How to Calculate a Job Cost Sheet in Accounting

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A job cost sheet breaks down a manufacturing project into three types of costs: direct materials, direct labor and manufacturing overhead. Direct materials are the costs of all the materials needed to manufacture the product. Direct labor is the amount of labor used to complete the project. Manufacturing overhead is the indirect costs associated with creating the product. The job cost sheet then summarizes the costs by each classification.

  • Add all the costs of materials needed to complete the project. For example, a company manufactures widgets. To produce 100 widgets, the business requires $20 of metal, $4 in screws and $8 in wood. The total cost of direct materials is $32.

  • Calculate the amount of labor costs. In our example, the company pays $15 an hour to the two employees who create the widgets. The two employees work a total of 10 hours to produce 100 widgets. Therefore, the company's total direct labor costs are $150.

  • Calculate the amount of manufacturing overhead. Manufacturing overhead is normally determined as a percentage of hours worked. For example, the company estimates that overhead is 125 percent of labor costs. Therefore, there is $187.50 in manufacturing overhead costs from the equation $150 x 1.25.

  • Add the costs calculated in Steps 1 through 3. In our example, $32 + $150 + $187.50 = $369.50. This is the total cost of the project.

  • Divide the total cost of the project by the number of units produced to determine cost per unit. In our example, $369.50 / 100 units = $3.695 per unit.

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