Absorption vs Marginal Costing: Difference and Comparison

Costing is the method used in business to decide the costs to the business elements. It is an important factor as it determines the company’s overall growth and development.

Absorption Costing and Marginal Costing are both used to determine the cost and have their own methods to implement the technique. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Absorption costing allocates all production costs to the product, including fixed and variable, while marginal costing only considers variable costs.
  2. Absorption costing is more suitable for long-term decision-making, whereas marginal costing is more appropriate for short-term decisions.
  3. Marginal costing provides clearer information about cost behavior, but absorption costing provides a more comprehensive view of total costs.

Absorption Costing vs Marginal Costing

The difference between Absorption Costing and Marginal Costing is that absorption costing uses both variable and fixed costs while marginal costing uses only variable cost. Absorption costing cannot be easily operated as it requires us to study a lot. In contrast, Marginal costing can be easily operated without any difficulties and hurdles.

Absorption Costing vs Marginal Costing

Absorption cost includes all the costing methods and techniques, and it is one of the effective costing methods as it helps in increasing the company’s profit.

There is a formula used for calculating Absorption Cost. Absorption costing uses GAAP complaints. It is not easy to learn, and it requires more hard work.

Marginal Cost is to find the total cost changing. There are some benefits of using Marginal Cost as well. Some of them are you have to study at least 10 hours per week. Also, you can have the privilege of studying extra hours.

Your GPA will increase from 3.0 to 3.5. So, you can see the difference clearly: if you study for extra 2 hours per week, you can find an increase in your GPA by 0.5. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAbsorption CostingMarginal Costing
DefinitionThis method is used for finding the manufacturing cost.This method is used for finding the total cost changing.
GAAP ComplaintYesNo
AdvantagesIt takes care of all the production costs.It is less complicated.
DisadvantagesIt is difficult to compare the cost of control.They have long-term pricing, and they ignore market pricing methods.
Reporting MethodExternal ReportingInternal Reporting

What is Absorption Costing?

Absorption Costing is the costing method which refers to all manufacturing costs. Mainly management uses this kind of method to find the costs incurred on a particular product. These can be classified into further categories as well.

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They are direct costs and indirect costs. The things that are included in direct costs are materials and Labor. The things that are included in indirect costs are insurance, factory rents, compliance, and administration costs.

It comes under the part of accounting. Commerce Students use this method in their higher studies and even in their workplace. The absorption costs also include some other costs, such as variable costs, fixed costs, and semi-variable costs.

Variable cost is used for increasing or decreasing the production of goods. Fixed costs do not do any alteration, irrespective of what the company produces. Semi-variable costs either increase or decrease upon the batches of production.

We can even call absorption costing full costing. The reason behind this is it calculated all the costs involved in that particular association. Many people prefer this because it gives precise value when we do costing.

This also gives high profit and report when we do the costing. Because the cost of production will be completely absorbed in this method, this cost helps in increasing the overall profit of the company. 

absorption costing

What is Marginal Costing?

Marginal Costing is the technique used to charge the variable costing unit. But on the other hand, the fixed cost of the company won’t be used for contribution.

Marginal Costing implies a technique called Additional Costing. This can be used by total variable cost. Marginal Costing can even be calculated using a formula. Marginal Costing does not use GAAP complaints.

Marginal Costing depends on four characteristics as Profitability, Price Determination, Stock Valuation, and Divided into Fixed Cost and Variable Cost. In Fixed and Variable costs, the costs are calculated on the basis of variability. I

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In stock Valuation, only the goods that are finished, the works that are in progress, and the variable cost are used and taken into consideration. In Price Determination, the prices are either determined on the basis of marginal cost and marginal contribution.

In Profitability, the department’s profit is taken into consideration.

There are three facts concerned with Marginal Costing as Cost Ascertainment, Special Technique, and Decision Making. Marginal Costing assists the managers in taking business decisions, the services that are included, and so on.

It also plays a role in a company’s increasing or decreasing level of production. 

marginal costing

Main Differences Between Absorption Costing and Marginal Costing

  1. The absorption Costing method uses net profit per unit, while the Marginal Costing method uses contribution per unit.
  2. Since absorption costing uses a fixed method to determine the cost, their profit will be affected. On the other hand, the marginal costing profit volume ratio is used to measure the profit.
  3. Absorption costing uses variable and fixed costs and takes them into consideration. While marginal costing only uses variable costs and takes them into consideration.
  4. Absorption costing uses the overheads recovery method. But marginal costing calculates each contribution of the unit.
  5. Absorption costing uses GAAP complaints. But marginal does not use that.
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References
  1. https://brain.edusoft.ro/index.php/brand/article/view/382
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377123701800502

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Absorption vs Marginal Costing: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The difference between absorption costing and marginal costing lies in their approaches and reporting methods. Absorption costing is used for manufacturing cost, while marginal costing is used for total cost changing.

    Reply
    • Exactly, the advantages and disadvantages of both methods make them suitable for different reporting methods. Absorption costing is used for external reporting, while marginal costing is suitable for internal reporting.

      Reply
    • That’s correct. Absorption costing focuses on production costs and is GAAP compliant, while marginal costing is less complicated and used to find the total cost changing.

      Reply
  2. Absorption costing and marginal costing methods have distinct purposes and advantages. The comprehensive explanation of these methods’ advantages, disadvantages, and reporting methods is beneficial for anyone studying or working in the field of commerce.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, understanding the differences and unique aspects of both methods is crucial for commerce students and professionals. The advantages and disadvantages of absorption costing and marginal costing help in making informed business and financial decisions.

      Reply
  3. Absorption costing and marginal costing are two important methods to determine the costs involved in production. These methods also have different reporting methods and advantages and disadvantages.

    Reply
    • Indeed, the advantages and disadvantages of both methods make them suitable for different business scenarios. Absorption costing is more suitable for external reporting, while marginal costing is ideal for internal reporting.

      Reply
    • That’s right. Absorption costing takes care of all production costs and is GAAP compliant, while marginal costing is less complicated but does not comply with GAAP.

      Reply
  4. The detailed comparison and analysis of absorption costing and marginal costing methods provide a valuable understanding of their application in business. This information is beneficial for commerce students and professionals working in accounting and finance.

    Reply
    • Indeed, the detailed comparison and analysis of absorption costing and marginal costing methods effectively clarify their advantages and disadvantages. Commerce students and professionals can use this information to make informed decisions related to business and financial management.

      Reply
  5. Absorption costing and marginal costing both have their unique methods and uses in business. Absorption costing includes all costing methods and helps in increasing the company’s profit, while marginal costing finds the total cost changing and provides some benefits.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, both methods have their own benefits. Absorption costing effectively calculates all costs involved and contributes to increasing the company’s overall profit, while marginal costing has some distinct benefits like increasing GPA.

      Reply
    • Indeed, both absorption costing and marginal costing methods provide different benefits and are useful in various business scenarios. Absorption costing helps in increasing overall profit, while marginal costing has academic benefits.

      Reply
  6. The detailed explanation of absorption costing and marginal costing provides valuable insights into these essential business methods. This is particularly beneficial for commerce students and professionals working in the field of accounting.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the detailed overview of absorption costing and marginal costing methods is useful for financial professionals. The explanation of direct and indirect costs, variable costs, and semi-variable costs helps in understanding the application of these methods in real-world scenarios.

      Reply
  7. Absorption costing and marginal costing have their unique characteristics and uses. The clear explanation of these methods’ definitions, GAAP compliance, and financial reporting methods makes it easier to understand their application in business.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, understanding the differences and unique aspects of both methods is important. Absorption costing and marginal costing have their own advantages, and understanding these differences is crucial for making informed business decisions.

      Reply
  8. Both absorption costing and marginal costing are essential for different business needs. Absorption costing includes more costs and provides a comprehensive view of total costs, while marginal costing is more suitable for short-term decisions and provides clearer information about cost behavior.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. Absorption costing is more suitable for long-term decision-making and GAAP compliant, while marginal costing is less complicated and more appropriate for internal reporting.

      Reply
  9. The comparison table provides a clear understanding of the differences between absorption costing and marginal costing. It effectively highlights the parameters of comparison, definitions, and other aspects of both methods.

    Reply
  10. The detailed explanation of absorption costing and marginal costing methods significantly contributes to a comprehensive understanding of these essential business methods. The comparison table effectively highlights their differences and applications in real-world business scenarios.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the detailed explanation and comparison of absorption costing and marginal costing provide valuable insights for students and professionals. This information is useful for understanding the financial management and decision-making processes in real-world business scenarios.

      Reply

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