20+ Difference between Fixed Costs and Variable Costs

The phrase “cost” refers to any expenditure that is incurred by a company when engaged in the process of manufacturing or producing its products and services.

To put it another way, it is the worth of the money that corporations spend buying and selling different things.

The production of a thing results in two primary categories of expenditures for a company: variable costs and fixed costs.

Comparison Between Fixed Costs And Variable Costs

ParameterFixed CostsVariable Costs
DefinitionFixed expenses are costs that remain constant regardless of the number of products or services a business produces.“Variable costs” are expenses that fluctuate depending on the product produced.
Cost natureThe variable changes after a set amount of time has passed from a predetermined point in time, which causes a shift to occur.The variable changes after a set amount of time has passed from a predetermined point in time, which causes a shift to occur.
IncurrenceConstant expenses are those that remain the same regardless of the amount of output or production, while variable expenses are those that change based on the level of production.The start of variable expenses is triggered by the production of the first unit of the product or the delivery of the first service. This applies equally to the delivery of the first service.
ChangeTo rephrase, there is a direct correlation between the two variables. This implies that the decrease in fixed expenses occurs at the same rate as the increase in the number of units produced.Unlike fixed expenses, variable expenses are not directly tied to the production volume. This is because they are based on other factors besides production volume, distinguishing them from fixed costs.
ImpactYour profits will increase as your expenses decrease in proportion to your income.
When output remains constant, changes in production do not affect revenue, as only the output level is kept constant.

Major Difference Between Fixed Costs And Variable Costs

What exactly are Fixed Costs?

A company’s fixed costs are its expenses that do not increase or decrease proportionally to the volume of commodities it produces.

The term “fixed costs” is used to describe expenses that must be paid by a business regardless of its level of output.

Due to their independence from volume and other production variables, fixed costs are more difficult to manage than their more malleable variable counterparts.

Fixed expenses include things like rent, salary, and property taxes, among other things.

Key Difference: Fixed Costs

  • On the income statement, expenses may be classified as operating, administrative, or other, whereas on the balance sheet, liabilities can be classified as current or long-term. 
  • Using different approaches to cost structure analysis, cost analysts investigate both static and dynamic expenditures. Overall profit margin is often very sensitive to costs. 
  • Expenses that don’t fluctuate over time are called “fixed expenses.” Typically, they are laid out in contracts or timetables. All businesses have these same fundamental expenses. 
  • Fixed expenses, once determined, do not fluctuate throughout the course of a contract or budget. Salary expenditures for management can represent an indirect fixed cost. 
  • Allocating fixed expenditures via indirect expenses generates operational profit in the income statement. 
  • Businesses develop depreciation cost schedules for asset investments whose value declines over time. 
  • Both the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows reflect any fixed expenses shown on the income statement. 
  • On the balance sheet, fixed expenses may be either current or deferred liabilities. Lastly, the cash flow statement details the outflow of cash used to cover fixed costs.

What exactly are Variable Costs?

We refer to expenses like this as “variable” since they can fluctuate based on the amount of output.

In a general sense, the variable costs of a corporation will either increase or decrease in proportion to the amount of its production.

The expenditures that are subject to change during the production process are referred to as variable expenses.

Some examples of variable expenses include the price of raw materials, sales commissions, labor costs, and various other charges.

Key Difference: Variable Costs

  • Production and sales volumes are two of the most important factors that may significantly impact a company’s variable expenses. 
  • Raw material and packaging costs in manufacturing, credit card transaction fees, and shipping charges in retail are examples of growing variable costs. 
  • A constant cost is in contrast to a variable cost. Two types of costs contribute to a company’s overall expenditures: variable costs and fixed costs. 
  • Production output and sales volume are the two primary drivers of variable costs. A fixed amount is needed to cover the variable manufacturing costs for each product. 
  • When output and production levels rise, so do variable costs. Conversely, as output is reduced, variable production costs go down. 
  • What we call “variable costs” are those that go up and down with production and sales. Variable costs rise as output and revenue rise and fall as output and revenue fall. 
  • The contribution margin for a product is an important indicator for establishing a company’s break-even point or desired profit margin.
  • Raw materials, commission, and distribution are all examples of variable expenses. A company’s variable cost is an expenditure that rises and falls with output and revenue. 

Contrast Between Fixed Costs And Variable Costs


  • Fixed Costs – Fixed costs remain the same regardless of output, whereas variable costs change in response to changes in those outputs.

    A company will always have to pay for things like rent, property taxes, insurance, and depreciation; these are examples of fixed expenses. These costs are incurred regardless of the company’s type of business.
  • Variable Costs – The term “variable expenses” refers to any and all costs spent by a company that shifts in response to changes in production or revenue.

    In other words, variable costs go up when there is a rise in production and decrease when there is a fall in production.

    Variable expenses may take many different forms, but some of the most common ones are those associated with labor, utilities, commissions, and raw materials.

Total cost:

  • Fixed Costs – These are the kind of costs referred to as “fixed” expenditures since they do not fluctuate regardless of the amount of money produced.

    The amount of money spent on fixed expenses does not change regardless of how much or how little income an organization generates.
  • Variable Costs – Regarding total variable expenditures, these figures shift in tandem with shifts in production volume; they are proportional to the volume shifts that occur in production.

    This is because total variable expenses are proportionate to the amount of product that is produced. This is because the production volume is directly linked to the overall variable costs, which explains why this is the case.


  • Fixed Costs – If you raise your output, you will have fewer fixed expenditures per unit, improving your profitability due to the increased production. This gain in profitability will occur as a direct result of the increased production.

    This improvement in profitability may be attributed to the increased level of production. Increasing the number of products or services your company produces will increase the amount of money it makes.
  • Variable Costs – If there is no change in the variable cost per unit, then regardless of the total amount of output, there will be no change in the profit margin.

    This is because the variable cost per unit does not change. This holds true regardless of the total number of items that are going through the production process at any given time.

Economies of scale:

  • Fixed Costs – Before a company can consider itself profitable, it will need to increase the amount of money it makes from sales if it has higher fixed expenditures than its competitors.

    In general, this indicates that the firm will need the production of more funds in the future. Because this is something that should be kept in mind, it is vital to keep in mind that when production grows, fixed costs will decrease per unit due to increasing division. Because of this, it is something that should be kept in mind.
  • Variable Costs – On the other hand, fixed costs are eligible for the advantages of economies of scale as production levels expand. Still, variable costs do not alter and remain the same regardless of the amount of output.

    Economies of scale are a benefit of growing production levels. The increasing production levels will, as an advantage, result in greater economies of scale.


  • Fixed Costs – Because fixed costs require a significant amount of capital, there is a greater possibility that a business will fail if it cannot generate enough revenue to cover its ongoing expenditures.

    Consequently, the company’s current financial situation is one of the most precarious possible outcomes.
  • Variable Costs – When dealing with variable costs, the likelihood of experiencing a loss is decreased because variable costs continue to be incurred at the same rate per production unit, even when production levels are increased.

    This means that the likelihood of experiencing a loss is reduced because variable costs continue to be incurred at the same rate. This holds irrespective of whether the production level is raised by one unit or one thousand units.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What exactly is meant by the term “fixed cost”?

The quantity of output that is generated has an effect on the variable costs that are incurred. Labor, commissions, and the cost of raw materials are examples of variable business expenses.

No matter how much or how little is produced, fixed expenses will never change. Payments for a lease or renting space, premiums for an insurance policy, and interest on loans are examples of fixed expenditures.

Q2. Why is it really necessary to have fixed costs?

One of the most significant advantages that come along with making use of fixed expenditures is the improvement in a company’s capacity to predict its current and future financial needs effectively.

You may discover that your expenses go down due to lowering your fixed costs while, at the same time, you see an increase in your profits. As a consequence of this, this may result in an increase in your profit margin.

Q3. On what factors do the fixed costs depend?

A fixed cost varies only with time and not with the volume of activity your company experiences.

Nevertheless, a greater volume of production and sales results in better absorption of the fixed costs, eventually increasing your profits. This is true whether or not the amount of production and sales increased.

Q4. What exactly is the purpose of variable costs?

When referring to expenditures, a corporation is said to have variable costs if those costs shift depending on how much of its output is sold.

This indicates that variable expenses will increase when output increases and decrease when production decreases.

Labor expenditures, the cost of utilities, commissions, and the cost of raw materials are some of the most prevalent variable costs.

Q5. On what do the changeable costs depend?

Expenses that vary in amount depending on the amount of a certain item or service that a company produces are referred to as variable costs.

To put it another way, they are expenses that change according to the amount of activity that is carried out.

The expenses go up when there is a greater number of activities taking place and go down when there is a smaller volume of activities taking place.

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