What is Conversion Cost?
Conversion cost is the cost incurred by any manufacturing entity in the process of converting its raw material into finished goods capable of being sold in the market and usually includes total value of labor cost and other applied overheads like factory overheads, administrative overhead, etc.
- Manufacturing Overheads means the expenses which can be directly attributed to each unit of product or the process. These include electricity bills, rent, depreciation, plant insurance, repairs and maintenance of plants, etc.
- Direct Labor is the cost associated with manufacturing the product directly such as wages, salaries to workers, pension funds for workers, insurance of production staff, supervision, etc.
Conversion Cost Examples
Some examples of conversion cost are as follows –
- Machinery depreciation
- Plant and machinery maintenance
- Salary to production staff
- Direct labour benefits
- Rent of factory
- Utility bills
- Factory insurance
- Production supervision
- Salary of staff related to production
Let us take an example to understand this concept.
Samsung has a cell phone production unit with a production capacity of 10,000 daily it incurs day to day expenses to carry on its business running. The company wants to know its conversion cost from the following mentioned information.
Direct Labour = $3,00,000
Manufacturing Overheads = 10,000 (Equipment Depreciation) + 5,000 (Factory Insurance) + 80,000( Indirect Material) + 20,000(Factory Rent) + 90,000(Electricity expense) + 1,00,000(Maintenance expense) + 5,000(Inspection expense)
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- Manufacturing Overheads = $3,10,000
- = $3,00,000 + $3,10,000
- Conversion Cost = $6,10,000
- = $6,10,000 / 10,000
- Conversion Cost per Unit = $610
- This is a measure used to allocate unallocated overhead cost to products manufactured for better cost planning and monitoring,
- It helps business to ascertain the cost of inventory which needs to be reported in the balance sheet as an asset.
- The proper application helps businesses to determine the selling price per unit, thereby achieving its profit margin.
- In the case of inefficiencies, it helps in redesigning and reengineering of the production.
Conversion Cost vs Prime Cost
- Conversion cost can be defined as a costing terminology that provides information regarding expenditure incurred in the form of direct labour and overhead to convert basic raw material into finished goods. At the same time, the prime cost is another costing term that quantifies the value of direct material, direct labour, and other direct expenses incurred in manufacturing any particular product. Conversion cost and prime cost both are manufacturing sector terminology and used as a tool to determine the effectiveness in the production of a particular product.
- Both conversion and prime cost use many of the same production factors, but each has a different opinion on product efficiency. Prime cost uses both direct material and direct labour to complete a product while conversion cost does not include a direct material cost. Certain cost elements are included in one and excluded on another like prime cost does not include overhead expenses which are applied in conversion cost. The main objective of the prime cost is to set the price of a product with the desired profits. In contrast, the conversion cost is calculated in order, to sum up, and resolve any manufacturing inefficiency. Prime cost is calculated and presented at the beginning of the cost sheet, but there is a set a standard that required the calculation of conversion cost until and unless the manger desires it.
- It helps to determine the amount spent in turning raw material into a product.
- It helps in eradicating any deficiency in the production process and helps in reducing the cost of production.
- It helps managers to supervise and keep track of expenses of production.
- It is used in developing a price model for a product and estimating the cost of the final product.
- Managers and sometimes, business owners use conversion costs to find out if there is any wastage that can be eliminated.
- This is used to determine the cost of sales to report it on the financial statements (if applicable).
- It does not give an idea about all the costs incurred in production/ manufacturing as it considers only two elements – direct labour and overheads.
- This concept is not much relevant in cases where the product does not undergo any conversion and can be sold directly with minimal processing.
- This concept cannot solely be relied on for cost control and reduction program as it does not cover all elements of cost. There are better costing mechanisms like marginal costing, process costing, etc. which provides better insights into the cost incurred.
This has been a guide to What is Conversion Cost & its Definition. Here we discuss its formula, calculations, examples along with advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more about from the following articles –