Human Resource Accounting

Updated on April 4, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Human Resource Accounting Meaning

Human resource accounting is accounting and recognition of expenses related to employees of the organization and involves costs related to recruitment, selection, training, hiring etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Human resource accounting refers to recognizing expenses associated with employees of an organization, including those for recruiting training. Other costs include recruitment and selection expenses.
  2. It aims to accurately account for retirement and other benefits received throughout the service time and improve and more effective human resource planning. 
  3. Human resource accounting has two significant pathways: Cost Approach and Value Approach. Both are proven to be well-devised actionable plans. 
  4. A few models reproached are The Lev and Schwartz Model, Organ’s Model, Linkert Model, etc. These are needed to formulate policies and workforce resources.


The objectives of Human resource accounting are as follows –

Human Resource Accounting

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Methods of Human Resource Accounting

The methods of human resource accounting are as follows –

#1 – Cost Approach Method

In the cost approach method, we have two methods –

i) Acquisition Cost Method

In the acquisition cost method, organizations capitalize on all costs related to human resources (like training, welfare, and another cost) of the organization and amortize it in the profit and loss accountProfit And Loss AccountThe Profit & Loss account, also known as the Income statement, is a financial statement that summarizes an organization's revenue and costs incurred during the financial period and is indicative of the company's financial performance by showing whether the company made a profit or incurred losses during that more throughout from appointment till retirement.

ii) Replacement Cost Approach

This method is used to determine whether to keep working or replace the worker. It considers the cost of replacing the human resource or employee. This method also helps in determining whether the appointment of employees is beneficial to the organization or not.

#2 – Value Approach Method

In a value approach, we have three methods –

i) Present Value Method

In this method, the present valuePresent ValuePresent Value (PV) is the today's value of money you expect to get from future income. It is computed as the sum of future investment returns discounted at a certain rate of return more of all future benefits to employees is determined to know whether the organization can afford the cost and can be able to gain in the future from cost incurred on human resources.

ii) Value to the Organization Method

In this method, the most valuable employee of the organization is determined and measured whether the organization is earning premium profits from the services of that employee and helps in finding the value of that employee.

iii) Expense Model Method

This method divides the employees into two categories: Decision-making category and decision execution category, and then determine the actual cost incurred on both categories and determine whether it is beneficial to the organization or not.


Human Resource Accounting Methods

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#1 – The Lev and Schwartz Model

In Lev and Schwartz model the present value of future benefits to employees is determined on the following assumption –

#2 – The Eric Flamholtz Model

This model is similar to the Present value model but considers the fact of employees leaving earlier, Voluntary Retirement or Retrenchment or death of the employee, etc.

Assumptions/ Facts –

  • Determine the period of working of the employee for the organization.
  • Identify the period after which an employee may leave the organization.
  • Estimating the value of employees for organization and benefits from it to the organization;
  • Applying the present value method and considering the above facts.

#3 – Morse Model

Under this model, the gross value of services to be rendered by employees to the organization is determined. This method includes all benefits to the employees like retirement benefits, gratuity, leave encashment, etc. on proper assumptions and then discounted to know the present value and benefits to the organization.

#4 – Linkert Model

This model considers the non-monetary benefits to the employees by the organization like job satisfaction, productivity, and other non-monetary benefits.

#5 – Organ’s Model

Under this model, net benefits from each employee are calculated and then multiplied with its certain period of working with the organization.


  • Formulating Policies and plans for human resources;
  • Decisions regarding cost and benefits from human resources;
  • Determining the training and development cost;
  • Determine or ensure proper utilization of resources.
  • Determine the value of human resources and benefits from it.
  • Aid to top management regarding cost reduction and planning programs.
  • Determining the value of critical employees and benefit from it.

Importance of Human Resource Accounting

  • Helps management in employment and utilization of human resources in a cost-effective manner;
  • Helps management in deciding promotion, demotion, transfers, retrenchment, and VRS schemes.
  • Provide a basis for planning about human resources.
  • Helps in identifying key employees and their cost and benefits.
  • Aid in making budgets or forecasts.
  • Help management in directing employees in improving their performance.


  • Managerial decisions can be improved with the help of Human Resource Accounting.
  • It helps management to implement the best methods of salary, wages, and overtime administration.
  • The system of Human Resource Accounting discloses the actual value of the human resource and its benefit from the same.
  • Proper and efficient utilization of manpower resources;
  • Productivity can be increased.



Human Resource is the most critical asset of any organization. The organization will run properly and will be able to stand in the long run because of its efficient human resources. Hence its accounting is vital. Accounting of human resources is based on certain assumptions; thus proper valuation is not possible. There are certain limitations of human resource accounting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the three main facets of human resources accounting?

From the preceding, it is evident that HRA has three crucial components, which are listed below:
Assessment of human resources
Putting a value on human resources in the financial records
Disclosure of the data in the company’s financial accounts

What is the accounting approach for human resources?

Measuring the expenses incurred by businesses and other organizations for the recruitment, selection, hiring, training, and development of human resources is known as human resource accounting. The economic value of people to the organization is also measured.

Why is human resource accounting challenging?

The adoption of human resource accounting involves many challenges. The following list of significant drawbacks or restrictions includes: The cost and value of human resources are not quantified according to established standards.

Why human resource accounting is linked with performance management?

Accounting for human resources offers important data for formulating effective personnel policies about advancement, a pleasant work environment, employee job satisfaction, etc. In addition, it enables management staff to oversee human resources used efficiently.

Recommended Articles

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