Manufacturing Overhead

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Manufacturing overhead (also known as factory overhead, factory burden, production overhead) involves a company’s factory operations. It includes the costs incurred in the factory other than the costs of direct materials and direct labor. This is the reason that manufacturing overhead is often classified as an indirect product cost. Generally accepted accounting principles require that cost of direct material cost, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead be considered as the cost of products for valuing inventory and for determining the cost of goods sold. (Expenses that are outside of the factory, such as selling, general and administrative expenses, are not product costs and are not inventoriable. They are reported as expenses on the income statement in the accounting period in which they occur.)

Examples of manufacturing overhead include the depreciation or the rent on the factory building, depreciation on the factory equipment, supervisors in the factory, the factory quality control department, factory maintenance employees, electricity and gas for the factory, indirect factory supplies, etc On financial statements, each product must include the costs of the following: 1. Direct material

2. Direct labor
3. Manufacturing (or factory) overhead
According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), manufacturing overhead must be included in the cost of Work in Process Inventory and Finished Goods Inventory on a manufacturer’s balance sheet, as well as in the Cost of Goods Sold on its income statement.

As their names indicate, direct material and direct labor costs are directly traceable to the products being manufactured. Manufacturing overhead, however, consists of indirect factory-related costs and as such must be divided up and allocated to each unit produced. For example, the property tax on a factory building is part of manufacturing overhead. Although the property tax covers an entire year and appears as one large amount on...
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