Manufacturing Overhead Formula Calculator & Excel Examples

Calculating your monthly or yearly manufacturing overhead can help you improve your company’s financial plan and find ways to budget for such expenses. Companies with effective strategies to calculate and plan for manufacturing overhead costs tend to be more prepared for business emergencies than businesses that never consider overhead expenses. When you allocate manufacturing overhead, you assign the costs of indirect labor, materials, and factory expenses to products. The cost of these items will be included in the cost of goods sold (COGS) on your income statement. Manufacturing overhead is a term that refers to all of the costs of manufacturing a product that is not direct labor costs or direct material costs. It includes indirect labor, plant managers’ salaries, and factory rent, among other things.

Other categories of overhead may be appropriate depending on the business. For example, overhead expenses may apply to a variety of operational categories. It is easy to overlook manufacturing overhead when planning your budget and forecasting sales, but it is an integral part of your business. When you include manufacturing overhead in your financial projections, you will be more likely to accurately predict how much money you will need each month. For example, if you run out of raw materials and need to purchase more, your fixed costs will increase regardless of whether or not you produce any finished goods. These costs are often called overhead expenses because they are not directly related to the production of an item or service.

For example, in a paper factory, the wood pulp used isn’t counted as an indirect material as it is primarily used to manufacture paper. But the lubricant used to keep the machinery running properly is an indirect cost incurred during the manufacture of paper. For example, if your company has $80,000 in monthly manufacturing overhead and $500,000 in monthly sales, the horizontal analysis of balance sheets and financial statements overhead percentage would be about 16%. Let’s define manufacturing overhead, look at the manufacturing overhead formula and how to calculate manufacturing overhead. Many larger companies offer a range of benefits to their employees such as keeping their offices stocked with coffee and snacks, providing gym discounts, hosting company retreats, and company cars.

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They usually include the cost of the property where the manufacturing is taking place and its depreciation, purchasing new machines, repair costs of new machines and other similar costs. Accountants calculate this cost by either the declining balance method or the straight line method. In the declining balance method, a constant rate of depreciation is applied to the asset’s book value every year.

  • Indirect Labor Overheads include the cost of labor that is not directly involved in the manufacturing of the product.
  • For example, the salaries for security guards, janitors, machine repairmen, plant managers, supervisors, and quality inspectors are all indirect labor costs.
  • This method is used when there is no particular pattern to the asset’s loss of value.
  • If a company has $20,000 in manufacturing overhead costs and $1 million in sales, its overhead percentage would be 20% (or $20,000 / $1 million x 100).

If you’d like to know the overhead cost per unit, divide the total manufacturing overhead cost by the number of units you manufacture. Overhead is typically a general expense, meaning it applies to the company’s operations as a whole. It is commonly accumulated as a lump sum, at which point it may then be allocated to a specific project or department based on certain cost drivers. For example, using activity-based costing, a service-based business may allocate overhead expenses based on the activities completed within each department, such as printing or office supplies. Overhead refers to the ongoing business expenses not directly attributed to creating a product or service.

In addition, it helps in costing jobs at completion when only some types of indirect costs are known when they are incurred (e.g., rent). Step #4
Add the three numbers obtained in steps 1, 2, and 3 to calculate the total manufacturing overhead for the period. Calculating manufacturing overhead is a necessary step, but you must also allocate those overhead expenses properly. Now let’s understand how you can calculate the overhead cost as we now know the various methods of calculating the absorption rate.

What Are Manufacturing Overhead Costs?

Include monthly depreciation expense for the manufacturing equipment used in your manufacturing facility. Don’t include all depreciation expenses, only those directly related to production. These two amounts seldom match in any accounting period, but the variance will generally average to zero after multiple quarters. If this variance persists over time, adjust your predetermined overhead rate to align it more closely to actual overhead figures reported in your financial statements. So, the overhead rate is nothing but the cost that you as a business allocate to the production of a good or service.

What is Manufacturing Overhead?

Add all indirect costs and then determine the percentage of the cost that needs to be allocated to your final manufacturing overhead costs. Indirect labor is the cost to the company for employees who aren’t directly involved in the production of the product. For example, the salaries for security guards, janitors, machine repairmen, plant managers, supervisors, and quality inspectors are all indirect labor costs. Cost accountants derive the indirect labor cost through activity-based costing, which involves identifying and assigning costs to overhead activities and then assigning those costs to the product.

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They include rent, utilities, insurance premiums, office supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses. As stated above, to calculate the overhead costs, it is important to know the overhead rate. Thus, the general overhead cost formula involves calculating the overhead rate. Indirect Labor Overheads include the cost of labor that is not directly involved in the manufacturing of the product. That is, such labor supports the production process and is not involved in converting raw materials into finished goods.

What Are Different Types of Overhead?

For example, if you have a monthly depreciation expense of $1,600, and $1,000 of that is for manufacturing equipment, only include the $1,000 in your monthly manufacturing overhead costs. Therefore, to calculate the labor hour rate, the overhead costs are divided by the total number of direct labor hours. In this method, direct labor cost is taken as a base for absorbing the overhead costs.

In this article, we will discuss how to calculate manufacturing overhead and why it matters. Besides these expenses, there are certain indirect expenditures that cannot be conveniently identified with the article produced. The most common way to reduce manufacturing overhead is by using more efficient machinery and equipment. The best way to reduce transportation costs is by choosing suppliers close by so they can deliver directly rather than having their products shipped further away.


For example, depreciation, rents and property taxes, salaries, repairs and maintenance, electricity bills are indirect costs. Manufacturing overheads are indirect in nature, and hence to some expense, these are fixed and are not affected by the number of units produced in the production facility. From the above list, depreciation, salaries of managers, factory rent, and property tax fall in the category of manufacturing overhead.