The Classification of Period Costs

The scheme shows five sub classifications for Period Costs. When we look at different organisations, we find that they have period costs that might have sub classifications with entirely different names. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the classification of period costs: it can vary so much according to the organisation, the industry and so on. Nevertheless, such a scheme is useful in that it gives us the basic ideas to work on.

Administration Costs: literally the costs of running the administrative aspects of an organisation. Administration costs will include salaries, rent, Council Tax, electricity, water, telephone, depreciation … again, a potentially infinitely long list. Notice that there are costs here such as rent, Council Tax, that appear in several sub classifications: in such cases, it should be clear that we are paying rent on buildings, for example, that we use for manufacturing and storage and administration and each area of the business must pay for its share of the total cost under review.

Without wishing to overly extend this listing now, we can conclude this discussion by saying that the costs of Selling, the costs of Distribution and the costs of Research are all accumulated in a similar way to the way in which Administration Costs are accumulated. Consequently, our task is to look at the selling process and classify the costs of running that process accordingly: advertising, market research, salaries, bonuses, electricity, and so on. The same applies to all other classifications of period costs that we might use.

We should also discuss the Finance Costs that we have included in the Period Costs. Finance costs are those costs associated with providing the permanent, long term and short term finance. That is, within the section headed finance costs we will find dividends, interest on long term loans and interest on short term loans.

Finally, we should say that we can add any number of sub classifications to our scheme if we need to do that to clarify the ways in which our organisation operates. We will also add further sub classifications if we need to refine and further refine out cost analysis.