The Process of Analyzing Overhead

Oct 2, 2023Business, Manufacturing

Analyzing overhead is a critical process that businesses undertake to optimize cost efficiency and ensure effective resource allocation. Overhead costs consist of a wide range of non-direct expenses incurred during the production or operation of goods and services. These costs, while essential for the functioning of a business, can become a significant financial burden if not effectively managed. The process of analyzing overhead involves several key steps aimed at identifying, categorizing, and controlling these costs.

The first step in overhead analysis involves gathering comprehensive data on all expenses that are not directly attributable to a specific product, project, or service. This data includes items such as rent, utilities, administrative salaries, and office supplies. Once the data is collected, it is categorized into distinct types of overhead, such as fixed, and variable.

Subsequently, companies proceed to conduct a thorough analysis of every overhead classification. This involves assessing historical spending patterns, identifying trends, and benchmarking against industry standards. Technology plays a key role in this stage, as businesses often employ specialized ERP software to track and analyze overhead data efficiently.

After categorization and examination, the analysis moves toward cost allocation. This step involves attributing overhead costs to relevant cost centers, departments, or projects. Activity-based costing (ABC) is a common method used to allocate costs based on the actual activities that drive overhead expenditures.

With cost allocation in place, businesses proceed to evaluate the impact of overhead costs on their overall operations and profitability. This involves calculating key performance indicators (KPIs) such as overhead cost ratio, which compares overhead costs to total sales or production.

The insights gained from the analysis drive informed decision-making. Businesses can identify areas where overhead costs are disproportionately high and implement strategies to reduce or optimize spending.

Regular review and continuous improvement are integral to effective overhead analysis. As market conditions and business environments evolve, so do overhead costs. By establishing a cyclical process of data collection, analysis, and action, businesses can maintain a lean and efficient cost structure.


In conclusion, the process of analyzing overhead is a strategic endeavor that empowers businesses to enhance cost efficiency, allocate resources wisely, and bolster overall financial health. By diligently dissecting overhead costs, organizations position themselves for greater competitiveness and long-term sustainability. For additional information, click here to contact us. We look forward to speaking with you soon.


Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Trending Posts

Subscribe to our Blog

Related Industry Posts

Subscribe to our blog


We appreciate your interest in Smith Schafer and would love to hear from you. So please complete this form or feel free to email us directly at: [email protected]