# Fixed Cost: What It Is and How Its Used in Business

Draw a straight line using the high and low activity levels from these data. If we serve 100 customers, we will need to purchase food (direct materials) for the 100 meals we serve. So if our cost of goods sold per meal is \$4, we would spend \$400 on food if we serve 100 meals, but only \$200 if we serve 50 meals. The term committed is added because these costs have certain commitments to the activity they are involved in, even with more changes in the quantity of activity. This is because of the commitment this is done with a contract or agreement. For example, someone might drive to the store to buy a television, only to decide upon arrival to not make the purchase.

• For example, a company might buy machinery for a manufacturing assembly line that is expensed over time using depreciation.
• The term committed is added because these costs have certain commitments to the activity they are involved in, even with more changes in the quantity of activity.
• The depth of a committed cost is calculated by the amount of resource capacity obtained.

This causes the total cost line to flatten out a bit as the slope decreases. It’s easy to imagine a scenario where fixed costs are not sunk. For example, equipment might be resold or returned at the purchase price.

## Committed Costs

Can add some of these to the products, and others will be considered as the asset. The cost incurred to build up the buildings, plant all comes under this category. The fixed cost is those which may not change in terms of the volume of production.

• Unlike committed costs, discretionary fixed costs tend to change over time.
• Compare fixed vs. variable costs and see fixed costs examples in business.
• Two important assumptions must be considered when estimating costs using the methods described in this chapter.
• The scattergraph method considers all data points, not just the highest and lowest levels of activity.

Regardless of the type of business, these costs need to be evaluated, managed and controlled to create the best net profit for the company. Committed fixed costs are typically less flexible and adjustable in the short term. Discretionary fixed costs are more flexible and adjustable, as they can be easily adjusted or eliminated based on the company’s operational needs. E.g. XYZ is a furniture manufacturing company that plans to undertake a new order which will result in a net cash flow of \$ 255,000 within a period of one year. At present, XYZ operates at full capacity and does not have extra production capacity in its factory.

Regression analysis tends to yield the most accurate estimate of fixed and variable costs, assuming there are no unusual data points in the data set. The account analysis approach is perhaps the most common starting point for estimating fixed and variable costs. We have now learned about two types of cost behavior patterns—variable costs and fixed costs.

One example includes advertising expenses which companies adjust according to their needs. Fixed costs are a type of cost classification based on cost behaviour. However, these costs may have further subtypes, including committed and discretionary fixed costs. Before discussing the differences, it is crucial to study both individually. The committed fixed costs are to be incurred by the organization for smooth operations.

## Accounting for Managers

In contrast, discretionary fixed costs are subject to management decision-making, and the company has more flexibility in determining the amount, timing, and necessity of these expenses. Learn the fixed cost definition and how to calculate it using the fixed cost formula. Compare fixed vs. variable costs and see fixed costs examples in business. The x-axis (horizontal axis) reflects the level of activity (units produced in this example), and the y-axis (vertical axis) reflects the total production cost. It also stays in a specific range of activity despite fluctuations in production volume.Fixed costs can be classified as either Committed Costs or discretionary costs. The depth of a committed cost is calculated by the amount of resource capacity obtained.

Committed fixed costs are costs that a business has already made or obliged to make in the future; thus, they cannot be recovered. As a result, committed fixed costs are difficult to alter at the discretion of the management. The company should be aware which costs are committed costs when reviewing company expenditures for possible cost reductions. Independent cost structure analysis helps a company fully understand its fixed and variable costs and how they affect different parts of the business, as well as the total business overall.

## What is a Variable Cost?

Recall that the slope of the line represents the unit cost; thus, when the unit cost increases, so does the slope. Both assumptions are reasonable as long as the relevant range is clearly identified, and the linearity assumption does not significantly distort the resulting cost estimate. Rather than running these computations by hand, most companies use computer software, such as Excel, to perform regression analysis.

## Committed Fixed Costs

For this reason, committed fixed costs are also sometimes known as capacity-related costs. A company’s breakeven analysis can be important for decisions on fixed and variable costs. The breakeven analysis also influences the price at which a company chooses to sell its products. Fixed costs are allocated in the indirect expense section of the income statement, which leads to operating profit. Depreciation is a common fixed expense that is recorded as an indirect expense.

## Fixed vs Variable Cost – Explained

Fixed costs are expenses that a company pays that do not change with production levels. Unlike fixed costs, variable costs (e.g., shipping) change based on the production levels of a company. Committed and discretionary fixed costs are a classification of fixed costs that do not change due to activity levels. The former represents expenses that companies must pay due to past commitments.