Balance Sheet Savvy

Mastering Manufacturing Costs: Demystifying Normal and Standard Costing Methods

Costing is an essential aspect of manufacturing, as it helps businesses determine the expenses involved in producing goods. In this article, we will explore two primary costing methods: normal costing and standard costing.

We will delve into the intricacies of each method, highlighting their key features and benefits. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of how these costing methods can be effectively utilized in the manufacturing industry.

Normal Costing

Normal costing is a widely utilized method in determining the cost of manufacturing products. This approach takes into account both direct costs, such as raw materials and labor, and indirect costs, also known as manufacturing overhead.

Manufacturing overhead includes expenses like utilities, facility maintenance, and depreciation.

Normal Costing and Manufactured Products

Manufactured products often involve a variety of costs, such as direct materials, direct labor, and overhead. Normal costing efficiently captures all these factors, providing an accurate estimate of the total cost of production.

By combining direct and indirect costs, businesses can gain insights into the true expenses associated with their manufactured products.

Actual Cost and Predetermined Manufacturing Overhead Rate

In normal costing, the predetermined manufacturing overhead rate plays a crucial role in accurately estimating manufacturing costs. This rate is calculated based on the anticipated level of activity.

By determining this rate in advance, businesses can allocate manufacturing overhead costs to their products with greater accuracy. However, it is essential to compare the actual overhead costs incurred with the predetermined rate to assess any variances.

Standard Costing

Another prevalent costing method used in manufacturing is standard costing. This method sets predetermined standards for direct materials, direct labor, and overhead.

These standards act as benchmarks against which actual costs can be measured, allowing businesses to assess their performance and make informed decisions.

Standard Costing and Manufactured Products

Standard costing helps manufacturers establish a baseline for assessing their production costs. By comparing actual costs with the predetermined standards, businesses can identify areas where they may be over- or under-spending.

This analysis allows for better cost control and optimization of manufacturing processes.

Predetermined Costs and Variances

In standard costing, predetermined costs provide a predefined measure for expected expenses. By setting these predetermined costs, businesses can identify any deviations from the standards more easily.

Variances, both favorable and unfavorable, can indicate areas of improvement or potential inefficiencies. These variances can then be further analyzed to make necessary adjustments and enhance overall cost efficiency.


In this article, we have explored the fundamental concepts of normal costing and standard costing, two widely adopted methods in the manufacturing industry. Normal costing takes into account both direct and indirect costs, providing a comprehensive estimation of manufacturing expenses.

On the other hand, standard costing uses predetermined benchmarks to assess costs, allowing businesses to identify variances and potential areas for improvement. By implementing these costing methods, manufacturers can gain better control over their expenses and make informed decisions to optimize their operations.

In conclusion, this article has explored the key aspects of normal costing and standard costing in the manufacturing industry. Normal costing provides a comprehensive estimate of manufacturing expenses, considering both direct and indirect costs.

Standard costing, on the other hand, establishes benchmarks to assess actual costs and identify variances. By implementing these costing methods, businesses can gain better control over their expenses, optimize their operations, and make informed decisions.

Understanding and effectively utilizing these costing methods is crucial for manufacturers to achieve cost efficiency and improve their overall performance. By employing these strategies, businesses can enhance their competitiveness in the market and drive success.

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