Difference between Conversion Cost and Prime Cost


The centre expense region or the core cost area for a manufacturing business entity is its item cost which envelops all costs caused in regard to the business’s producing exercises. The right estimation and examination or analysis and measurement of item costs are significant as it works with a few activities like setting the base for item valuing as well as really controlling expenses to boost benefits. Item costs are additionally categorised to work with extensive and exact expense control and the executives or the management.

Prime expenses and transformation costs are depended upon intensely in the assembling area or the manufacturing industry as a measurement to decide proficiency in the development of a particular item. Prime expenses are characterised as the consumptions or expenditures straightforwardly connected with producing finished items, while conversion costs are the costs brought about while transforming unrefined components or raw materials into an item.

Conversion costs and prime costs incorporate a portion of similar variables of creation costs; however, each gives an alternate point of view with regards to creation or productivity efficiency.

Meaning of Conversion Cost:

Conversion costs incorporate overhead expenses and direct labour caused because of the change of unrefined components or raw materials into completed items or finished goods. Direct labour costs are equivalent to those utilised in prime expense estimations or prime cost computation. Overhead costs are characterised as the costs that can’t be straightforwardly assigned to the producing cycle or manufacturing process however are vital for activities, for example, power or different utilities expected to keep an assembling plant working over the course of the day.

Conversion costs are additionally utilised as an action to check the efficiencies of manufacturing cycles yet consider the overhead costs avoided with regard to prime expense computations. Activities directors or operating managers additionally use conversion expenses or cost to figure out where there might be squandered or waste inside the assembling system.

The formula for calculating conversion cost is:

Conversion Cost = Direct labour + Manufacturing overhead costs

An example to portray conversion cost:

Think about the case of Company K: The organisation has a total cost of Rs. 50,000 in direct labour and related costs, notwithstanding Rs. 86,000 in production line overhead expenses during the month of May. Assume that Company K produces 20,000 units during the month of May. In this way, the organisation’s conversion costs per unit for the month of May is Rs. 6.80 per unit (Rs. 1,36,000 of absolute change costs/by 20,000 units delivered = Rs. 6.80).

Meaning of Prime Cost:

The estimation for prime expenses or prime cost incorporates the sum spent on both direct materials and direct work or direct labour. Substantial parts and tangible components, for example, unrefined components or raw materials important to make a finished item, are incorporated as a piece of direct materials. For example, the engine of a vehicle and the spokes of a bike are incorporated for direct material expenses since they are very important to finish the creation or manufacturing of that particular product.

Direct work or direct labour costs incorporate the compensation, wages, or benefits paid to a worker or an employee on the fulfilment of every single completed item or product. Salaries and compensation paid to engineers, painters, or welders are normal in computing prime expenses or prime costs. Dissimilar to conversion costs, prime expenses do exclude any indirect expenses.

Prime expenses are checked on by tasks directors or operation managers to guarantee the organisation has an effective manufacturing process. The computation of prime expenses additionally assists associations with setting costs at a level that creates an allowable measure of benefit or profit.

The formula for computing prime cost is:

Prime Cost = Raw materials + Direct labour

An illustration of how prime costs works:

Consider the case of an expert furniture producer who is recruited to develop an office table for a client. The prime expenses for making the table incorporate both the expenses of the furniture creator’s work and the unrefined substances or the raw materials expected to develop the table, including the wood, equipment, and paint.

Assume that the expense of the unrefined substances or raw materials timber, equipment, and paint cost Rs. 200. The furniture producer charges Rs. 50/hour for work, and this venture takes them three hours to finish. The prime expense to create the table is Rs. 350 (Rs. 200 for the unrefined components + (50 x 3 hours of work = Rs. 150 in direct work). To create a benefit, the table’s cost should be set over its superb expense. For the furniture producer to be beneficial, they should charge something like Rs. 351.

Difference between Conversion Cost and Prime Cost:




Conversion costs, as the name suggests, are altogether costs that should be brought about in order to change unrefined substances into completed merchandise.

Prime costs or prime expenses are altogether immediate costs associated with the assembling system, which straightforwardly connect to merchandise made.


Aside from direct work costs as above, instances of conversion costs for a similar show producer incorporate lease of plant building, indirect plant staff, for example, creation director, housekeeping staff, security and industrial facility power, and so forth.

Instances of prime expenses for a shoe producer incorporate calfskin, elastic, shoestrings, wages of all work associated with the sequential construction system, and pressing.

Influence on Cost

Conversion costs then again can be affected by a few factors, for example, market property rates affecting rental, machinery mileage level or wear and tear affecting deterioration, machine use viability affecting support costs and immediate and indirect work adequacy, and so on.

Prime expense is principally affected by two factors that are issues connected with the materials production network or materials supply chain and issues of direct work or direct labour and its adequacy.


Assurance of conversion costs is more perplexing as it incorporates overheads that should be amassed and apportioned across items in view of laid out and suitable expense drivers.

As the great expense has a balanced relationship with completed or finished merchandise, estimating and computing such expenses is genuinely straightforward.

The Essence of Price

Conversion costs can be to some extent semi-variable or fixed as the cost of assembling overheads doesn’t really shift straightforwardly with the level of result. For instance, manufacturing plant building rent might continue as before, independent of the degree of result delivered during the important period.

Prime expenses are generally are variable in nature as they shift in direct extent or proportion to the degree of result or the level of output.

Attributable to Finished Products

All conversion costs can’t be straightforwardly followed to items fabricated. The upward part of all-out or total conversion cost is a backhanded expense part and, subsequently, can’t be explicitly followed to a specific item.

All great expenses have an immediate balanced relationship with items made and can be straightforwardly followed to a particular item or service. For instance, for an article of clothing maker, the quantum and cost of texture utilised and worker hours and machine hours expected to create each sort of article of clothing can be explicitly recognised.


Conversion costs incorporate the expense of direct work utilised and all assembling overheads caused or incurred.

Prime expenses incorporate the expense of direct materials utilised and the expense of direct work or labour utilised.


The critical distinction between prime expense and conversion cost is that the prime cost is the collection of every immediate expense and ordinarily incorporate direct materials and direct work or direct labour, while the conversion cost is the all-out or a total of all expenses brought about to change over direct materials into its commercial completed products structure and commonly incorporate direct work or direct labour and assembling or manufacturing overhead. In such a manner, direct work or direct labour cost turns into the normal part of both the expense classifications. Prime expense, completely, is recognisable to the item made as both of its singular parts (i.e., direct materials + direct work) are immediate and discernible or traceable. Conversion cost, then again, isn’t discernible or traceable to the item completely in view of having a non-detectable part (i.e., production overhead) in its aggregate.

Both prime expenses and conversion costs are sub-arrangements of the item or assembling costs. These expense ideas are essentially found in assembling elements as different substances; for example, exchanging elements and administration elements don’t send direct materials and work to deliver completed products.

The important administration works or the principal management functions that can be worked with through these expense arrangements incorporate following expenses, surveying wastages, acknowledging failures, controlling them through convenient expense control strategies, and exact item estimating.

Also, see:

Total Product Average Product and Marginal Product

Comparative Development Experiences of India and Its Neighbours

Market Equilibrium Free Entry and Exit

Market Equilibrium Fixed Number of Firms

Class 11 Business Studies Chapter 8 Sources of Business Finance

Class 11 Business Studies Chapter 2 Forms of Business Organisation

Reconstitution of a Partnership Firm Retirement Death of a Partner

Movements Along the Demand Curve and Shifts in the Demand Curve

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