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Last edited 03 Feb 2023
Direct costs for goods and services are those costs incurred directly for production and include items such as raw materials, labour, equipment, software and power costs. Direct costs can be traced and attributed to a cost ‘object’ which may be a product, department, cost centre or project.
Indirect costs (sometimes called ‘overheads’) are those necessary to keep a production facility in business and include rent, insurance, advertising and marketing which, although they may be included in the cost of the product or service, they are still indirect costs because they do not vary directly with the volume of goods/services produced and are not easily attributable to a particular process or project.
NB Cost prediction, Professional Statement, 1st edition, published in November 2020 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), defines direct costs as: ‘Costs incurred on labour, material, plant and equipment, etc., i.e. costs that are directly accountable to the project.’
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