Fixed cost coverage calculation

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The fixed cost coverage calculation (or multi-level contribution margin calculation ) is an essential component and a method of business cost accounting . In contrast to the single-level contribution margin calculation ( direct costing ), in which the contribution margin is compared directly to the total of the fixed costs, the fixed cost coverage calculation is divided into several levels.

Practical approach

In the first stage, the fixed cost coverage calculation - analogous to direct costing - basically assumes a separation into variable costs and fixed costs . In the various other levels, the fixed costs are further divided or "graded" according to the degree of their attributability to a specific product:

  • Fixed product costs

Costs caused by development, manufacturing and distribution. They can only be assigned to the total number of products within a period, not to each individual (e.g. salaries for machine operators).

  • Product group fixed costs

Costs can only be assigned to one group of products, e.g. B. Costs for special machines that are only incurred for one product group.

  • Fixed cost center costs

Occur at a specific cost center and are therefore not directly offset against the products (e.g. salaries that are not incurred due to production).

  • Area fixed costs

They are to be assigned to a cost area as a group of cost centers (e.g. fixed costs of the administrative area).

  • Company fixed costs

They are the so-called “residual fixed costs” and therefore cannot be assigned to any other level (e.g. management costs due to the goods produced).


The attribution to a specific product is based on the causal allocation of costs, i.e. the individual cost character of the fixed costs. Thus, a “coding” of costs (e.g. 50% of 100 euros of company fixed costs are allocated to area A, 50% to area B, because they each have the same number of employees ) is prohibited in the calculation of fixed cost coverage.

As soon as you code a cost element - whatever - because you can no longer assign it hierarchically “lower”, you violate the causation-based assignment in the sense of the fixed cost coverage calculation.

Numerical example

Expressed in contribution margins , the fixed cost coverage calculation looks like this:

Area A Area B
Costing object Product a1 Product a2 Product b1 Product b2 Product c
Net sales 1000 5000 750 200 500
./. variable costs 100 1000 250 50 80
= Contribution margin I. 900 4000 500 150 420
./. Fixed product costs 100 800 100 40 20th
= Contribution margin II 800 3200 400 110 400
= Subtotal 4000 510 400
./. Product group fixed costs 1900 210 110
= Contribution margin III 2100 300 290
Subtotal 2100 590
./. Area fixed costs 1100 290
= Contribution margin IV 1000 300
= Subtotal 1300
./. Company fixed costs 800
= Contribution margin V / operating result 500

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Barth, H .: Controlling - An Instrument for Profit Management , p. 31.