Cost Driver

The Process cost accounting Denotes reference values that reflect the change or increase in structural costs.

Definition / explanation

In business accounting, a cost driver is a reference value within a business process that describes the change in costs in this process.

That's how they should Overhead of the company better to the individual Payers be distributed. Another goal is to create a decision-making aid for company issues Pricing policy or to outsourcing.

Identification of the cost driver

Um die zum Endprodukt zugehörigen Kosten vollumfänglich zurechnen zu können, müssen auch die Overhead (einem Kostenträger nicht direkt zuordenbare Kosten wie z.B. Verwaltungskosten) entsprechend umgelegt werden.

In business cost accounting, this is typically done with the help of overhead rates. However, this procedure contains inaccuracies which are eliminated by the cost driver method.

Here, a cost driver is to be identified within the cost center that reflects the costs of the cost center as precisely and proportionally as possible.

If, for example, the costs for the “customer service” process have risen by 10%, several reference values can exist for this (e.g. distance or time required).

The reference value whose cost increase comes closest to the 10% is precisely the cost driver that is best suited for further calculation. This enables a process cost rate to be determined, with the help of which the overhead costs can be distributed.

Summary

  • Cost driver is a reference value within a business process that describes the change in costs of this process
  • serves as a key to distributing overhead costs
  • replaces overhead rates
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