500 bottles for the last month.

  • Often, process costing makes sense if the individual costs or values of each unit are not significant.
  • As a result, material and labor costs are frequently classified as direct costs.
  • To measure the cost of a product, various cost techniques are used.
  • The similarities between job order cost systems and process cost systems are the product costs of materials, labor, and overhead, which are used determine the cost per unit, and the inventory values.

If the Johnson kitchen addition, for example, requires 50 labor hours, the customer would be allocated (50 hours X $5), or $250 in home office costs. Your next step is to decide on an activity level that causes you to incur each overhead cost. You can allocate mileage costs based on the number of miles driven to and from a particular customer’s location, for example.

Job Costing Vs Process Costing

In process costing and operational costing, these are accounted for using either a weighted average or the first in, first out — or FIFO — method. Job Order Cost Engine Repair $35 per hour plus parts Transmission Repair $45 per hour plus parts Tune Up $89.95 Oil Change $19.95 In the chart, the first two services fall under the job costing method. This is because each engine or transmission will need individualized attention and repair specifics that are not replicated among every customer needing the repair. This is because Joey’s boss knows what parts and labor requirements will be needed for tune-ups and oil changes and can price them accordingly.

difference between job costing and process costing

The output of process 1 is transferred to process 2 in the form of input from process 1. Process 2 then takes additional input of material, labor, and overheads and then gives the output in the form of completed units or finished goods. In job costing, materials are used from the moment were bought and brought into the company to the final product.

A method that calculates the cost of every ‘project; is termed as Process Costing. The process can be defined as a separate stage where the raw material is converted to another form. It’s best to make an effort to connect each overhead cost to a related or at least somewhat related activity. Normally, there will be opening and closing work-in-progress for the accounting period. The costs of each job is ascertained by adding materials, labour and overheads. Work-in-progress may or may not exist at the end of accounting period.

Conversely, by process costing, we mean the costing technique used to determine the cost of each process. The first money spent in a process costing system is for materials because you purchase the materials before you pay the workers to do something with the materials. Accountants use control accounts to track the cost to go into the manufacturing process. QuickBooks When she sends a bid to a potential client, her direct costs include materials and labor expenses. AAA must also assign overhead costs such as the costs related to running the office, insurance premiums, and building lease. The process costing system is easier for business owners because it’s only necessary to track costs for a particular batch of masks.

What Is The Purpose Of Job Order Costing?

When a company mass produces parts but allows customization on the final product, both systems are used; this is common retained earnings in auto manufacturing. Each part of the vehicle is mass produced, and its cost is calculated with process costing.


Job costing is the cost of each job carried during an assignment or project. Whereas, process costing is the total cost of the processes carried out in the entire project. Using a costing system ultimately gives you better information about your company and operations than your competitors. By understanding all of the actual costs required to deliver your products or services, you know exactly where you stand financially so you can be confident in your pricing and profit generation. To accurately track these process costs, an information system that allows your staff to easily record this activity is crucial. Hannah also has to keep her staff accountable for using these systems every day because if they don’t, the company can’t track product costs.

Many of the costs that are indirect in a Job Costing system may be regarded as direct in Process Costing system. Costs are accumulated and collected for each process at the end of specified accounting period and transferred to next process/ department till the last process is completed. All the products are identical and there is a continuous flow of production. Only prime cost elements are traceable and the overheads are apportioned to each job on some appropriate basis and sometimes it is difficult to select a suitable method of absorption of overheads to individual jobs. There are many differences between a position analysis and a job description. First things first, we have to understand that a job description is one of the outcomes of a job analysis. When a job analysis is done, there are certain steps that are followed in order to reach the output of a job description.

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For example, if a company paid an insurance company \(\$12,000\) for one year’s liability insurance coverage, the first month’s expense would be $1,000. This expense would not be related to a particular job order, but instead would be classified as a period cost, and in this case recorded monthly as an administrative expense. Selling costs are the expenses related to the promotion and sale of the company’s products, whereas administrative costs are the expenses related to the operations of the company. The S&A costs are considered period costs because they include costs of departments not directly associated with manufacturing but necessary to operate the business. Some examples include research and development costs, marketing costs, sales commissions, administration building rent, the CEO’s salary expense, and accounting, payroll, and IT department expenses.

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