what does allocate mean in accounting

For your business to make money, you must charge prices that not only cover your expenses, but also provide a profit. Cost allocation is the process of identifying and assigning costs to the cost objects in your business, such as products, a project, or even an entire department or individual company branch.

Using a basis for allocation, costs are spread to each business unit or cost center that incurred the cost based on their proportional share of the cost. For example, if headcount forms the basis of allocation for insurance costs, and there are 1000 total employees, then a department with 100 employees would be allocated 10% of the insurance costs. Whether you’re new to F&A or an experienced professional, sometimes you need a refresher on common finance and accounting terms and their https://personal-accounting.org/ definitions. BlackLine’s glossary provides descriptions for industry words and phrases, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources. To truly transform your finance and accounting processes, you need the guidance of a trusted partner. Our proven approach has helped thousands of customers identify and address bottlenecks to free up capacity, strengthen controls, and deliver measurable results. Identify the cost object for which the cost is to be allocated.

Example of cost allocation

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She has also written creative content including celebrity cookbooks, plays, and social media campaign material. An example of allocation is when a company portions out their expenses and attributes a certain amount to each division. A system of dividing expenses and incomes among the various branches, departments, etc., of a business. Rather than spend hours every month reconciling accounts, AutoRec leverages AI to match one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many transactions in minutes.

Disadvantages of Allocations

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One of the most prominent examples of allocation is depreciation, which spreads the cost of an asset over a certain number of years. This cost allocation system saves significant time by freeing accountants from performing cost allocation calculations each period, manually preparing journal entries, and maintaining allocation tables.

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You can also enter any gain or loss on the conversion to a contra/clearing account. Although the system has this capability, JD Edwards World recommends that you use financial restatement instead of allocations to convert currencies. Base an allocation on a variable, such as head count, square footage, or percentage of use. The allocation percentages change automatically as the variable changes. Dachondra Cason is a freelance writer and business consultant in Atlanta, GA. She has over 8 years of professional experience, with a focus on finance and small businesses. Topics she has covered include creating effective business plans, fraud prevention, and digital marketing.

How do we allocate cost?

  1. Identify your chosen cost object. To allocate costs, begin by deciding which cost objects you want to connect with specific costs.
  2. Accumulate associated costs.
  3. Choose a cost allocation method.
  4. Perform your calculations.

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