The complying with is an adapted excerpt from my book Cost Accounting Made Simple: Cost Accounting Explained in 100 Pperiods or Less.

You are watching: Direct materials are not usually easily traced to a product.

“Direct costs” are those that deserve to be straight traced to a details cost object. (As a reminder, a price object is generally a product.) “Instraight costs” are those that cannot be directly traced to a solitary price object. Since they cannot be traced directly to a details expense object, instraight expenses must instead be alsituated to all of the products they are used to create.

EXAMPLE: For a manufacturer of rock climbing equipment, the expense of nylon for climbing ropes have the right to be directly traced — it’s obviously a price of creating the ropes. It is a straight price. Similarly, the aluminum offered for carabiners is a straight cost because it have the right to be directly traced as a cost of developing the carabiners.

But what about the electricity that’s supplied to power the company’s production facility? The facility produces a number of various assets, consisting of climbing ropes, carabiners, and also climbing harnesses. As an outcome, the cost of electricity cannot be directly traced to a single product. It is an instraight price. The firm will certainly have to use some kind of mechanism to allocate the price of power among the various commodities that the electricity is supplied to develop.

To recap: Direct costs obtain directly traced. Indirect prices have to be allocated.

Direct Materials and also Direct Labor

Direct manufacturing prices are even more split into 2 categories: “straight materials” and also “direct labor.” Direct products incorporate all products that eventually become component of the finimelted product and also that can be straight traced to a offered product in an economical manner (e.g., the nylon used in a climbing rope). Direct labor contains the compensation for any kind of labor that can be straight traced to a expense object. Of note: This consists of not just wages/salary, but also various other kinds of compensation such as wellness insurance, retirement benefits, and also so on.

Indirect Manufacturing Costs (Manufacturing Overhead)

Instraight production costs — likewise described as production overhead costs — has 3 forms of costs: indirect products, indirect labor, and other production overhead costs.

“Indirect materials” include all materials provided in production which cannot be traced to specific cost objects in an economically feasible manner. Common examples of indirect materials would certainly be cleaning provides and also lubricants for machinery. Screws, nuts, and also bolts would certainly regularly be consisted of in indirect products too, bereason while it would certainly be feasible to straight trace them to specific commodities, it would not be cost-reliable to carry out so. (That is, because screws, nuts, and also bolts are so inexpensive, it doesn’t often make sense to spend a lot time/money tracking them.)

“Indirect labor” contains costs for labor that is used in manufacturing yet which cannot be straight traced to a details cost object. Supervisors for a plant (that overcheck out production for every one of the company’s products) would certainly be categorized as indirect labor. The cleaning crew that cleans the plant would additionally be instraight labor, as would the maintenance crew that handles repairs for the plant.

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“Other production overhead costs” — additionally described as “other indirect production costs” — is just what it sounds like: any various other prices of production that cannot be traced to a details expense object. For instance, if a manufacturing facility is used to create multiple assets, a lot of expenses applying to the entire facility (e.g., rent, insurance, utilities) would be in the other manufacturing overhead category.

To Discover More, Check Out the Book:


Cost Accounting Made Simple: Cost Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less


Topics Covered in the Book:Cost bookkeeping terminology (solved expenses vs. variable expenses, product costs vs. period expenses, straight expenses vs. instraight costs, and so on.)Cost-volume-profit analysisJob order costing, process costing, activity-based costingBudgeting and variance analysis