Imputed Cost – Definition

Cite this article as:"Imputed Cost – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 29, 2019, last accessed October 23, 2020,


Imputed Cost Definition

An imputed cost is also known as an implicit cost, opportunity cost and implied cost. This refers to the cost incurred when an asset that can be invested is used or is serving another purpose. An imputed cost is a hidden cost, it is often incurred when an asset is used for a particular purpose instead of assigning it another function. Imputed costs are not direct costs, they are incurred in an obscure or unseen manner.

A Little More on What is  Imputed Cost

Oftentimes, imputed costs are not reported as distinct costs or expenses, in fact, they hold no primary importance when it comes to making vital policies touching management and budgeting. Unlike explicit costs that are direct costs and can readily be reported, imputed costs are dicey to estimate, they are hidden or implicit costs. This is why no formal accounting standards exists for reporting imputed costs.

Imputed cost can be incurred by a business for instance if there are other ways to put an asset to use but the company decides to stick to the use of the asset for a specific purpose, by using this asset, implicit costs are generated.

References for “Imputed Cost

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