# What Are Standard Costs in Accounting?

Standard costs are predetermined costs that a company expects to incur to produce a product or service. These costs are based on the company’s experience and industry standards and are used as benchmarks for measuring actual costs. Standard costs are an essential tool in accounting as they help businesses to monitor their performance and identify areas where they can improve their operations.

What are Standard Costs?

Standard costs are the expected costs to produce a product or service, based on the company’s experience and industry standards. These costs are typically based on a combination of direct materials, direct labor, and overhead costs. Standard costs are determined by analyzing past performance, market trends, and technological advancements.

Why are Standard Costs Important?

Standard costs are important for several reasons:

1. Cost Control: Standard costs provide a benchmark against which actual costs can be compared. This helps businesses to identify areas where they can improve their operations and reduce costs.
2. Performance Evaluation: Standard costs provide a basis for evaluating performance. By comparing actual costs to standard costs, businesses can determine whether they are meeting their targets and identify areas for improvement.
3. Decision Making: Standard costs provide a basis for decision making. Businesses can use standard costs to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different options and make informed decisions.
4. Inventory Valuation: Standard costs are used to value inventory. This is important because inventory is often a significant asset on a company’s balance sheet.

How to Calculate Standard Costs?

Calculating standard costs involves the following steps:

1. Identify the components of the product or service: Identify the direct materials, direct labor, and overhead costs required to produce the product or service.
2. Determine the standard quantity and price of each component: Determine the expected quantity and price of each component, based on industry standards and the company’s experience.
3. Calculate the standard cost of each component: Multiply the standard quantity by the standard price to calculate the standard cost of each component.
4. Calculate the total standard cost: Add the standard cost of each component to determine the total standard cost.
5. Update the standard costs periodically: Review and update the standard costs periodically to reflect changes in the industry and the company’s experience.

Conclusion

Standard costs are an essential tool in accounting. They help businesses to monitor their performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions. By calculating and updating standard costs periodically, businesses can ensure they have a reliable benchmark for evaluating their performance and managing their costs effectively.

Caroline Grimm

Caroline Grimm is an accounting educator and a small business enthusiast. She holds Masters and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration. She is the author of 13 books and the creator of Accounting How To YouTube channel and blog. For more information visit: https://accountinghowto.com/about/