Overhead Rate

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Overhead Rate'

In managerial accounting, a cost added on to the direct costs of production in order to more accurately assess the profitability of each product. Overhead costs are all costs that are not directly related to the production of the good to be sold. These include administrative salaries, the costs of the building or machinery, commissions to salespeople, and many other items.


To allocate these costs, an overhead rate is applied that spreads the overhead costs around depending on how much resources a product or activity used. For example, overhead costs may be applied at a set rate based on the number of machine hours required for the product. In more complicated cases, a combination of several cost drivers may be used to approximate overhead costs.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Overhead Rate'

It is often difficult to assess precisely the amount of overhead costs that should be attributed to each production process. Therefore, costs must be estimated based on an overhead rate for each cost driver or activity.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Underapplied Overhead

    An accounting record in cost accounting where the overhead costs ...
  2. Variable Overhead

    The indirect costs of operating a business that fluctuate somewhat ...
  3. Departmental Rate

    The overhead expense rate for every department in a factory production ...
  4. Applied Cost

    A term used in cost accounting to denote the cost assigned to ...
  5. Absorption Costing

    A managerial accounting cost method of expensing all costs associated ...
  6. Overhead

    An accounting term that refers to all ongoing business expenses ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Working Capital Works

    A company's efficiency, financial strength and cash-flow health show in its management of working capital.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    Measuring Company Efficiency

    Three useful indicators for measuring a retail company's efficiency are its inventory turnaround times, its receivables and its collection period.
  3. It is, therefore, crucial for investors who are analyzing stocks to understand how inventory is valued.
    Fundamental Analysis

    Inventory Valuation For Investors: FIFO And LIFO

    We go over these methods of calculating this component of the balance sheet, and how the choice affects the bottom line.
  4. The cash conversion cycle (CCC) is one of several measures of management effectiveness.
    Investing Basics

    Understanding The Cash Conversion Cycle

    Find out how a simple calculation can help you uncover the most efficient companies.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Spotting Profitability With ROCE

    This straightforward ratio measures whether a company is efficient, money-making or neither.
  6. Markets

    Cash: Can A Company Have Too Much?

    Cash is something companies love to have. But if they are not using it there could be problems.
  7. Delivery duty paid (DDP) is a shipping term.
    Investing

    What does DDP Mean?

    Delivery duty paid (DDP) is a shipping term specifying that the seller is responsible for all costs associated with delivery of the goods to the buyer. It is usually used when goods are exported ...
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    What is a good interest coverage ratio?

    Learn the importance of the interest coverage ratio, one of the primary debt ratios analysts use to evaluate a company's financial health.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    What is a bad interest coverage ratio?

    Understand how interest coverage ratio is calculated and what it signifies, and learn what market analysts consider to be an unacceptably low coverage ratio.
  10. Active Trading Fundamentals

    What is liquidity risk?

    Learn how to distinguish between the two broad types of financial liquidity risk: funding liquidity risk and market liquidity risk.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Christmas Island Dollar

    The former currency of Christmas Island, an Australian island in the Indian Ocean that was discovered on December 25, 1643. ...
  2. Santa Claus Rally

    A surge in the price of stocks that often occurs in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. There are numerous explanations ...
  3. Commodity

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often ...
  4. Deferred Revenue

    Advance payments or unearned revenue, recorded on the recipient's balance sheet as a liability, until the services have been ...
  5. Multinational Corporation - MNC

    A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. Such companies ...
  6. SWOT Analysis

    A tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization. Specifically, SWOT is a basic, ...
Trading Center