Incremental Cost Overview, Calculation, Use, Benefits

As a result, the total incremental cost to produce the additional 2,000 units is $30,000 or ($330,000 – $300,000). A manufacturing concern sells one of its products under the brand name ‘utility’ at Rs. 3.50 each, the cost of which is Rs. 3.00 each. (i) Prepare a schedule showing the total differential costs and increments in revenue. The data used for differential cost analysis are cost, revenue and investments involved in the decision-making problem.

  • As output rises, cost per unit decreases, and profitability increases.
  • (i) To process the entire quantity of ‘utility’ so as to convert it into 600 numbers of ‘Ace’.
  • In make-or-buy decisions, management also should consider the opportunity cost of not utilizing the space for some other purpose.
  • The differential revenue is obtained by deducting the sales at one activity level from the sales of the previous level.
  • The company has excess capacity and should only consider the relevant costs.

The differential revenue is obtained by deducting the sales at one activity level from the sales of the previous level. The differential cost is compared to the differential revenue to determine the most profitable level of production and the best selling price. Management will decide to increase the level of production when the differential revenue is higher than the differential cost. Variable costs set a floor for the selling price in special-order situations. Even if the price exceeds variable costs only slightly, the additional business increases net income, assuming fixed costs do not change. However, pricing just above variable costs of special-order business often brings only short-term increases in net income.

Benefits to Incremental Cost Analysis

The telecom operator currently spends $400 on newspaper ads and $100 on maintaining the company’s website every month. The marketing director estimates that it will spend approximately $1,000 on television ads every month. The company will also need to hire a millennial at $250 per week to oversee its social media marketing efforts. If the telecom operator adopts the new advertisement techniques, they will spend $2,000 per month in advertising expenses. Differential cost is the variation in costs (increase/decrease) between two available opportunities. Because neither option’s return is clear-cut, calculating the opportunity cost, which is a forward-looking computation, can be difficult.

These costs are sunk costs and are not considered when deciding whether to process a joint product further before selling it or to sell it in its condition at the split-off point. The two main categories of expenses evaluated in differential cost analysis are incremental costs (more costs incurred) and avoidable costs (costs that can be minimized). These are expenses that the decision under consideration will immediately influence. The calculation of incremental cost shows a change in costs as production expands. When the company wants to expand its production capacity, the management may lower the selling price to increase sales. The company reduces the selling price up to a point where the company will still earn a profit and meet the production costs.

Additional Resources

However, care must be exercised as allocation of fixed costs to total cost decreases as additional units are produced. For the company to know if the new selling price is viable, it calculates the differential cost by deducting the cost of the current capacity from the cost of the proposed new capacity. The differential cost is then divided by the increased units of production to determine the minimum selling price.

Differential Costs FAQs

It is a technique of decision-making based on the differences in total costs. However, the decision to accept or reject the alternative depends on the net gain/loss. As the name implies, incremental cost is the rise in the cost of production caused by an increase in the number of operations. Assume a company’s production cost rises from $20,000 to $25,000 due to an increase in the number of hours required to finish the project. In make-or-buy decisions, management also should consider the opportunity cost of not utilizing the space for some other purpose.


Businesses frequently have to determine whether to keep making or offering a specific good or service. The analysis helps determine if it would be financially viable to stop producing a product or whether changes could make it more profitable. Assisting organizations in maximizing their profits is one of the main functions of differential costs in decision-making. Since a differential cost is only used for management decision making, there is no accounting entry for it.

From the above information, we see that the incremental cost of manufacturing the additional 2,000 units (10,000 vs. 8,000) is $40,000 ($360,000 vs. $320,000). Therefore, for these 2,000 additional units, the incremental manufacturing cost per unit of product will be an average of $20 ($40,000 divided by 2,000 units). The reason for the relatively small incremental cost per unit is due to the cost behavior of certain costs. For example, when the 2,000 additional units are manufactured most fixed costs will not change in total although a few fixed costs could increase. (ii) It is profitable for the company to increase the level of production so long as the incremental revenue is more than the differential costs. It is not advisable to increase the level of production to such a level where the differential costs are more than the incremental revenue.

Understanding the additional costs of increasing production of a good is helpful when determining the retail price of the product. Companies look to analyze the incremental costs of production to maximize production levels and profitability. change without notice 2020 Only the relevant incremental costs that can be directly tied to the business segment are considered when evaluating the profitability of a business segment. In other words, incremental costs are solely dependent on production volume.

Below are the current production levels as well as the added costs of the additional units. Incremental costs are relevant in making short-term decisions or choosing between two alternatives, such as whether to accept a special order. If a reduced price is established for a special order, then it’s critical that the revenue received from the special order at least covers the incremental costs. Incremental cost is the additional cost incurred by a company if it produces one extra unit of output.