The product costs are included in the costs of goods sold, which are listed in the income statement when products are sold. Since they can’t be traced to products and services, we attribute them to the period in which they were incurred. Most period costs are fixed because they don’t vary from one period to another.

Product Cost is the cost that is attributable to the product, i.e. the cost which is traceable to the product and is a part of inventory values. On the contrary, Period Cost is just opposite to product cost, as they are not related to production, they cannot be apportioned to the product, as it is charged to the period in which they arise. Direct material costs are the costs of raw materials or parts that go directly into producing products.

  • A period cost is any cost consumed during a reporting period that has not been capitalized into inventory, fixed assets, or prepaid expenses.
  • On the other hand Period, the cost is not a part of the manufacturing process, and that is why the cost cannot be assigned to the products.
  • These can include administrative, logistical, financial, distribution, sales and marketing functions etc.
  • Both product costs and period costs greatly impact the business profitability.

Product cost comprises of direct materials, direct labour and direct overheads. Period costs are based on time and mainly includes selling and administration costs like salary, rent etc. These two type of costs are significant in cost accounting, that most people don’t understand easily. So, take a read of the article, that sheds light on the differences between product cost and period cost. In the field of accounting and finance, the distinction between product costs and period costs is a fundamental concept with extensive practical applications.

Key Differences Between Period Cost vs Product Cost

Salaries of administrative employees are considered fixed and period costs as well. Since admin employees aren’t directly involved in production, their salaries are period costs. These costs are identified as being either direct materials, direct labor, or factory overheads, and they are traceable or assignable to products.

Both of these types of expenses are considered period costs because they are related to the services consumed over the period in question. Additional examples of period costs are marketing expenses, rent that is unrelated to a production plant, office depreciation, and indirect labor. The interest a business pays on its loan would additionally be considered a period cost.

Period cost:

In other words, they are expensed in the period incurred and appear on the income statement. Though it may be tempting to just lump your expenses together, there are three great reasons why you need to separate product and period costs for your business. Period costs are the costs that your business incurs that are not directly related to production levels. These expenses have no relation to the inventory or production process but are incurred on a regular basis, regardless of the level of production. All expenses incurred in the factory or manufacturing unit for producing the assets are product or manufacturing costs. Based on the association with the product, cost can be classified as product cost and period cost.

Why is it important to distinguish product costs and period costs?

Accurate measurement of product and period costs helps you report the correct amount of expense in the income statement and assets in the balance sheet. Failing to distinguish between product vs period costs could result in an overstatement or understatement of assets and net income. Period costs are hard to pinpoint to the business’s main products, but they are incurred nonetheless because they’re essential. Examples of period costs include rent and utilities of admin offices, finance charges, marketing and advertising, commissions, and bookkeeping fees.

Why Is Overhead a Period Cost?

This additional information is needed when calculating the break even sales level of a business. It is also useful for determining the minimum price at which a product can be sold while still generating a profit. Overhead, or the costs to keep the lights on, so to speak, such as utility bills, insurance, and rent, are not directly related to production. However, these costs are still paid every period, and so are booked as period costs. Under different costing system, product cost is also different, as in absorption costing both fixed cost and variable cost are considered as Product Cost.

Direct materials, direct labor, and the cost of factory overhead are a few examples of product costs. Period cost examples include general and administrative expenses such as rent, office depreciation, office supplies, and utilities. Period costs include any costs not related to the manufacture or acquisition of your product. Sales commissions, administrative costs, advertising and rent of office space are all period costs. These costs are not included as part of the cost of either purchased or manufactured goods, but are recorded as expenses on the income statement in the period they are incurred.

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Cost segregation helps the company analyze the data in detail, which helps them make internal decision. Company management needs to know the total costs to price goods high enough to cover these costs and still make a normal profit. Inventoriable product costs, sometimes just product costs, are only incurred during the value chain’s production stage. Inventoriable product costs are required for the cost of the assets, that is inventory, rather than total product costs.

Conversely, a steel mill may have high inventory costs, but low selling expenses. It is important to keep track of your total period cost because that information helps you determine the net income of your business for each accounting period. To quickly identify if a cost is a period cost or product cost, ask the question, “Is the cost directly or indirectly related to the production of products? Product and period costs are incurred in the production and selling of a product. The one similarity among the period costs listed above is that these costs are incurred whether production has been halted, whether it’s doubled, or whether it’s running at normal speed. Most companies use two different definitions of total product cost and Inventoriable product cost.

This information can be used to make decisions about where to allocate resources and how to improve efficiency. A period cost is any cost consumed during a reporting period that has not been capitalized into inventory, fixed assets, or prepaid expenses. Period cost vs Product cost is nothing but the expenses in the company, and any management of a company wants a separate measurement cost because any business cost is a major concern. The cost of any product is classified into Period cost and Product cost based on its relation with the products. Product costs directly impact a company’s income statement, affecting the cost of goods sold (COGS). Therefore, the person calculating the production costs must decide if these charges have already been taken into account or if they must be included in the total production cost estimate.

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