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Costo incremental vs, costo marginal

Publicado por Luisa en

Every business has costs. These include the fixed costs, such as the electric bill, and variable costs, such as the cost of raw materials. Other costs are harder to define, such as the cost of expansion or the cost of warehousing extra products. Economists study these «hazy» costs in detail, and report on how the closely related incremental costs and marginal costs affect a business.

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What Is Incremental Cost?

Incremental cost also referred to as marginal cost, is the total change a company experiences within its balance sheet or income statement due to the production and sale of an additional unit of product. It’s calculated by analyzing the additional expenses incurred based on the addition of the unit. Incremental costs may be classified as relevant costs in managerial accounting.

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Main Difference – Marginal Analysis vs Incremental Analysis

Making effective decisions in the competitive business environment is a challenging task managers have to deal with. Marginal analysis and incremental analysis are two approaches that help decision makers to make productive decisions. Marginal analysis focuses on incremental change of a particular variable to the change in another independent variable. In contrast, incremental analysis considers how to select the best alternative among several potential alternatives. This is the main difference between marginal analysis and incremental analysis.

This article explains,

1. What is Marginal Analysis?

2. What is Incremental Analysis

3. Difference Between Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

Difference Between Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis - Comparison Summary

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Understanding Incremental Cost

According to «The Free Dictionary,» incremental cost is the cost of adding or subtracting one extra unit of product or output. For example, a restaurant is only allowed to seat 100 people, per the fire department regulations. The restaurant is doing well, and wants to seat 101 people or more. The owners will have to build an addition with extra fire escape doors. The restaurant will have to incur thousands of dollars of building costs for the addition, just to seat one extra person.

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Understanding Marginal Cost

A marginal cost is slightly different from an incremental cost. According to the National Productivity Council of India, or NPCI, marginal cost is the original cost plus the extra cost of producing an extra unit of output, resulting in a total cost. In the restaurant example, the original pre-existing building costs are added in to the new cost of building the addition, resulting in a total cost.

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Content: Marginal Costing Vs Absorption Costing

Comparison Chart

Basis for Comparison Marginal Costing Absorption Costing
Meaning A decision making technique for ascertaining the total cost of production is known as Marginal Costing. Apportionment of total costs to the cost center in order to determine the total cost of production is known as Absorption Costing.
Cost Recognition The variable cost is considered as product cost while fixed cost is considered as period costs. Both fixed and variable cost is considered as product cost.
Classification of Overheads Fixed and Variable Production, Administration and Selling & Distribution
Profitability Profitability is measured by Profit Volume Ratio. Due to the inclusion of fixed cost, profitability gets affected.
Cost per unit Variances in the opening and closing stock does not influence the cost per unit of output. Variances in the opening and closing stock affects the cost per unit.
Highlights Contribution per unit Net Profit per unit
Cost data Presented to outline total contribution of each product. Presented in conventional way.

Definition of Marginal Costing

Marginal Costing, also known as Variable Costing, is a costing method whereby decisions can be taken regarding the ascertainment of total cost or the determination of fixed and variable cost to find out the best process and product for production, etc.

It identifies the Marginal Cost of production and shows its impact on profit for the change in the output units. Marginal cost refers to the movement in the total cost, due to the production of an additional unit of output.

In marginal costing, all the variable costs are regarded as product related costs while fixed costs are assumed as period costs. Therefore, fixed cost of production is posted to the Profit & Loss Account. Moreover, fixed cost is also not given relevance while determining the selling price of the product or at the time of valuation of closing stock (whether it is finished goods or Work in  Progress).

Definition of Absorption Costing

Absorption Costing is a method for inventory valuation whereby all the manufacturing expenses are allocated to the cost centres to recognise the total cost of production. These manufacturing expenses include all fixed as well as variable costs. It is the traditional method for cost ascertainment, also known by the name Full Absorption Costing.

In an absorption costing system, both the fixed and variable costs are regarded as product related cost. In this method, the objective of the assignment of the total cost to cost centre is to recover it from the selling price of the product.

On the basis of function, the expenses are divided into Production, Administration and Selling & Distribution. The following are the types of Absorption Costing:

  • Activity Based Costing
  • Job Costing
  • Process Costing

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What is Incremental Analysis

Incremental analysis is a relevant cost approach widely used in short term business / financial decision making. This technique uses cost behavior approach to make decisions and helps decision makers to choose the best among different alternatives. An incremental analysis focuses only on relevant costs or opportunity costs whereas sunk costs will be eliminated.

Example: A company wants to purchase a machine and have 2 options to invest in. The price of both machines is same. If the company buys option 1, it will generate $10,000 in one year period whereas if the company buys option 2, it will generate $15,000. Operating costs of both machines are same. In this scenario, the incremental revenue of selecting option 2 is $5,000. Other costs are considered as irrelevant as they are same for both options.

Difference Between Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

Similarities Between Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

  • Both approaches can be used in business financial decision-making
  • Both approaches can be applied to different economic concepts such as cost, revenue, utility,

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Utilidad de los costos incrementales

Los costos incrementales son relevantes para tomar decisiones a corto plazo o elegir entre dos alternativas. Esto incluye si aceptar una orden especial. Si se establece un precio especial para un contrato especial, es crítico que los ingresos recibidos de la orden especial cubran al menos los costos incrementales o que la orden especial resulte en una pérdida neta. Los costos incrementales también son útiles para decidir si fabricar o comprar un bien. Solo los costos adicionales asociados con la fabricación del bien deben considerarse y compararse con el precio minorista.

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Incremental Cost vs. Incremental Revenue

Incremental costs (or marginal costs) help determine the profit maximization point for an organization. This point occurs when marginal costs equal marginal revenues. If a business is earning more incremental revenue (or marginal revenue) per product than the incremental cost of manufacturing or buying that product, the business earns a profit.

Alternatively, once incremental costs exceed incremental revenue for a unit, the company takes a loss for each item produced. Therefore, knowing the incremental cost of additional units of production and comparing it to the selling price of these goods assists in meeting profit goals.

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Segmento comercial no rentable

El análisis de costo incremental se utiliza para analizar segmentos comerciales. Ciertos costos, como el alquiler en un edificio de oficinas, son fijos y no son atribuibles a ningún segmento específico. Por lo tanto, solo se deben considerar los costos incrementales relevantes, como salarios variables, servicios públicos y materiales, al evaluar la rentabilidad de un segmento comercial.

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Key Takeaways

  • Incremental cost is the amount of money it would cost a company to make an additional unit of product.
  • Companies can use incremental cost analysis to help determine the profitability of their business segments.
  • A company can lose money if incremental cost exceeds incremental revenue.

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Marginal Analysis vs Incremental Analysis – Conclusion

Marginal analysis and incremental analysis are two techniques used in problem solving and decision making. Marginal analysis primarily focuses on assessing the impact of a unit change of a given variable pertaining to another variable. Decision makers use marginal analysis calculations to determine maximization / minimization points of volumes pertaining to cost, revenue, utility, etc. On the other hand, incremental analysis is a decision-making technique that is used to determine true cost effective alternative among a set of possible alternatives. This approach will help decision makers to decide on selecting the best option considering relevant, and opportunity costs involved with each alternative.

Image Courtesy:

“Cost curve – Combined” By Costcurve_-_Combined.png: Original uploader was Trampled at en.wikipediaderivative work: Jarry1250 (talk) – Costcurve_-_Combined.png (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia 

“1426331” (Public Domain) via Pixbay

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Marginal Cost Equaling Revenue Marginal

Los costos incrementales ayudan a determinar el punto de maximización de ganancias para una organización. Este punto ocurre cuando los costos marginales son iguales a los ingresos marginales. Si una empresa está ganando más ingresos marginales por producto que el costo incremental de fabricación o compra de ese producto, la empresa obtiene ganancias. Alternativamente, una vez que los costos incrementales exceden los ingresos marginales de una unidad, la compañía recibe una pérdida por cada artículo producido. Por lo tanto, conocer el costo incremental de las unidades adicionales de producción y compararlo con el precio de venta de estos bienes ayuda a maximizar los beneficios.

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