Activity Levels in an Activity-Based Costing System
Variations of Activity-Based Costing (ABC)
Look at the overhead rates computed for the four activities in the table below. Note that the total overhead for current year is $2,000,000 using activity-based costing, just as it was using a traditional costing method. The total amount of overhead should be the same whether using activity-based costing or traditional methods of cost allocation to products.
Activity-based costing (ABC) is a costing method that identifies activities in an organization and assigns the cost of each activity to all products and services according to the actual consumption by each. This model assigns more indirect costs (overhead) into direct costs compared to conventional costing.
ABC is generally used as a tool for understanding product and customer cost and profitability based on the production or performing processes. As such, ABC has predominantly been used to support strategic decisions such as pricing, outsourcing, identification and measurement of process improvement initiatives. As an activity-based costing example, consider Company ABC that has a $50,000 per year electricity bill. The number of labor hours has a direct impact on the electric bill. For the year, there were 2,500 labor hours worked, which in this example is the cost driver.
Example of Batch-Level Activity
The primary difference between activity-based costing and the traditional allocation methods is the amount of detail; particularly, the number of activities used to assign overhead costs to products. Traditional allocation uses just one activity, such as machine-hours. In practice, companies using activity-based costing generally use more than four activities because more than four activities are important. We used four to keep the illustration as simple as possible.
The other levels of activity that are accounted for by activity-based costing are unit-level activities, customer-level activities, production-level activities, and organization-sustaining activities. Activity‐based costing assumes that the steps or activities that must be followed to manufacture a product are what determine the overhead costs incurred. Each overhead cost, whether variable or fixed, is assigned to a category of costs. Cost drivers are the actual activities that cause the total cost in an activity cost pool to increase. The number of times materials are ordered, the number of production lines in a factory, and the number of shipments made to customers are all examples of activities that impact the costs a company incurs.
Which of the following costs is an example of a batch level cost?
The costs of direct materials, direct labor, and machine maintenance are examples of unit‐level activities. Batch‐level activities are costs incurred every time a group (batch) of units is produced or a series of steps is performed. Facility support activities are necessary for development and production to take place.
History of Batch-Level Activities
Consistent with its more strategic focus, costing system refinement identifies activities in all functions of the value chain. Costing system refinement first calculates the costs of individual activities and then assigns costs to cost objects such as products and services on the basis of the mix of activities needed to produce each product or service. Batch-level activities are one of the five broad levels of activity that activity-based costing account for. Each of these levels is assessed by cost, and these costs are allocated to the company’s overhead costs.
How are period costs and product costs different?
Consequently, managers were making decisions based on inaccurate data especially where there are multiple products. In a business organization, the ABC methodology assigns an organization’s resource costs through activities to the products and services provided to its customers.
- However, some indirect costs, such as management and office staff salaries, are difficult to assign to a product.
- This accounting method of costing recognizes the relationship between costs, overhead activities, and manufactured products, assigning indirect costs to products less arbitrarily than traditional costing methods.
- Activity-based costing (ABC) is a costing method that assigns overhead and indirect costs to related products and services.
Activity-based costing (ABC) is a costing method that assigns overhead and indirect costs to related products and services. This accounting method of costing recognizes the relationship between costs, overhead activities, and manufactured products, assigning indirect costs to products less arbitrarily than traditional costing methods. However, some indirect costs, such as management and office staff salaries, are difficult to assign to a product.
Robin Cooper and Robert S. Kaplan, proponents of the Balanced Scorecard, brought notice to these concepts in a number of articles published in Harvard Business Review beginning in 1988. Cooper and Kaplan described ABC as an approach to solve the problems of traditional cost management systems. These traditional costing systems are often unable to determine accurately the actual costs of production and of the costs of related services.
What is the difference between unit level batch level product level and facility level activities?
A batch-level cost is a cost related to a group of units, but which is not associated with specific individual units. For example, the cost incurred to set up a production run is associated with the batch of goods that are subsequently produced.
A number of methods can be used to assist in the cost allocation process. For example, the cost of service departments can be allocated to production departments using the direct method. Also the cost hierarchy can be used to help establish cost pools and identify cost drivers used to allocate costs. Organizations are also concerned with measuring and reducing the cost of quality by categorizing quality costs into four categories—prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure. Batch-level activities are work actions that are classified within an activity-based costing accounting system, often used by production companies.
Presumably, you can set the machinery to one setting to obtain the desired product quality and taste. Your friend has to set the machines each time a new flavor is produced. Although both of you produce the same total volume of ice cream, it is not hard to imagine that your friend’s overhead costs would be considerably higher.
Cost Chapter 5
When using ABC, the total cost of each activity pool is divided by the total number of units of the activity to determine the cost per unit. These levels include batch-level activity, unit-level activity, customer-level activity, organization-sustaining activity, and product-level activity. Activities consume overhead resources and are considered cost objects.
One of the lessons of activity-based costing has been that the more complex the business, the higher the indirect costs. Imagine that each month you produce 100,000 gallons of vanilla ice cream and your friend produces 100,000 gallons of 39 different flavors of ice cream. Further, assume your ice cream is sold only in one liter containers, while your friend sells ice cream in various containers. Your friend has more complicated ordering, storage, product testing (one of the more desirable jobs, nevertheless), and packing in containers.
Calculating the cost driver rate is done by dividing the $50,000 a year electric bill by the 2,500 hours, yielding a cost driver rate of $20. For Product XYZ, the company uses electricity for 10 hours. The overhead costs for the product are $200, or $20 times 10. Activity-based costing (ABC) is a method of assigning overhead and indirect costs—such as salaries and utilities—to products and services.
Accounting for Managers
Batch-level activities are related to costs that are incurred whenever a batch of a certain product is produced. However, these costs are accounted for regardless of the related production run’s size. Examples of these batch-level cost drivers can often include machine setups, maintenance, purchase orders, and quality tests.
In using activity-based costing, the company identified four activities that were important cost drivers and a cost driver used to allocate overhead. These activities were purchasing materials, setting up machines when a new product was started, inspecting products, and operating machines.
describes a costing approach that uses broad averages for assigning the cost of resources uniformly to cost objects when the individual products or services, in fact, use those resources in non-uniform ways. describes an event, task, or unit of work with a specified purpose.