Are Wages Paid To Temporary Personnel A Variable Cost?

are salaries fixed or variable

With this skeleton crew, you cannot lower labor cost any further without reducing the quality of service. These are your fixed Online Accounting labor hourly employees, the number of employees required to open your doors regardless of how many customers come in.

Fixed costs remain static regardless of the output level, like rent, salaries, and loan payments. In contrast, variable costs vary when business activities occur, such as direct labor, taxes, and operational expenses. Contracted salaries relate to the annual salary of a business’s employees. Once contracted, this counts as a monthly and annual fixed cost. The employee may be busy and produce 10 times the normal output, or, they may be extremely unproductive and produce half. No matter how productive the employee is, the cost remains fixed.

are salaries fixed or variable

Fixed costs happen, regardless of the manufacturing or sales level. Costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and administrative wages will need to be paid whether you manufacture one item or thousands of items. For example, if your sales get to a point where you need to add an additional manufacturing facility your rent, property taxes and other fixed costs may rise. During planning and budgeting, it is important to know what your fixed costs are and how they affect the profitability of the company. Total product costs can be determined by adding together the total direct materials and labor costs as well as the total manufacturing overhead costs. To determine the product cost per unit of product, divide this sum by the number of units manufactured in the period covered by those costs. Variable costs may include labor, commissions, and raw materials.

Cost per unit, also referred to the cost of goods sold or the cost of sales, is how much money a company spends on producing one unit of the product they sell. Now that you understand the differences between fixed and variable costs, it’s time to dig in and start reducing your bottom line.


Understanding these costs can help you better grasp how your money is spent. They can also be used to project your expenses, create a budget, and develop revenue targets for your business. Temporary workers are beneficial when business slows and sales decrease. Temporary personnel understand that their time with a company is limited. They can jump in and help when demand is high, thus allowing companies to solve their immediate hiring needs without brining on permanent staff. This will help you determine how much your business must pay for every unit before you factor in your variable costs for each unit produced.

Variable costs change in direct proportion to the changes in volume or business activity level. Even if the company doesn’t have any business activity, they still have to cover the expense of fixed costs. When production increases, variable costs go up and if production decreases, variable costs go down. Examples of variable costs are sales commissions, direct labor costs, cost of raw materials used in production, and utility costs. The total variable cost is simply the quantity of output multiplied by the variable cost per unit of output. Variable costs will change depending on how many products you buy or manufacture.

are salaries fixed or variable

But too many variable-cost employees put your labor budget over your cost of labor goal, and this variable labor is where you can start to make changes. While many think of labor as a variable cost, because scheduling can fluctuate depending on the day, much of your labor are salaries fixed or variable cost is actually a fixed expense, or fixed labor. Labor that is paid on a salaried basis, like the head chef, managers, and bookkeeper, doesn’t typically vary in relation to sales. Understanding fixed and variable costs can be used when identifying economies of scale.

Labor As A Percentage Of Sales Doesnt Tell The Whole Story

While knee-jerk reactions like cutting employee hours or wages may lower total labor costs in the short term, they may also affect the quality of service. On the other hand the salaries of the production department supervisors are a direct production department cost that is fixed. Rent is normal balance the fixed cost a company pays to use its property for business operations. Companies pay rent monthly, but they can rent machinery to help them manufacture products at their facility. Companies should account for rent payments first so they can budget and allocate their expenses properly.

Implicit costs are the opportunity cost of resources already owned by the firm and used in business—for example, expanding a factory onto land already owned. This decision should be made with volume capacity and volatility in mind as trade-offs occur at different levels of production.

are salaries fixed or variable

Labor & SchedulingEmployee SchedulingCreate schedules based on sales forecasts to optimize your labor spend, save time, streamline the scheduling process and engage with employees. Online businesses with no physical inventory, such as companies that only sell downloadable software, have very low fixed costs—often just the cost of maintaining a website. Variable costs change with output—rising as a business makes more stuff or provides more services. Fixed costs remain the same no matter how much the business produces. In the second illustration, costs are fixed and do not change with the number of units produced. The equation provides not only valuable information about pricing but can also be modified to answer other important questions such as the feasibility of a planned expansion.

How To Use Technology To Control Prime Cost

For example, you’ll always be responsible for paying expenses like rent, utilities, and licenses. There are many techniques for making your business more profitable. For example, there are some handy formulas every business owner should know to figure out monthly revenue contra asset account and expenses. An example could be electricity–electricity usage may increase with production but if nothing is produced a factory still may require a certain amount of power just to maintain itself. Labor as a percentage of sales is an extremely broad, general number.

  • Commissions are typically a percentage that reps earn as a result of closing a sale.
  • Employees who work per hour, and whose hours change according to business needs, are a variable expense.
  • For a cost to be considered variable, it needs to vary based on some activity base.
  • A fixed cost is one that stays the same every month regardless of how much you’re selling.
  • You should also be aware of how many units you need to sell if you want to break even and become profitable.

You pay the same amount for utilities when your business is open regardless of how busy you are. Likewise, if your factory manager is on salary, the cost of employing him stays the same even if you expand production.

How Do We Calculate Average Cost?

They can decrease or increase rapidly, cut your profit margins and result in a steep loss or a whirlwind profit for the business. More importantly, your variable pay structure must drive the right sales behaviors to reach company goals. Variable compensation pay is an amazing motivational tool, but it can certainly miss its mark without proper implementation and the correct pay mix.


Hiring temporary or as-needed staff creates a variable expense, which might fit well into a company’s budget. For example, if a telephone company charges a per-minute rate, then that would be a variable cost. A twenty minute phone call would cost more than a ten minute phone call. If a companyrents a warehouse, it must pay rentfor the warehouse whether it is full of inventory or completely vacant. These remain constant throughout the relevant range and are usually considered sunk for the relevant range . Other labor tools, like overtime prevention, or clock in/out time enforcement, can help control labor costs even after you’ve made schedule adjustments. In order to turn a profit, companies have to cover all their expenses—whether fixed or variable.

What Is The Best Example Of Variable Cost?

That’s because your overtime bill increases in line with the volume of work your employee is producing. Variable costs are expenses that can change or fluctuate according to how well a company performs. Employers have a measure of control over variable costs, because they can cut back in certain areas to reduce overhead if company sales decrease. This is different from fixed costs, such as rent and debt payments, that are predetermined and remain the same from month to month.

No matter how many tacos you sell every month, you’ll still be required to pay $1,000. If you add up everything you spent over the course of the month, it equals $4,000 in total costs. Then factor in all the tacos you sold throughout the month — 1,000 tacos.

Incent Based On A Salespersons Degree Of Control

Depending on how bonuses are set up, they may be paid with each pay period, quarterly, or annually. If you can cut back on some variable costs in addition to your fixed monthly bills, you’ll free up more money to save for retirement, build an emergency fund, pay off debt or invest. If you’re like most people, your budget is comprised of both fixed and variable expenses. How do they differ from necessities vs. discretionary spending? The commission, on the other hand, acts more like avariable costbecause it’s based on the productivity of the employee. The more the employee sells the greater the sales commission expense becomes.

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