Actual costs

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Actual costs are in the business administration in a previous accounting period actually incurred costs . When analyzing deviations between actual and planned costs , they are expressed as the product of actual employment and actual cost rates.


The actual costs are the product of the actual employment and the actual cost rate :

The more the employment rate increases with a constant actual cost rate, the higher the actual costs.

Actual cost accounting

The main task of actual cost accounting is the post-costing of the cost objects and the determination of the period result. The actual cost calculation provides information about which types of costs have been incurred in which amount in the completed period. In the actual cost accounting, the operational goods and services are recorded. The recording takes place after the service provision. In addition, random fluctuations in the accounting period are reflected in the actual cost calculation, which turns out to be a disadvantage. The costs incurred are initially recorded in the cost type calculation per month, quarter or year.

Since all costs are "passed on" to the product, one speaks of the so-called cost circulation principle .

The actual cost accounting provides the company management with information about the actual amount of costs. No cost accounting system can do without actual costs: On the one hand, there is a legal requirement to provide evidence of the actual expenses (external accounting), and on the other hand, the results of the actual cost accounting are also required to perform the control and steering function in the company through the target / actual comparisons.

Disadvantages of actual cost accounting

Since this is a backward-looking invoice, it cannot be used to calculate future offer prices or to plan the operating result. The problem is that the unit costs for a product fluctuate due to overhead rates that are newly determined each month. If the fluctuating prices are used as the basis for the pricing policy, the prices must fluctuate as well. Actual cost accounting is also a cumbersome process, as the surcharge and billing rates have to be adjusted every month. Due to these fluctuations, no cost control is possible. A cost control can only be carried out retrospectively and is therefore ineffective. Internal inefficiencies cannot be detected in this way.

See also