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Job Costing vs. Contract Costing: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 9, 2024
Job Costing is an accounting method for specific, individual jobs or projects. Contract Costing is a costing method for long-term contracts, often in construction.
Job Costing vs. Contract Costing

Key Differences

Job Costing involves tracking costs for a specific job or project, making it ideal for short-term, unique tasks. In contrast, Contract Costing is used for extensive, long-term projects, typically in sectors like construction and engineering.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
The focus of Job Costing is on individual tasks or orders, providing detailed cost information for each job. Conversely, Contract Costing tracks costs over the duration of a long-term contract, dealing with larger and more complex projects.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
In Job Costing, costs are recorded for each job separately, facilitating precise cost control on a per-project basis. Contract Costing, however, accumulates costs over the life of a contract, requiring a broader view of cost management.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
Job Costing is typically used by businesses like custom manufacturers, service firms, and job shops. Contract Costing is more common in industries that handle large-scale projects, such as construction and heavy engineering.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
The granularity of Job Costing allows for detailed analysis of profitability per job, whereas Contract Costing focuses on the overall profitability of a contract, often spanning multiple accounting periods.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Scope

Individual, specific jobs or projects.
Long-term, extensive contracts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Duration

Short-term projects.
Long-term projects, often spanning years.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Industry Application

Custom manufacturing, services, job shops.
Construction, heavy engineering, large-scale projects.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Cost Tracking

Per job or project.
Over the entire contract duration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Profitability Analysis

Focused on individual jobs.
Focused on the overall contract.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024
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Job Costing and Contract Costing Definitions

Job Costing

A costing method for calculating costs of a specific job or project.
The company used job costing to determine the expense of their custom furniture project.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Contract Costing

A system for cost analysis of projects spanning multiple accounting periods.
Contract costing provided a comprehensive view of expenses for the city’s redevelopment contract.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Job Costing

A system for assigning costs to distinct projects or tasks.
Each graphic design project was evaluated using job costing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Contract Costing

A costing technique for monitoring costs of a long-term contract.
The construction company used contract costing for the multi-year building project.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Job Costing

A method to calculate costs for short-term, distinct projects.
Job costing helped the bakery price its custom cake orders accurately.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
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Contract Costing

Cost accounting for large-scale, long-duration projects.
The engineering firm applied contract costing to track expenses over the course of their infrastructure project.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Job Costing

Cost accounting for projects with unique specifications.
The auto repair shop applied job costing for each vehicle service.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Contract Costing

A method to manage and control costs for extensive contracts.
The software development for the government project was managed through contract costing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Job Costing

Tracking of materials, labor, and overhead for individual jobs.
Job costing revealed the exact cost of materials used in the small-scale renovation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Contract Costing

Tracking and allocating costs over the lifespan of a contract.
Contract costing was essential for the bridge construction project’s budgeting.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is job costing?

It's a method to calculate costs for individual, short-term projects or jobs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

When is job costing used?

In businesses like custom manufacturing, where each job is unique.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Can job costing be used for service industries?

Yes, it's applicable to any business providing unique, distinct services.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What types of costs are tracked in job costing?

Direct materials, labor, and overhead for each job.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How does job costing help businesses?

It aids in precise cost control and pricing strategies for individual jobs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How does job costing track costs?

By assigning costs to specific jobs or projects.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Is contract costing suitable for short-term projects?

No, it's designed for long-term projects spanning multiple years.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What is the benefit of contract costing?

It provides a comprehensive view of cost performance over a contract's lifespan.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Does job costing require detailed record-keeping?

Yes, detailed records are necessary for accurate cost allocation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What types of costs are tracked in contract costing?

All costs related to a contract over its duration, including direct and indirect costs.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What is contract costing?

It's a costing technique for monitoring and managing costs of long-term contracts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

When is contract costing used?

In industries handling large-scale projects like construction over extended periods.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How does contract costing track costs?

By accumulating costs over the life of a long-term contract.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How does contract costing affect profitability analysis?

It focuses on the overall profitability of a contract, not just individual tasks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Is contract costing complex?

It can be, due to the long-term and large-scale nature of contracts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What challenges come with job costing?

Accurately assigning costs to each job and managing overhead.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

What are common challenges in contract costing?

Managing cash flow and controlling costs over a long period.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

How do businesses bill clients using job costing?

By calculating the total costs incurred for a specific job or project.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Can job costing be automated?

Yes, with modern accounting software.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Does contract costing involve cost estimation?

Yes, especially for planning and bidding on contracts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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