Criteria of classification of costs

Cost classification is the process of grouping costs according to their characteristics. Costs are classified or grouped according to their common characteristics. Costs may be classified according to elements, according to functions or operations, according to their behaviour, according to controllability or according to normality. 

The break up of the aggregate costs into relevant types, is an essential pre-requisite of decision making as well as of controlling costs. Classification of costs on different bases is thus necessary for various purposes. For the purpose of decision-making and control, costs are distinguished on the basis of their relevance to different type of decisions and control functions. 

The importance of distinguishing cost as direct or indirect lies in the fact that direct costs of a product or an activity can be accurately allocated while indirect costs have to be apportioned o the basis of certain assumptions. This is so because direct costs are controllable at the operational level whereas indirect costs are not amenable to such control.
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