In production sector, the an easy production costs can be categorized differently relying on the purpose and use that categorization. Because that example, lock are frequently categorized as prime cost and conversion cost. This categorization is beneficial in determining the efficiency of production facilities and processes in creating their output.

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The terms prime cost and conversion cost are mostly used in a production environment; they room not pertinent to merchandising companies due to the fact that they just buy and also sell all set to use product inventory and don’t produce anything.

Prime cost

Definition and explanation

Prime cost is the sum full of all straight manufacturing expenses i.e., the prices that us can directly trace and associate come a unit that production. In contrast, the prices that we can’t reliably trace and also associate to a unit of output are described as indirect costs and also such costs don’t make part of the element cost.

In a common manufacturing process, direct manufacturing prices include straight materials and also direct labor. However, castle may additionally include the price of supplies straight used in production process and any type of other direct expenses incurred the don’t loss under straight materials and also direct labor categories.

A periodical evaluation of the prime cost is an important to ensures the performance of manufacturing process. The computational responsibility lies v the factory manager who collects crucial data, calculates the prime expense figure for the period and reports the same to operations manager for review.

The prime expense figure is additionally helpful in setup the price level that generates enough profit because that the company.

Prime cost formula

The prime cost formula or equation deserve to be written as follows:


The two components of prime expense formula are straight materials and direct labor. Both of these are considered direct costs.

Direct materials is the an easy physical ingredient, issue or problem which the company processes to do a salable product. Plastic, rubber, steel, iron, timber and many agricultural outputs favor sugarcane, street beets, jute and cotton etc. Are instances of direct materials that space processed to develop salable perfect products.

Direct labor is the cost that a manufacturing entity incurs because that wages, salaries and also benefits noted to production workers i.e., the workers who directly and physically manage the manufacturing procedure in a facility. Examples of direct labor workers include welders, device operators, assemblers and painters etc.

The expenses and also remunerations attached come workers and employees who simply support the manufacturing facility and are not actively involved in converting materials right into ultimate product is not included in direct labor cost, fairly such costs are taken into consideration as indirect labor which goes come the entity’s full manufacturing overhead cost (discussed later in this article). Instances of such employees include the salaries of production supervisor and also factory watchman etc.

Conversion cost

Definition and explanation

Conversion cost, together the surname implies, is the full cost that a production entity occurs to change or convert its direct materials right into salable or finished product. Typically, it is same to the sum of entity’s complete direct job cost and total production overhead cost.

The counter cost, when provided in conjunction v prime cost, helps alleviate waste and gauge other operational inefficiencies that might be present within the manufacturing facility.

Conversion expense formula

The conversion expense formula or equation is gift below:


Direct labor and manufacturing overhead expenses are the two materials of conversion expense formula. The direct labor ingredient is the same as described and used in prime expense formula gift above. The total manufacturing overhead cost consists of all costs needed to run the production operations in manufacturing facility that room not spanned by the straight cost definition (i.e., direct materials, direct labor and also any other straight expense). The is an indirect price which method it can’t be reliably traced and also associated come a unit of perfect product.

Numerous manufacturing overhead costs are encountered in manufacturing facilities and also processes. Rent of factory building, electricity, gas and also coal offered in production, earnings of production managers, depreciation of production machines and equipment space a couple of examples of these costs.

A an overview of the prime cost and conversion cost principles explained over is given below:


Examples of element cost and conversion cost

In all the solutions below, the five cost terms have actually been abbreviated together follows:

DMC = direct materials costDLC = straight labor costMOC = production overhead costPC = prime costCC = conversion cost

Example 1

During October, KPK Inc. Occurs the following prices in one of its manufacturing facility situated in Alaska:

Direct materials: $820,000Direct labor: $400,000Manufacturing overhead: $500,000

Required: utilizing the over data, compute the prime cost and also conversion expense of Alaska production facility that KPK Inc.


PC = DMC + DLC=$820,000 + $400,000= $1,220,000

CC = DLC + MOC= $400,000 + $500,000= $900,000

Example 2

In might 2020, Roberts Furniture home worked exclusively to complete a task of 10 office tables. The cost data appropriate to this task is provided below:

Timber purchased and used during May: $5,500Glue and nails used: $200Sheets that glass purchased and used: $1,500Finishing products used: $800Direct labor expense (200 hours
$30 every hour): $6,000Electricity fees allocable to this job: $1,000Engineering and also supervision salaries: $2,500

Required: occupational out the prime cost and conversion price of Robert Furniture House.


PC = DMC + DLC= $8,000* + $6,000= $14,000

CC = DLC + MOH = $6,000 + $4,000**= $10,000

*Direct materials used: timber + Glue and also nails + Glass + Finishing materials= $5,500 + $200 + $1,500 + $800= $8,000

**Manufacturing overhead: Indirect materials + electricity + Engineering and also supervision salaries= $500 + $1,000 + $2,500= $4,000

Timber, glue, nails, glass and finishing materials have been treated as direct materials since they all become component of finished and ready to sell table.

Indirect materials, power charges and also salaries the engineer and also supervisor are all indirect costs and have, therefore, been included together to acquire total manufacturing overhead cost.

Example 3

During June, wake up Company’s prime price was $325,000 and conversion cost was $300,000. Full manufacturing overhead price was $160,000.

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Required: Compute the complete direct materials cost of Excite firm for June.


To recognize the straight materials cost incurred in June, we require to uncover out the straight labor cost first. We can do the by using the conversion cost formula together follows:

CC = DLC + MOC$300,000 = DLC + $160,000DLC = $300,000 – $160,000DLC = $140,000

Now that we have settled the straight labor price figure, us can apply the prime expense formula come compute the direct materials price for June as follows: