How to Calculate Variable Cost per Unit

Variable Cost per Unit

A business has costs which are classified as shown below.

  1. Direct Labor 40,000 – variable
  2. Utilities 22,000 – 80% variable
  3. Materials 35,000 – variable

Total Variable Costs

The total variable costs of the business are calculated as follows.

Variable cost = Direct labor + 80% Utilities + Materials
Variable cost = 40,00 + 80% x 22,000 + 35,000
Variable cost = 92,600

Variable Cost per Unit

If the number of units produced in the period is 1,000 then the variable cost per unit is calculated as follows.

Variable cost/unit = Variable cost / Number of units
Variable cost/unit = 92,600 / 1,000
Variable cost/unit = 92.60

Expected Variable Costs

If in the next period the number of units produced is expected to be 1,200 then the expected variable cost is calculated as follows.

Variable cost = Units x Variable cost per unit
Variable cost = 1,200 x 92.60
Variable cost = 111,120

The unit variable cost remains at 92.60 but the total variable cost is expected to rise form 92,600 to 111,120

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    Last modified July 16th, 2019 by Michael Brown

    About the Author

    Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years in all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a BSc from Loughborough University.

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