Definition: The two main costing methods that cost accountants and managers use to measure production costs are process costing and job costing. Process costing looks at the cost of mass-producing identical units. Since the jobs are the same, process costing looks at actual cost of each manufacturing step. Job costing, on the other hand, is used for unique and custom products that are produced at low volumes.
What Does Hybrid Costing System Mean?
Ideally, every manufactured product would fall into one of these two cost systems. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Some products are mass-produced and can be customized to order. In this case, cost accountants use a hybrid costing system.
A hybrid costing system uses elements of both the process costing and job costing systems to analyze the cost of producing a product. Take a Harley Davidson motorcycle for example. The motorcycle model itself is mass-produced. This makes the bike a likely candidate for the process costing system. The only problem is that each Harley Davidson motorcycle can be completely customized with hundreds of different parts and paint schemes. Since each bike is custom order, the job costing system can also be used.
In this case, cost accountants and managers would most likely use a hybrid costing system to track the manufacturing expenses of producing a motorcycle. Process costing systems would be used for the mass produced parts like the bike frames. Where as, job costing systems would be used for the customized parts and custom assembly processes on each motorcycle.