What is a Job Cost Sheet?

Definition: A job cost sheet is a record of all expenses relating to a single job or job segment.

Companies that use a job order cost accounting system try to segregate costs by job to see how much each product or job lot costs to make. In other words, they want to know what the unit price is per product produced. In order to figure out how much each unit costs, to produce, the company has to track the work that was done to each product before it was completed.

What Does Job Cost Sheet Mean?

This is where a job cost sheet comes into play. A job cost sheet is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a record of the costs incurred for a single job. A job cost sheet usually includes the customer name, address, job number, job description, date started, date completed, and estimated completion date.

The costs for the job are recorded on the sheet during the production process. This usually happens in three categories: direct materials, direct labor, and overhead. As soon as supervisor incurs a costs, he/she records it on the cost sheet.


An example of this might make things clearer. Let’s take Gibson Guitar Company for example. When a customer calls up Gibson and orders a custom Les Paul guitar, Gibson will take the order down on a job sheet including the customer name and address, description of job, and the estimated completion date. Gibson will then assign this job a number. Next the sheet gets passed to the material department. The wood is carefully selected for the guitar and the costs are recorded on the job cost sheet.

The production line gets the cost sheet next. They record the labor and other processes incurred to turn those pieces of wood into a guitar on the sheet. After everything is finished, a supervisor or foreman evaluates the guitar and the cost sheet and assigns an estimated overhead cost to the guitar. The supervisor then adds up the total costs, makes any notes or exceptions, and signs the job cost sheet.

This completed job cost sheet can be given to management to compare with production estimates and revenues from product. Management can use job cost sheets not only to improve production efficiencies and cut costs, but they can also use these sheet to help estimate product sale prices. For instance, Gibson might see the job cost sheet and realize the job actually cost $4,500 to make, but it only quoted the customer $3,900 initially.

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