What is an Applied Cost?
An applied cost is a cost that has been applied to a cost object, such as a product, department, or activity. A predetermined allocation rate is typically used to assign costs to cost objects. The allocation rate is based on the planned amount of the cost pool and a planned activity level. If the actual costs and production volumes turn out to be different, an adjustment to the allocation rate may be made partway through the year. This allocation is required by most accounting frameworks (such as GAAP and IFRS) to ensure that the cost of all inventory is fully loaded with overhead costs.
Example of Applied Cost
As an example of applied cost, a manufacturing firm estimates its factory overhead costs and production volume for the upcoming year and divides the planned volume by the planned overhead costs to derive an allocation rate. This rate is then applied to the units produced in the upcoming year.