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The amount of money or property paid for a good or service. Cost is an expense for both personal and business assets. If a cost is for a business expense, it may be tax deductible. A cost may be paid immediately in the form of cash or over time in a credit sale or similar transaction. Cost is the opposite of revenue: It may be thought of as money spent instead of made.
costthe expenditure upon resources incurred by a firm in producing and selling its output. Each cost is a charge against revenues and profits for the use or consumption of resources during a trading period. (see PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT). Costs can be classified along functional lines, distinguishing between production, selling, distribution, administration and financing costs. Alternatively costs can be classified as either direct costs (usually raw materials and direct labour) or indirect costs (overheads) (see PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT). Costs may also be classified as variable costs and fixed costs, depending on whether they vary with the level of output or activity. In addition, costs may be analysed by product. Finally costs may be classified by location (division, subsidiary, company, department, etc.).
Classification and analysis of costs is necessary for three main business purposes:
- for product costing;
- for management control;
- for decision-making.
costthe payments (both EXPLICIT COSTS and IMPLICIT COSTS) incurred by a firm in producing its output. See TOTAL COST, AVERAGE COST, MARGINAL COST, PRODUCTION COST, SELLING COST.
Cash and/or the value of property given to acquire the property received.