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Applied Overhead

Applied Overhead

What Is Applied Overhead?

Applied overhead is a type of direct overhead expense that is recorded under the cost-accounting method. Applied overhead is a fixed rate charged to a specific production job, great created, or department inside a company. Companies utilize cost accounting to recognize the expenses associated with manufacturing.

A category of overhead is discernible. Applied overhead stands as opposed to general overhead, which is an indirect overhead, like utilities, salaries, or rent.

Grasping Applied Overhead

Overhead alludes to the continuous business expenses not directly credited to making a product or service. It is important for the purpose of budgeting and deciding how much a company must charge for its products or services to make a profit. In short, overhead is any expense incurred to support the business while not being directly connected with a specific product or service.

Applied overhead is normally allocated out to different departments as per a specific formula. Consequently, a certain amount of overhead is subsequently applied to a given department, for example, marketing. The percentage of overhead that is applied to a given department could possibly relate to the genuine amount of overhead incurred by that department.

Applied overhead costs incorporate any cost that can't be directly assigned to a cost object, like rent, administrative staff compensation, and insurance. A cost object is a thing for which a cost is gathered, for example, a product, product line, distribution channel, subsidiary, process, geographic region, or customer.

Overhead is generally allocated (or applied) to cost things in view of a standard methodology that is utilized reliably starting with one period then onto the next. For instance:

  • Factory overhead is applied to products in view of their utilization of machine processing time.
  • Corporate overhead is applied to auxiliaries in view of the revenue, profit, or asset levels of the auxiliaries.

Illustration of Applied Overhead

For example, a business might apply overhead to its products in light of a standard overhead application rate of $35.75 each hour of machine and equipment time utilized. Since the total amount of machine-hours utilized in the accounting period was 7,200 hours, the company would apply $257,400 of overhead to the units created in that period.

According to a management point of view, the analysis of applied overhead (and underapplied overhead) is an essential part of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) methods. By breaking down how costs are assigned to certain products or undertakings, management groups can improve informed capital budgeting and financial-related operations choices. Thus, with better analytics, management can accomplish better capital use proficiency and return on invested capital, accordingly expanding business valuation.


  • Applied overhead is a type of overhead that is a direct cost connected with a specific production job, great delivered, or department inside a company.
  • General overhead, or genuine overhead, rather contains indirect costs like salaries, advertising expenses, and rent.
  • There are different overhead categories, for example, administrative overhead, which incorporates costs connected with dealing with a business.