Job costing is defined as a method of recording the costs of a manufacturing job, rather than process. With job costing systems, a project manager or accountant can keep track of the cost of each job, maintaining data which is often more relevant to the operations of the business.
Job costing, generally, means a specific accounting methodology used to track the expense of creating a unique product. Due to the fact that certain projects, such as construction, require different operations, accountants use this methodology to trace the expenses of each job in order to use this information for analysis and tax needs. Job costing forms have spaces to include direct labor, direct materials, and overhead.
Costs stay in the work-in-process account throughout the job. When the job is finally completed, they are transferred to the finished goods account. By using this method, accountants can make sense of complicated jobs which are moving towards the process of completion.
Indirect costs, like overhead, are applied as a fraction of direct costs. This is usually done in one of two ways: an association with labor hours or using activity based costing. This way, either through use of labor or certain tools, overhead will not be left out of the equation and a company can make sure to cover all essential costs using job costing.
Industries which produce products as jobs use this method. This includes job costing for construction, but goes much farther than just this. Shipping, auditing, maintenance and repair, installation, and any industry which creates products unique to each need. In this situation, job costing is often the most efficient method.
For example, Roy was once the curator of a large museum in the United States. Connecting with the science community on many levels, he has enjoyed his career. After some time, Roy decided he would make a career change. He has since started a company which provides maintenance work on historical works which reside in museums.
Roy has all the connections he needs for this business: other curators, archaeologists, and the entire community in his rolodex. After a little effort, he was able to connect with the people who perform this work. Roy will take the role of salesperson, but he needed to hire a team to perform operations. Roy is quite successful. His one concern, an area of ignorance for him, is how the bookkeeping will take place. So he hires an accountant, sets a meeting, and begins to learn about how his business will overcome this need.
The accountant shares that job costing will be, probably, the most efficient accounting methodology. Roy can keep track of the costs for each of his contracts by implementing this type of accounting. He will be able to find which items take more or less time to maintain. Additionally, he can make sure to create company profits by adding a margin on top of his costs. By using a job costing software, bookkeepers can run the system quite smoothly.
Roy can rest at ease with this accounting method. Knowing he can rely on his accountant, Roy begins to contact prospect customers and former peers. He has confidence that his business will be a success. He looks forward to gaining his first customer.
Job costing is just another way to know your economics or financials. Click here to download the Know Your Economics Worksheet to shape your economics to result in profit.
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