UPSC » UPSC CSE Study Materials » Commerce » Cost Concepts

Cost Concepts

In the field of cost concepts, the study of the behaviour of costs about different production parameters such as the scale of operations and the prices of the production elements.

The cost concept is an accounting theory that requires assets to be recorded at their respective cash values when the item was bought or otherwise obtained. The amount of the recorded asset cannot be raised to account for increases in market value or inflation, nor can it be updated to account for any depreciation that has occurred. Assets that are documented include short- and long-term assets, liabilities, and any equity, and these assets are always recorded at their original cost. Liabilities and equity are recorded at their original cost. Because the cost concept is just the original cost of an item, it might be much simpler to maintain track of the asset’s starting value than it would be under other circumstances. Cost Concepts are a set of guidelines for determining the cost of a product or service.

Costs of Accounting and Economic Analysis

When a company begins to manufacture items, it must pay the price for the elements of production that were engaged. These considerations include the salary paid to employees, the pricing of raw materials, the amount of gasoline and electricity used, the rent paid for the building he leases, and the interest paid on money borrowed to do business, among other things.

Accounting costs concepts are those expenses accounted for in manufacturing a product. As a result, accounting expenses include all payments and charges incurred by suppliers of various productive components every month.

Most of the time, a business owner puts some money into his company. If he had put the money into another company, he might have been able to earn a certain amount of interest or dividend. Furthermore, he devotes time to his firm and adds his entrepreneurial and management abilities to the company’s success.

Even though he was not engaged in the company, he might have provided his skills to other companies for a fee. These expenses are not included in the cost concept in accounting. They are considered to be part of the Economic Costs concept. As a result, economic costs include the following:

  • The usual rate of return on the money that a business person puts in their own company
  • The wage was not given to the entrepreneur, but that might have been collected if the services had been sold elsewhere instead
  • A reward for all of the variables possessed by the businessman and put to use in his own company’s operations
  • As a result, the accounting charges comprise the company’s cash payments

When it comes to economic expenses, accounting charges are taken into consideration and any money that a company’s founder might have made with his resources if he had not created the company.

Accounting expenses are sometimes referred to as explicit costs in certain circles. In contrast, implicit costs are another term used to refer to the costs of elements that a company owner owns. A company owner earns profits when his sales surpass his explicit and implicit expenses.

Outlay and opportunity costs are two types of cost concepts. Outlay costs concepts are the actual spending of cash on materials, rent, labour, and other expenses. In contrast, opportunity costs are the expenses incurred due to lost chances, that is, it compares and contrasts the policy adopted with the one rejected.

Expenditures are recorded in the books of accounts as outlay costs concepts, representing real expenditures. Opportunity costs are expenses associated with missed opportunities, and they are not recorded in the books of accounts.

These expenditures are pretty beneficial. Suppose a textile mill spins its yarn, and the opportunity cost of yarn to the weaving department is equal to how much yarn sells for at what price. This metric is used to assess the profitability of the weaving operation’s activities.

Cost Concepts in terms of Variability

1. Costs that are fixed

Fixed costs are those that remain constant regardless of production volume. They are incurred by the company regardless of its degree of output. Rent, taxes, and interest on a loan are examples of these obligations.

2. Costs that fluctuate

These expenses will fluctuate based on the amount of product produced by the company. When an output is lower, expenditures are lower, and vice versa. When production is higher, the firm pays more. Variable costs include expenses such as raw material purchases and salary payments.

Cost Concept in terms of payers

1. Personal expenses

The company spends these expenses to achieve its own goals. Entrepreneurs use them for both personal and commercial purposes, for example, manufacturing, production, sales, and advertising expenditures.

2. Social expenses

As the term implies, the community suffers the social costs of private interests and commercial spending. These include societal resources such as the atmosphere, water resources, and pollution that the company does not pay.


When a company purchases an asset, the value of that item is reported in the company’s financial statements. For many businesses, this initial value is referred to as the cost concept, and it is a significant part of their financial reporting process. The cost principle is often used to maintain a record of a company’s physical assets without considering the market worth of such assets. The historical cost principle, also known as the cost concepts principle, states that no matter how much an asset appreciates or depreciates over time, the value of the item at the time of acquisition is the value that is retained as the cost concept.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

What is the cost concept? Please provide an example.

Answer: An asset should be recorded at the cost at which it was obtained, regardless of whether or not its market value has increased after it was ...Read full

What is the cost concept in accounting?

Answer: According to the cost concepts, assets are recorded at their respective cash values when bought or acquired rather than at their book value...Read full

What is the purpose of using the cost concept?

Answer: This cost concept contributes to the consistency of your balance sheet. The historical cost concept contributes to the uniformity of financ...Read full