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Predetermined Overhead Rate: Formula and Example

how to compute predetermined overhead rate

Also, if the rates determined are nowhere close to being accurate, the decisions based on those rates will be inaccurate, too. Different businesses have different ways of costing; some use the single rate, others use multiple rates, and the rest use activity-based costing. For example, if ABC Manufacturing’s actual manufacturing overhead was $100,000 but their applied manufacturing overhead was only $60,000, they underapplied $40,000. Conversely, if the actual manufacturing overhead was $100,000 but their applied manufacturing overhead was $120,000, they overapplied by $20,000. Unexpected expenses can be a result of a big difference between actual and estimated overheads. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

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  1. Let’s assume a company has overhead expenses that total $20 million for the period.
  2. Larger organizations may employ a different predetermined overhead rate in each production department, which tends to improve the accuracy of overhead application by employing a higher level of precision.
  3. This concept is important because these costs must be estimated in order to properly provide accurate prices to future customers.
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However, the use of multiple predetermined overhead rates also increases the amount of required accounting labor. For example, the recipe for shea butter has easily identifiable quantities of shea nuts and other ingredients. Based on the manufacturing https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/ process, it is also easy to determine the direct labor cost. But determining the exact overhead costs is not easy, as the cost of electricity needed to dry, crush, and roast the nuts changes depending on the moisture content of the nuts upon arrival.

Rate Formula

Once a company determines the overhead rate, it determines the overhead rate per unit and adds the overhead per unit cost to the direct material and direct labor costs for the product to find the total cost. Added to these issues is the nature of establishing an overhead rate, view a labor budget to actual report which is often completed months before being applied to specific jobs. Establishing the overhead allocation rate first requires management to identify which expenses they consider manufacturing overhead and then to estimate the manufacturing overhead for the next year.

how to compute predetermined overhead rate

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The allocation of overhead to the cost of the product is also recognized in a systematic and rational manner. The overhead is then applied to the cost of the product from the manufacturing overhead account. The overhead used in the allocation is an estimate due to the timing considerations already discussed. https://www.kelleysbookkeeping.com/what-is-fica-is-it-the-same-as-social-security/ Direct labor standard rate, machine hours standard rate, and direct labor hours standard rate are some methods of factory overhead absorption. If sales and production decisions are being made based in part on the predetermined overhead rate, and the rate is inaccurate, then so too will be the decisions.

Formula for Predetermined Overhead Rate

To keep this from being an issue, base the estimates on recent actual history, adjusted for your best estimate of production activity in the near future. The allocation base (also known as the activity base or activity driver) can differ depending on the nature of the costs involved. During that same month, the company logs 30,000 machine hours to produce their goods. Overhead expenses are generally fixed costs, meaning they’re incurred whether or not a factory produces a single item or a retail store sells a single product. Fixed costs would include building or office space rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, maintenance, and repair. Overhead costs also include administrative salaries and some professional and miscellaneous fees that are tucked under selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) within a firm’s operating expenses on the income statement.

The allocation measure is the measurement the cost to make a product or service. The predetermined overhead rate is set at the beginning of the year and is calculated as the estimated (budgeted) overhead costs for the year divided by the estimated (budgeted) level of activity for the year. This activity base is often direct labor hours, direct labor costs, or machine hours.

In contrast, the traditional allocation method commonly uses cost drivers, such as direct labor or machine hours, as the single activity. The predetermined overhead rate was found by dividing the estimated manufacturing overhead cost by the estimated total units in the allocation base, so the predetermined overhead cost per unit is $9.00. The overhead rate allocates indirect costs to the direct costs tied to production by spreading or allocating the overhead costs based on the dollar amount for direct costs, total labor hours, or even machine hours.

You and the other managers at XYZ, Inc. have reviewed the historical overhead rates within your division and found that there is a link between the amount spent on materials to make your product and the total overhead. Last fiscal year, the total overhead cost was $553,000, and direct materials cost was $316,000. Using the formula, you divide the total overhead cost ($553,000) by the allocation base ($316,000) to get an allocation rate of 1.75 (175%). In this case, these numbers are not estimated because they are historical figures. Now that all parts of the equation are determined let’s calculate the predetermined overhead rate. Overhead costs are then allocated to production according to the use of that activity, such as the number of machine setups needed.


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