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Definition of Direct costs

Direct Costs Image 1

Direct costs

costs that are readily traceable to particular products or services.



Related Terms:

Indirect costs

costs that are necessary to produce a product/service but are not readily traceable to particular products or services – see overhead.


activity based costing (ABC)

A relatively new method advocated for the
allocation of indirect costs. The key idea is to classify indirect costs,
many of which are fixed in amount for a period of time, into separate
activities and to develop a measure for each activity called a cost driver.
The products or other functions in the business that benefit from the
activity are allocated shares of the total indirect cost for the period based
on their usage as measured by the cost driver.


Direct costing

A costing methodology that only assigns direct labor and material costs
to a product, and which does not include any allocated indirect costs (which are all
charged off to the current period).


Financial distress costs

Legal and administrative costs of liquidation or reorganization. Also includes
implied costs associated with impaired ability to do business (indirect costs).


overhead costs

Overhead generally refers to indirect, in contrast to direct,
costs. Indirect means that a cost cannot be matched or coupled in any
obvious or objective manner with particular products, specific revenue
sources, or a particular organizational unit. Manufacturing overhead
costs are the indirect costs in making products, which are in addition to
the direct costs of raw materials and labor. Manufacturing overhead
costs include both variable costs (electricity, gas, water, etc.), which vary
with total production output, and fixed costs, which do not vary with
increases or decreases in actual production output.



Prime cost

The total of all direct costs.


Production overhead

A general term referring to indirect costs.


Direct Costs Image 2

Agency costs

The incremental costs of having an agent make decisions for a principal.


Avoidable costs

costs that are identifiable with and able to be influenced by decisions made at the business
unit (e.g. division) level.


capitalization of costs

When a cost is recorded originally as an increase
to an asset account, it is said to be capitalized. This means that the outlay
is treated as a capital expenditure, which becomes part of the total
cost basis of the asset. The alternative is to record the cost as an expense
immediately in the period the cost is incurred. Capitalized costs refer
mainly to costs that are recorded in the long-term operating assets of a
business, such as buildings, machines, equipment, tools, and so on.


Carring costs

costs that increase with increases in the level of investment in current assets.


carrying costs

costs of maintaining current assets, including opportunity cost of capital.


Costs Capitalized in Stealth

A particularly egregious form of aggressive cost capitalization
where inappropriately capitalized costs are hidden within other unrelated account balances.


costs of financial distress

costs arising from bankruptcy or distorted business decisions before bankruptcy.


direct cost

a cost that is distinctly traceable to a particular cost object


Direct cost

A cost that can be clearly associated with specific activities or products.


direct costing

see variable costing


Direct Deposit

The direct transfer of payroll funds from the company bank account
directly into that of the employee, avoiding the use of a paycheck.



direct deposit

A system where funds are electronically credited to your account by a financial institution or a payroll service. For example, you can arrange with your employer to have your pay cheques automatically deposited into your no fee bank account.


Direct estimate method

A method of cash budgeting based on detailed estimates of cash receipts and cash
disbursements category by category.


direct labor

the time spent by individuals who work specifically
on manufacturing a product or performing a service;
the cost of such time


Direct labor

Labor that is specifically incurred to create a product.


Direct lease

Lease in which the lessor purchases new equipment from the manufacturer and leases it to the
lessee.


direct material

a readily identifiable part of a product; the cost of such a part


Direct materials cost

The cost of all materials used in a cost object, such as finished goods.


Direct materials mix variance

The variance between the budgeted and actual mixes of
direct materials costs, both using the actual total quantity used. This variance isolates
the unit cost of each item, excluding all other variables.


Direct method

A method of preparing the operating section of the Statement of Cash Flows that uses the company’s actual cash inflows and cash outflows.


direct method

a service department cost allocation approach
that assigns service department costs directly to revenueproducing
areas with only one set of intermediate cost
pools or allocations



Direct-Method Format

A format for the operating section of the cash-flow statement that reports actual cash receipts and cash disbursements from operating activities.


Direct paper

Commercial paper sold directly by the issuer to investors.


Direct placement

Selling a new issue not by offering it for sale publicly, but by placing it with one of several
institutional investors.


Direct quote

For foreign exchange, the number of U.S. dollars needed to buy one unit of a foreign currency.


Direct-Response Advertising

Advertising designed to elicit sales to customers who can be
shown to have responded specifically to the advertising in the past. Such costs can be capitalized
when persuasive historical evidence permits formulation of a reliable estimate of the future revenue
that can be obtained from incremental advertising expenditures.


Direct search market

Buyers and sellers seek each other directly and transact directly.


Direct stock-purchase programs

The purchase by investors of securities directly from the issuer.


Direct write-off method

A method of adjusting accounts receivable to the amount that is expected to be collected by eliminating the account balances of specific nonpaying customers.


Director

A member of a company’s Board of directors.


Execution costs

The difference between the execution price of a security and the price that would have
existed in the absence of a trade, which can be further divided into market impact costs and market timing
costs.


Fixed costs

costs that do not change with increases or decreases in the volume of goods or services
produced, within the relevant range.


fixed costs

costs that do not depend on the level of output.


fixed expenses (costs)

Expenses or costs that remain the same in amount,
or fixed, over the short run and do not vary with changes in sales volume
or sales revenue or other measures of business activity. Over the
longer run, however, these costs increase or decrease as the business
grows or declines. Fixed operating costs provide capacity to carry on
operations and make sales. Fixed manufacturing overhead costs provide
production capacity. Fixed expenses are a key pivot point for the analysis
of profit behavior, especially for determining the breakeven point and for
analyzing strategies to improve profit performance.


Foreign direct investment (FDI)

The acquisition abroad of physical assets such as plant and equipment, with
operating control residing in the parent corporation.


Friction costs

costs, both implied and direct, associated with a transaction. Such costs include time, effort,
money, and associated tax effects of gathering information and making a transaction.


Funding Costs

The price of obtaining capital, either borrowed or equity, with intent to carry on business operations.


Incremental costs and benefits

costs and benefits that would occur if a particular course of action were
taken compared to those that would occur if that course of action were not taken.


indirect cost

a cost that cannot be traced explicitly to a particular
cost object; a common cost


Indirect cost

A cost that is not directly associated with a single activity or event. Such
costs are frequently clumped into an overhead pool and allocated to various activities,
based on an allocation method that has a perceived or actual linkage between
the indirect cost and the activity.


Indirect labor

The cost of any labor that supports the production process, but which is
not directly involved in the active conversion of materials into finished products.


Indirect method

A method of preparing the operating section of the Statement of Cash Flows that does not use the company’s actual cash inflows and cash outflows, but instead arrives at the net cash flow by taking net income and adjusting it for noncash expenses and the changes from last year in the current assets and current liabilities.


Indirect-Method Format

A format for the operating section of the cash-flow statement that
presents the derivation of cash flow provided by operating activities. The format starts with net
income and adjusts for all nonoperating items and all noncash expenses and changes in working capital accounts.


Indirect quote

For foreign exchange, the number of units of a foreign currency needed to buy one U.S.$.


Indirect Taxes

Taxes paid by consumers when they buy goods and services. A sales tax is an example.


Information costs

Transaction costs that include the assessment of the investment merits of a financial asset.
Related: search costs.


Interac® Direct Payment

Instead of paying with cash or a credit card, Interac direct Payment allows you to pay for your purchase with a debit card, such as your bank card. The amount of the purchase is electronically debited, or withdrawn, from your bank account (see debit card).
Here's how to pay for items using Interac direct Payment and your bank account:
1. Swipe your bank card (or debit card) through the point of sale (POS) terminal at the store's check-out
2. Enter your personal identification number (PIN), confirm the amount to be paid and indicate the account (chequing) from which the money is to be drawn.
3. The specified amount is then electronically debited from your account.


Market impact costs

Also called price impact costs, the result of a bid/ask spread and a dealer's price concession.


Market timing costs

costs that arise from price movement of the stock during the time of the transaction
which is attributed to other activity in the stock.


Menu Costs

The costs to firms of changing their prices.


Opportunity costs

The difference in the performance of an actual investment and a desired investment
adjusted for fixed costs and execution costs. The performance differential is a consequence of not being able
to implement all desired trades. Most valuable alternative that is given up.


Period costs

The costs that relate to a period of time.


Policy Acquisition Costs

costs incurred by insurance companies in signing new policies, including expenditures on commissions and other selling expenses, promotion expenses, premium
taxes, and certain underwriting expenses. Refer also to customer, member, or subscriber
acquisition costs.


Political Costs

The costs of additional regulation, including higher taxes, borne by large and
high-profile firms.


pre-authorized direct deposit

A system where funds are electronically credited to your account by a financial institution or a payroll service.


Preopening Costs

A form of start-up cost incurred in preparing for the opening of a new store or facility.


Price impact costs

Related: market impact costs


Round-trip transactions costs

costs of completing a transaction, including commissions, market impact
costs, and taxes.


Search costs

costs associated with locating a counterparty to a trade, including explicit costs (such as
advertising) and implicit costs (such as the value of time). Related:information costs.


Semi-fixed costs

costs that are constant within a defined level of activity but that can increase or decrease when
activity reaches upper and lower levels.


Semi-variable costs

costs that have both fixed and variable components.


shortage costs

costs incurred from shortages in current assets.


Standard costs

A budget cost for materials and labour used for decision-making, usually expressed as a per unit cost that is applied to standard quantities from a bill of materials and to standard times from a
routing.


Start-up Costs

costs related to such onetime activities as opening a new facility, introducing
a new product or service, commencing activities in a new territory, pursuing a new class of customer,
or initiating a new process in an existing or new facility.


Sunk costs

costs that have been incurred and cannot be reversed.


Sunk costs

costs that have been incurred in the past.


sunk costs

costs that have been incurred and cannot be recovered.


Trading costs

costs of buying and selling marketable securities and borrowing. Trading costs include
commissions, slippage, and the bid/ask spread. See: transaction costs.


Transactions costs

The time, effort, and money necessary, including such things as commission fees and the
cost of physically moving the asset from seller to buyer. Related: Round-trip transaction costs, Information
costs, search costs.


Undepreciated Capital Costs

The tax definition of the value of an asset that is eligible for tax deprecation.


variable costs

costs that change as the level of output changes.


absorption costing

a cost accumulation and reporting
method that treats the costs of all manufacturing components
(direct material, direct labor, variable overhead, and
fixed overhead) as inventoriable or product costs; it is the
traditional approach to product costing; it must be used for
external financial statements and tax returns


Bankruptcy cost view

The argument that expected indirect and direct bankruptcy costs offset the other
benefits from leverage so that the optimal amount of leverage is less than 100% debt finaning.


Cash flow from operations

A firm's net cash inflow resulting directly from its regular operations
(disregarding extraordinary items such as the sale of fixed assets or transaction costs associated with issuing
securities), calculated as the sum of net income plus non-cash expenses that were deducted in calculating net
income.


conversion cost

Refers to the sum of manufacturing direct labor and overhead
costs of products. The cost of raw materials used to make products
is not included in this concept. Generally speaking, this is a rough measure
of the value added by the manufacturing process.


Cost of goods sold

The accumulated total of all costs used to create a product or service,
which is then sold. These costs fall into the general sub-categories of direct
labor, materials, and overhead.


Cost of goods sold

The charge to expense of the direct materials, direct labor, and
allocated overhead costs associated with products sold during a defined accounting
period.


Driver

A factor that has a direct impact on the incurring of a cost. For example, adding
an employee results in new costs to purchase office equipment for that person;
therefore, additions to headcount are cost driver for office expenses.


Factory overhead

All the costs incurred during the manufacturing process, minus the
costs of direct labor and materials.


joint cost

the total of all costs (direct material, direct labor,
and overhead) incurred in a joint process up to the splitoff point


normal cost system

a valuation method that uses actual
costs of direct material and direct labor in conjunction with
a predetermined overhead rate or rates in determining the
cost of Work in Process Inventory


product cost

This is a key factor in the profit model of a business. Product
cost is the same as purchase cost for a retailer or wholesaler (distributor).
A manufacturer has to accumulate three different types of production
costs to determine product cost: direct materials, direct labor, and
manufacturing overhead. The cost of products (goods) sold is deducted
from sales revenue to determine gross margin (also called gross profit),
which is the first profit line reported in an external income statement
and in an internal profit report to managers.


Product cost

The total of all costs assigned to a product, typically including direct
labor, materials (with normal spoilage included), and overhead.


standard cost system

a valuation method that uses predetermined
norms for direct material, direct labor, and overhead
to assign costs to the various inventory accounts and
Cost of Goods Sold


variable costing

a cost accumulation and reporting method
that includes only variable production costs (direct material,
direct labor, and variable overhead) as inventoriable
or product costs; it treats fixed overhead as a period cost;
is not acceptable for external reporting and tax returns



 

 

 

 

 

 

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