period vs product cost

Selling expenses are incurred to market products and deliver them to customers. Administrative expenses are required to provide support services not directly related to manufacturing or selling activities. Administrative costs may include expenditures for a company’s accounting department, human resources department, and the president’s office. They are identified with measured time intervals and not with goods or services.

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  • They are capitalized to inventory because when a product is in the process of being manufactured, work in process costs are being incurred and value is added throughout the process, not all at once.
  • Selling expenses are incurred to market products and deliver them to customers.
  • Job costing calculates material, labour, and overhead costs assigned to a particular job.

On the contrary, Period Cost is just opposite to product cost, as they are not related to production, they cannot be apportioned to the product, as it is charged to the period in which they arise. You may find yourself in a situation where you determine your production costs are more than you desire. Or, maybe your customers aren’t willing to pay that much for your product. In this case, you may want to consider strategies to reduce product costs. Calculating product costs can be a difficult task, especially when it comes to determining the development costs of SaaS. However, there are some basic formulas to help calculate the product cost.

Developer costs

A manufacturer’s product costs are the direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead used in making its products. Other examples of period costs include marketing expenses, rent (not directly tied to a production facility), office depreciation, and indirect labor. Also, interest expense on a company’s debt would be classified as a period cost. Overhead or sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs are considered period costs. SG&A includes costs of the corporate office, selling, marketing, and the overall administration of company business.

This not only helps you determine the next project to prioritize but also maximizes your profits. Understanding how to properly categorize these costs helps you optimize your spending, prioritize price to earnings ratio investments, and ultimately, drive the company’s growth and success. Product cost plays a crucial role in determining the pricing strategy and overall profitability of a product or service.

What is the difference between product costs and period costs?

Their administrative costs are from executive salaries and professional costs. This total cost includes the consumption of raw materials and components, labor, and overhead allocated to a sole unit. The most common product costs are direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead. Production costs are the total expenses incurred by a business in producing a product or service.

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However, these costs are still paid every period, and so are booked as period costs. Whether it’s a one-off product or a SaaS subscription, understanding product cost is crucial for any business to succeed. Breaking down your costs into materials, labor, overhead, and other expenses reveals insights into where your money is going. Under one school of thought, period costs are any costs that are not product costs. But, such a definition can be misconstrued given that some expenditures (like the cost of acquiring land and buildings) will be of benefit for many years. Recording product and period costs may also save you some money come tax time, since many of these expenses are fully deductible.


Period costs and product costs are two categories of costs for a company that are incurred in producing and selling their product or service. Direct materials are the raw materials that are integrated into the product. Product costs only become an expense when the products to which they are attached are sold. Product costs (also known as inventoriable costs) are costs assigned to products. If that reporting period is over a fiscal quarter, then the period cost would also be three months. If the accounting period were instead a year, the period cost would encompass 12 months.

period vs product cost

With a solid financial plan in place, you can identify which components are driving up your product costs and adjust accordingly. When it comes to pricing, many stakeholders have a say in how much a customer should pay for a product. It should be a collaborative effort from executives, marketing, sales, product managers, and finance. Depending on the company, product managers may or may not determine the pricing strategy for the product.

What is period cost and period cost?

Period costs are costs that cannot be capitalized on a company's balance sheet. In other words, they are expensed in the period incurred and appear on the income statement. Period costs are also called period expenses.