Offset costs & breakeven

Offset costs

Costs for which funds have been appropriated that may not be incurred as a result of a contingency operation. Those funds may then be applied to the cost of the operation. See also contingency operation.



The break-even point (BEP) in economics, business—and specifically cost accounting—is the point at which total cost and total revenue are equal. There is no net loss or gain, and one has “broken even,” though opportunity costs have been paid and capital has received the risk-adjusted, expected return. In short, all costs that must be paid are paid, and there is neither profit nor loss

The break-even point (BEP) or break-even level represents the sales amount—in either unit (quantity) or revenue (sales) terms—that is required to cover total costs, consisting of both fixed and variable costs to the company. Total profit at the break-even point is zero. It is only possible for a firm to Break-even, if the dollar value of sales is higher than the variable cost per unit. This means that the selling price of the good must be higher than what the company paid for the good or its components for them to cover the initial price they paid (variable costs). Once they surpass the break-even price, the company can start making a profit.

The break-even point is one of the most commonly used concepts of financial analysis, and is not only limited to economic use, but can also be used by entrepreneurs, accountants, financial planners, managers and even marketers. Break-even points can be useful to all avenues of a business, as it allows employees to identify required outputs and work towards meeting these.

The Breakeven value is not a generic value and will vary dependent on the individual business. Some businesses may have a higher or lower breakeven point, however it is important that each business develop a break-even point calculation, as this will enable them to see the number of units they need to sell to cover their variable costs. Each sale will also make a contribution to the payment of fixed costs as well.

For example, a business that sells tables needs to make annual sales of 200 tables to break-even. At present the company is selling less than 200 tables and is therefore operating at a loss. As a business, they must consider increasing the number of tables they sell annually in order to make enough money to pay fixed and variable costs.

If the business does not think that they can sell the required amount of units, they could consider the following options:

1. Reduce the fixed costs. This could be done through a number or negotiations, such as reductions in rent, or through better management of bills or other costs.

2. Reduce variable costs by, for example, finding a new supplier that sells tables for less.

3. Increase the quantity of tables they sell.

Any of these options can reduce the break-even point so the business need not sell as many tables as before, and could still pay fixed costs.