allocation

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Allocate

On a balance sheet, to spread an expense over more than one accounting period. One of the most prominent examples of allocation is depreciation, which spreads the cost of an asset over a certain number of years.
Allocation and Apportionmentclick for a larger image
Fig. 7 Allocation and Apportionment . Budgeted production costs: departmental analysis.

allocation

  1. the breakdown of COSTS (and REVENUES) between different products, functions or company departments where it is possible to attribute costs (and revenues) directly to the departments where the cost (revenue) arises. For example, in analysing costs, the depreciation OVERHEADS of factory departments can be allocated precisely between the production departments where the specific fixed assets are located. Such allocations help in tracing responsibility for costs to the managers responsible, as well as assessing the profitability of different departments or products. Fig. 7 shows a typical departmental revenue/cost breakdown where some costs are precisely allocated while others are apportioned on an equitable basis. See BUDGETING, STANDARD COST.
  2. the process of assigning or ‘earmarking’ materials which are in STOCK in order to fulfil specified product orders. The stock of materials that has not been currently allocated is referred to as the ‘free balance’, which is available for allocation to future orders.