# 6 1 Calculate Predetermined Overhead and Total Cost under the Traditional Allocation Method Principles of Accounting, Volume 2: Managerial Accounting

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However, there is a strong need to constantly update the production level depending on the seasonal fluctuations and the factor affecting the demand of the product. However, if there is a difference in the total overheads absorbed in the cost card, the difference is accounted for in the financial statement. The predetermined overhead rate calculation shown in the example above is known as the single predetermined overhead rate or plant-wide overhead rate.

The direct cost is easily allocated in the product cost as we need to allocate the quantity in line with the usage. Hence, the fish-selling businesses need to monitor the seasonal variations and adjust the cost pattern of the products. The use of predetermined overheads effectively incorporates the cost effects of seasonal variations in the product cost and price. The production hasn’t taken place and is completely based on forecasts or previous accounting records, and the actual overheads incurred could turn out to be way different than the estimate. Different businesses have different ways of costing; some use the single rate, others use multiple rates, and the rest use activity-based costing.

All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Also, if the rates determined are nowhere close to being accurate, the decisions based on those rates will be inaccurate, too. Further, overhead estimation is useful in incorporating seasonal variation and estimate the cost at the start of the project. On the other hand, if the business wants to use actual overheads, it has to wait for the end of the month and get invoices in hand. So, it may not be a good idea with perspective to effective business management. In addition to this, project planning can also be done with the use of an overhead rate.

## What is the Predetermined Overhead Rate Formula?

Let us take the example of ort GHJ Ltd which has prepared the budget for next year. The company estimates a gross profit of \$100 million on total estimated revenue of \$250 million. As per the budget, direct labor cost and raw material cost for the period is expected to be \$40 million and \$60 million respectively. The company uses machine hours to assign manufacturing overhead costs to products. Calculate the predetermined overhead rate of GHJ Ltd if the required machine hours for next year’s production is estimated to be 10,000 hours.

As a result, management would likely view labor hours as the activity base when applying overhead costs. The formula calculates the predetermined overhead rate by dividing the estimated overhead costs for the period by the estimated activity level. This rate is then used to allocate overhead costs to products or projects based on the actual level of activity during the period.

## Examples of Predetermined Overhead Rate Formula (With Excel Template)

While it may become more complex to have different rates for each department, it is still considered more accurate and helpful because the level of efficiency and precision increases. Someone on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications.

1. A predetermined overhead rate is calculated at the start of the accounting period by dividing the estimated manufacturing overhead by the estimated activity base.
2. To conclude, the predetermined rate is helpful for making decisions, but other factors should be taken into consideration, too.
3. Larger organizations employ different allocation bases for determining the predetermined overhead rate in each production department.
4. The direct cost is easily allocated in the product cost as we need to allocate the quantity in line with the usage.
5. For instance, kitchen expenses first need to be allocated to the procurement department (a support department).

Until now, you have learned to apply overhead to production based on a predetermined overhead rate typically using an activity base. An activity base is considered to be a primary driver of overhead costs, and traditionally, direct labor hours or machine hours were used for it. For example, a production facility that is fairly labor intensive would likely determine that the more labor hours worked, the higher the overhead will be.

It’s then further allocated to the departments that use the procurement facility. So, a more precise practice of overhead absorption has been developed that requires different and relevant bases of apportionment. Further, customized input from different departments can be obtained to enhance the accuracy of the budget. If the absorbed cost is more than the actual cost, an adjusting entry is passed to reduce the expenses. On the other hand, if the actual cost is more, an adjusting entry is passed to record the remaining cost in the business’s income statement. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice.

## Income Statement Under Absorption Costing? (All You Need to Know)

It’s because it’s an estimated rate and can be predicted at the start of the project. It’s important to note that if the business uses the ABC system, the individual activity is absorbed on a specific basis. For instance, cleaning and maintenance expenses will be absorbed on the basis of the square feet as shown in the table above. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation.

## Why You Can Trust Finance Strategists

A predetermined overhead rate is calculated at the start of the accounting period by dividing the estimated manufacturing overhead by the estimated activity base. The predetermined overhead rate is then applied to production to facilitate determining a standard cost for a product. Further, the company uses direct labor hours to assign manufacturing overhead costs to products. As per the budget, the company will require 150,000 direct labor hours during the forthcoming year. Based on the given information, calculate the predetermined overhead rate of TYC Ltd.

## What is your current financial priority?

Overhead costs are then allocated to production according to the use of that activity, such as the number of machine setups needed. In contrast, the traditional allocation method commonly uses cost drivers, such as direct labor or machine hours, as the single activity. Sales of each product have been strong, and the total gross profit for each product is shown in Figure 6.7. Using the Solo product as an example, 150,000 units are sold at a price of \$20 per unit resulting in sales of \$3,000,000.

## What are some concerns surrounding the use of a predetermined overhead rate?

So, the cost of a product in one period may not reflect the cost in another period—for instance, the cost of freezing fish increases in the summer and lowers in the winter. It’s a completely estimated amount that changes with the change in the level of activity. This complexity is driven by different factors, including but not limited to common activity for multi-products and a greater number of supportive activities for the production. Departmental overhead rates are needed because different processes are involved in production that take place in different departments.