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Manufacturing Costs vs. Non Manufacturing Costs: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 17, 2024
Manufacturing costs refers to expenses directly related to the production of goods, including labor, materials, and overhead. Non-manufacturing costs refers to expenses not directly tied to production, such as administrative, sales, and marketing costs.

Key Differences

Manufacturing costs are incurred in the process of producing goods and include direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead. Non-manufacturing costs are incurred outside the production process and encompass selling, administrative, and other operational expenses.
Manufacturing costs have a direct association with the production process and are integral to calculating the cost of goods manufactured. Non-manufacturing costs, while essential for running the business, are not directly tied to the production of specific goods.
Manufacturing costs are allocated to products as they are produced, affecting the valuation of inventory and cost of goods sold. Non-manufacturing costs are typically period costs, expensed in the period they are incurred and not allocated to products.
Manufacturing costs directly influence the pricing of products and the gross profit margin. Non-manufacturing costs impact the overall profitability and operational efficiency of the business.
Many manufacturing costs vary with production volume (variable costs), while others remain constant (fixed costs). Non-manufacturing costs can be either variable or fixed, but their variation is not directly related to production volume.

Comparison Chart


Directly related to production
Incurred outside production

Association with Product

Directly affect cost of goods produced
Not directly tied to specific products


Allocated to products
Expensed in the period incurred

Impact on Financials

Influence product pricing and gross margin
Affect overall profitability and efficiency


Vary with production volume
Vary independently of production volume

Manufacturing Costs and Non Manufacturing Costs Definitions

Manufacturing Costs

Costs encompassing direct materials, labor, and overhead.
Their manufacturing costs rose due to increased labor rates.

Non Manufacturing Costs

Expenses impacting overall business profitability.
They managed non-manufacturing costs to maintain operational efficiency.

Manufacturing Costs

Expenses influencing the gross profit margin of products.
Efficient management of manufacturing costs improved their profit margins.

Non Manufacturing Costs

Overhead costs not allocated to products.
Non-manufacturing costs, such as rent and utilities, remained constant regardless of production levels.

Manufacturing Costs

Expenses directly tied to the production of goods.
The manufacturing costs for the new product included high-quality materials.

Non Manufacturing Costs

Costs including administrative, sales, and marketing expenses.
Their non-manufacturing costs were high due to extensive administrative staff.

Manufacturing Costs

Variable and fixed costs within the production process.
To reduce manufacturing costs, they optimized their production line.

Non Manufacturing Costs

Expenses not directly related to the production of goods.
The company's non-manufacturing costs included a large marketing campaign.

Manufacturing Costs

Costs allocated to products to determine cost of goods sold.
The company's manufacturing costs were carefully tracked to price products competitively.

Non Manufacturing Costs

Costs expensed in the period they are incurred.
The company's non-manufacturing costs this quarter included significant legal fees.


What are non-manufacturing costs?

Expenses not directly tied to production, like administrative and marketing costs.

What are manufacturing costs?

Expenses directly related to producing goods, including materials, labor, and overhead.

Are labor costs always considered manufacturing costs?

Only if the labor is directly involved in the production process.

Are selling expenses non-manufacturing costs?

Yes, selling expenses are a type of non-manufacturing cost.

Are depreciation expenses part of non-manufacturing costs?

Depreciation of office equipment is non-manufacturing, while depreciation of production equipment is a manufacturing cost.

Can non-manufacturing costs affect competitiveness?

Yes, high non-manufacturing costs can impact overall competitiveness and profitability.

Do manufacturing costs vary with production volume?

Variable manufacturing costs do, but fixed costs remain constant.

Can a service company have manufacturing costs?

Typically, no, as they don’t produce physical goods.

How do manufacturing costs affect product pricing?

They directly influence the cost of goods and therefore the pricing strategy.

Can non-manufacturing costs be reduced to increase profit?

Yes, managing these costs can enhance overall profitability.

How are manufacturing costs reflected in financial statements?

They appear in the cost of goods sold and inventory accounts.

Is rent a manufacturing or non-manufacturing cost?

It's a non-manufacturing cost unless the rent is for a production facility.

Do non-manufacturing costs include salaries of administrative staff?

Yes, administrative salaries are non-manufacturing costs.

Do non-manufacturing costs include research and development?

Yes, R&D costs are typically categorized as non-manufacturing expenses.

How are manufacturing costs calculated?

By adding direct materials, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead.

How do manufacturing costs impact inventory valuation?

They are included in the valuation of inventory until the goods are sold.

Are advertising expenses considered non-manufacturing costs?

Yes, they are categorized as non-manufacturing.

Are transportation costs manufacturing or non-manufacturing?

Transportation related to production is a manufacturing cost, while other transportation is non-manufacturing.

Do companies budget for non-manufacturing costs separately?

Yes, they typically budget and track these costs separately from manufacturing expenses.

How do companies manage fluctuating manufacturing costs?

Through efficiency improvements and cost-control measures.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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