Will Kenton is an experienced on the economy and also investing laws and also regulations. He formerly held an elderly editorial duties at 2175forals.com and Kapitall Wire and also holds a MA in economics from The brand-new School for Social Research and Doctor of viewpoint in English literary works from NYU." data-inline-tooltip="true">Will Kenton

Will Kenton is an experienced on the economy and also investing laws and regulations. He previously held senior editorial functions at 2175forals.com and Kapitall Wire and holds a MA in economics from The new School because that Social Research and also Doctor of philosophy in English literature from NYU.

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What Is the High-Low Method?

In cost accounting, the high-low method is a means of attempting to separate out fixed and also variable costs given a minimal amount of data. The high-low an approach involves taking the greatest level of task and the lowest level of task and compare the total costs at every level.

If the variable cost is a fixed charge every unit and also fixed prices remain the same, it is feasible to identify the fixed and variable costs by fixing the device of equations. The is worth being cautious when utilizing the High-Low Method, however, as it can yield much more or less accurate results depending on the distribution of values between the highest and lowest dollar quantities or quantities.

knowledge the High-Low technique

Calculating the outcome for the high-low an approach requires a few formula steps. First, you have to calculate the variable expense component and then the fixed price component, and also then plug the results right into the price model formula.

VariableCost=HAC−LowestActivityCostHAUs−LowestActivityUnitswhere:HAC=HighestactivitycostHAUs=HighestactivityunitsVariablecostisperunit\beginaligned &\textVariable Cost = \frac \textHAC - \textLowest task Cost \textHAUs - \textLowest task Units \\ &\textbfwhere: \\ &\textHAC = \textHighest activity cost \\ &\textHAUs = \textHighest activity units \\ &\textVariable expense is every unit \\ \endaligned​VariableCost=HAUs−LowestActivityUnitsHAC−LowestActivityCost​where:HAC=HighestactivitycostHAUs=HighestactivityunitsVariablecostisperunit​

FixedCost=HAC−(VariableCost×HAUs)\beginaligned &\textFixed Cost = \textHAC - ( \textVariable Cost \times \textHAUs ) \\ \endaligned​FixedCost=HAC−(VariableCost×HAUs)​

Use the outcomes of the first two formulas to calculate the high-low cost an outcome using the adhering to formula:

High-LowCost=FixedCost+(VariableCost×UA)where:UA=Unitactivity\beginaligned &\textHigh-Low Cost = \textFixed Cost + ( \textVariable Cost \times \textUA ) \\ &\textbfwhere: \\ &\textUA = \textUnit activity \\ \endaligned​High-LowCost=FixedCost+(VariableCost×UA)where:UA=Unitactivity​

What walk the High-Low method Tell You?

The costs associated with a product, product line, equipment, store, geographical sales region, or subsidiary, consist of both variable costs and also fixed costs. To identify both cost components of the total cost, an analyst or accountant can use a an approach known together the high-low method.

The high-low an approach is provided to calculate the variable and also fixed price of a product or entity with mixed costs. It takes two determinants into consideration. That considers the full dollars that the mixed prices at the highest volume of task and the total dollars the the mixed prices at the lowest volume the activity. The full amount that fixed prices is presume to it is in the exact same at both point out of activity. The change in the total costs is for this reason the variable price rate times the readjust in the variety of units of activity.

The high-low an approach is a simple way to segregate prices with minimal information.The simplicity the the technique assumes the variable and also fixed costs as constant, i m sorry doesn"t replicate reality.Other cost-estimating methods, such together least-squares regression, can provide far better results, although this an approach requires more facility calculations.

example of how to use the High-Low method

For example, the table listed below depicts the activity for a cake bakery for each that the 12 months of a given year.


Cakes small (units)

Total price ($)





































The highest activity for the bakery arisen in October when it small the highest number of cakes, while August had the lowest task level with only 70 cakes baked at a price of $3,750. The price amounts adjacent to these activity levels will certainly be supplied in the high-low method, even though this cost amounts are no necessarily the highest and lowest costs for the year.

1. Calculate variable price per unit using determined high and also low task levels

VariableCost=TCHA−TotalCostofLowActivityHAU−LowestActivityUnitVariableCost=$5,550−$3,750125−70VariableCost=$1,80055=$32.72perCakewhere:TCHA=TotalcostofhighactivityHAU=Highestactivityunit\beginaligned &\textVariable Cost = \frac \textTCHA - \textTotal price of short Activity \textHAU - \textLowest activity Unit \\ &\textVariable Cost = \frac \$5,550 - \$3,750 125 - 70 \\ &\textVariable Cost = \frac \$1,800 55 = \$32.72 \text per Cake \\ &\textbfwhere: \\ &\textTCHA = \textTotal cost of high activity \\ &\textHAU = \textHighest task unit \\ \endaligned​VariableCost=HAU−LowestActivityUnitTCHA−TotalCostofLowActivity​VariableCost=125−70$5,550−$3,750​VariableCost=55$1,800​=$32.72perCakewhere:TCHA=TotalcostofhighactivityHAU=Highestactivityunit​

2. Resolve for fixed expenses

To calculate the complete fixed costs, plug either the high or short cost and the variable price into the total cost formula:

TotalCost=(VC×UnitsProduced)+TotalFixedCost$5,550=($32.72×125)+TotalFixedCost$5,550=$4,090+TotalFixedCostTotalFixedCost=$5,550−$4,090=$1,460where:VC=Variablecostperunit\beginaligned &\textTotal Cost = ( \textVC \times \textUnits Produced ) + \textTotal fixed Cost \\ &\$5,550 = ( \$32.72 \times 125 ) + \textTotal resolved Cost \\ &\$5,550 = \$4,090 + \textTotal fixed Cost \\ &\textTotal fixed Cost = \$5,550 - \$4,090 = \$1,460 \\ &\textbfwhere: \\ &\textVC = \textVariable expense per unit \\ \endaligned​TotalCost=(VC×UnitsProduced)+TotalFixedCost$5,550=($32.72×125)+TotalFixedCost$5,550=$4,090+TotalFixedCostTotalFixedCost=$5,550−$4,090=$1,460where:VC=Variablecostperunit​

3. Construct total cost equation based on high-low calculations over

Using every one of the info above, the total cost equation is as follows:

TotalCost=TotalFixedCost+(VC×UnitsProduced)TotalCost=$1,460+($32.72×125)=$5,550\beginaligned &\textTotal Cost = \textTotal resolved Cost + ( \textVC \times \textUnits Produced ) \\ &\textTotal Cost = \$1,460 + ( \$32.72 \times 125 ) = \$5,550 \\ \endaligned​TotalCost=TotalFixedCost+(VC×UnitsProduced)TotalCost=$1,460+($32.72×125)=$5,550​

The Difference between the High-Low an approach and Regression evaluation

The high-low technique is a simple analysis that takes less calculation work. It only requires the high and low point out of the data and also can be operated through through a straightforward calculator. It likewise gives analysts a means to calculation future unit costs. However, the formula does not take inflation into consideration and provides a an extremely rough estimation due to the fact that it just considers the excessive high and low values, and also excludes the influence of any type of outliers.

Regression analysis helps forecast expenses as well, by compare the influence of one predictive change upon one more value or criteria. It likewise considers outlying worths that help refine the results. However, regression analysis is only as great as the set of data point out used, and the outcomes suffer once the data collection is incomplete.

It"s also feasible to draw incorrect conclusions through assuming that just due to the fact that two to adjust of data correlate through each other, one must reason changes in the other. Regression evaluation is also best performed making use of a spreadsheet regimen or statistics program.

limitations of the High-Low an approach

The high-low method is reasonably unreliable due to the fact that it only takes two extreme task levels right into consideration. The high or low points used for the calculation might not be representative that the prices normally incurred at those volume levels because of outlier costs that are higher or reduced than would usually be incurred. In this case, the high-low method will produce inaccurate results.

The high-low an approach is normally not wanted as it deserve to yield one incorrect understanding of the data if there are changes in variable or fixed price rates over time or if a tiered pricing system is employed. In many real-world cases, it have to be feasible to obtain more information therefore the variable and fixed expenses can be determined directly. Thus, the high-low an approach should just be supplied when it is not feasible to obtain actual billing data.

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