If the distribution falls under the administration

Distribution costs

Distribution costs are all costs incurred in the sales area, i.e. all costs caused by sales policy decisions.
These are costs that arise when the products are sold, e.g. personnel costs, agency commissions, packaging costs, customs costs, freight costs, advertising costs and the like. Depending on how they can be allocated to the cost units, special direct costs for sales and distribution overheads are separated. The former can be assigned directly to the cost units, the latter indirectly with the help of sales overhead surcharges on the manufacturing costs of the services sold or the sales orders.

Distribution costs consist largely of distribution overheads that cannot be directly allocated to the products. To a lesser extent, they are direct sales costs (special direct sales costs).

According to Section 255 (2) HGB, sales costs may not be included in the production costs. Section 275 (3) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) stipulates that distribution costs must be shown separately in the income statement when using the cost of sales method.

Distribution costs can include: transport-related packaging costs, personnel, material and material costs of the sales, advertising and marketing departments, the network of agents and the finished goods and distribution warehouse, costs of advertising, sales promotion and market research, exhibition and Trade fair costs, salespeople and customer training as well as travel expenses for the sales area and costs for samples and samples or the administrative overhead costs incurred in the sales area, including depreciation on sales equipment. According to IAS 2, sales costs are not included in the determination of production costs (IAS 2.14). These do not arise during production, but as part of sales.

Following on from the equation of marketing and sales, which was common in the past, sales costs are still defined today as all costs that are caused by sales-policy decisions. This includes not only the pure sales costs (e.g. costs for advertising, field service, shipping), but also the costs of sales preparation, sales administration and marketing management. The distribution costs are a central subject of the marketing planning and the * Marketing control. They are quantified and analyzed as part of the sales income statement.

The term sales costs, synonymous with sales or marketing costs, is used inconsistently. From a modern point of view, this is understood to mean all costs that arise in the basic business function of sales and its sub-functions, as well as the costs that are offset against the basic function of sales in the course of the usual internal cost allocation. In practice, distribution costs play a more or less important role depending on the branch of industry. The share of sales costs related to sales in companies in the consumer goods industry fluctuates, according to an empirical survey, between 7.3% for car manufacturers and 41.6% for manufacturers of personal care products. The recording and evaluation of sales costs is therefore an important instrument of marketing controlling. Obtaining special attention thereby the logistics costs. Two fundamental problems arise in the context of recording and delimiting sales costs: First, the sales area must be separated from the other areas of the company. Then it must be clarified how the costs in the sales area that are attributable to decisions made by other company areas are to be dealt with. Furthermore, sales costs are to be differentiated from sales deductions. Rebates, discounts, bonuses, but also compensation payments and bad debt losses are not included in the distribution costs, as they are not associated with the consumption of goods. When recording costs, from the point of view of cost type accounting, sales costs can be differentiated according to whether they are incurred exclusively in sales (specific sales cost types) or in principle also in other functional areas. The special direct costs of sales are to be regarded as a special case of specific sales cost types. There are also other specific types of sales costs, especially in the area of ​​communication policy (advertising and sales promotion costs) and market research. But also trade fair costs, del credere commissions and factoring costs, imputed interest for finished goods and accounts receivable or imputed sales ventures represent specific sales cost types. Specific sales cost types are mainly incurred for externally procured services. Non-specific sales cost types, on the other hand, are those primary cost types that can also be found in other areas of the company and of which only part of the total is incurred in the sales area. They arise from the self-creation of sales services and the provision of sales potential. Examples of this are personnel costs (e.g. for the sales organization), which usually represent the most important main cost type group within sales costs, but also depreciation or material costs. They can be allocated organizationally via a sales cost center accounting, but due to their overhead cost character, usually only a small part of them are allocated to cost units. In the context of specific price calculations or sales segment calculations, efforts are made within the sales price calculation. a. Sales commissions, sales licenses, costs for product-specific market research, costs for product advertising, costs of preparing and submitting offers, shipping packaging costs, outgoing freight, costs of empties and packaging material disposal as well as costs of product-specific customer advice and product-specific customer service as separate items in the calculation of products . These and other direct costs of sales are charged to d.R. not related to the cost center, but recorded directly related to the cost unit. This is not always done individually for each individual product type, but - for reasons of economy - often only separately for the various product groups or product lines, for which they are then calculated and billed as a lump sum. The direct sales costs can diverge greatly from product to product and also from customer to customer, so that their level can change significantly if the structure of the sales program is shifted or if there is a change in demand from individual customers or customer groups. For this reason alone, cost-conscious companies are required to subject the various types of direct sales costs to separate monitoring. A large part of the sales costs - with the exception of sales commissions and packaging and shipping costs, in some cases also the advertising costs (e.g. brochures, etc.) - are of a fixed nature, but can be reduced in the short term through appropriate decisions (e.g. advertising budget, storage costs, field service costs) . In this respect, they require particularly close observation in the context of marketing controlling. A breakdown according to the specific value chain in the sales area is recommended, e.g. B. Costs of readiness for sale (ability to deliver) Costs of order acquisition, costs of order processing (distribution costs), costs of sales management. The so-called “secret sales costs”, especially capital costs for the proportion of fixed and current assets tied up in the sales area, must also be taken into account (sales costs, accounting and taxation). When settling distribution costs, a distinction must be made between repetitive and innovative distribution services on the one hand and between fixed and variable distribution costs on the other. Repetitive sales services are largely homogeneous, standardized sales services with a routine character (e.g. order processing, shipping, etc.) a. are provided in the cost centers of sales processing. Therefore (e.g. within the scope of a full cost unit accounting), allocation rates can also be determined to pass on the cost center-related recorded sales overhead costs to cost objects. Innovative sales services, on the other hand, are of an individual and complex nature and are mainly provided by sales management and the acquisition cost centers (e.g. field service management, customer care). Further charging is only possible to a limited extent due to the valuation problem. In the absence of reference values, cost planning often has to be content with estimates in these cases. The target values ​​taken from the marketing budget are compared with the actual costs, whereby deviations can be recognized but not diagnosed (budgeting in marketing). In order to record and allocate the sales costs, it is advisable to create product-related service lists that document the flow of services between the sales cost center hierarchy and the product hierarchy. From this, concentration figures can be calculated as the form of marketing key figures, which provide information about the extent to which the respective product requires the capacity of the cost centers. /

Literature: Weigand, Ch., Decision-oriented sales cost accounting, Wiesbaden 1989.

In the event of operational reasons, sales costs are usually deductible operating expenses; However, the deductibility may be limited, e.g. guest house expenses, travel expenses; Entertainment expenses. Selling costs may not be added to the manufacturing costs of self-made equipment and products. Only when using the cost of sales method (Section 275 (3) No. 4 HGB) are the selling costs to be shown as a separate item in the income statement. Basically, sales costs in the sense of the income statement include all expenses associated with the preparation, promotion, implementation and monitoring of the sale of products and services. They are all incurred after manufacture. In my opinion, the special sales-related administrative costs are to be included in the sales costs, since the special ID in item 5 only includes "general" administrative costs. Interest expenses are, however, to be recorded separately under item 12, sales tax is to be deducted directly from sales (Section 277 (1) of the German Commercial Code); Customs duties, consumption taxes and monopoly taxes are to be shown under item 18 (other taxes). Cost taxes for the sales area actually belong under item 18; However, the h.M. also allows area-based attribution under item 4 (A / D / S § 275 items 237, 232). In terms of amount, all "sales costs" incurred for the period are to be stated under item 4; a reference to the services deducted in the period is not required; In any case, inclusion in the manufacturing costs is not considered in the balance sheet (Section 255 (2) sentence 6 HGB). Losses from independent sales companies - insofar as they are of the nature of sales costs, however, must be shown separately under item 4 (Section 277 (3) sentence 2 HGB).

Literature: Federmann, R., income statements according to commercial and tax law, Berlin 1992. Federmann, R., income statement, in: Gnam, A .; Federmann, R. (Ed.), Handbuch der Bilanzierung, keyword 62 ff, Freiburg 1960.

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