Burden Rate


DEFINITION of 'Burden Rate'

Indirect costs associated with employees, over and above gross compensation or payroll costs. Typical costs associated with the burden rate include payroll taxes, worker's compensation and health insurance, paid time off, training and travel expenses, vacation and sick leave, pension contributions and other benefits. The burden rate provides a truer picture of total labor costs than payroll costs alone.


Many of the costs associated with the burden rate are hidden costs that are not readily apparent. Since total labor costs, including the burden rate, may be as much as 50% higher than payroll costs alone, it is necessary to calculate the burden rate accurately to get a better picture of profitability.

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  1. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How much working capital does a small business need?

    The amount of working capital a small business needs to run smoothly depends largely on the type of business, its operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does high working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    If a company has high working capital, it has more than enough liquid funds to meet its short-term obligations. Working capital, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can working capital affect a company's finances?

    Working capital, or total current assets minus total current liabilities, can affect a company's longer-term investment effectiveness ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What can working capital be used for?

    Working capital is used to cover all of a company's short-term expenses, including inventory, payments on short-term debt ... Read Full Answer >>

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