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What is Product Warranty Cost?

Product Warranty Cost

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Product Warranty Cost

Product warranty cost refers to the expenses a company anticipates or incurs to repair, replace, or service products that fail during the warranty period provided to the customers.

When a company sells a product, it often provides a warranty for a certain period. This warranty is a guarantee to the customer that the product will perform as expected, and if it doesn’t, the company will repair or replace the product, or even provide a refund. The cost of fulfilling these warranties is what’s known as the product warranty cost.

This can include the cost of:

  • Parts: Any parts needed to repair the product.
  • Labor: The work done by service technicians to diagnose and repair the issue.
  • Replacement: If the product cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced.
  • Shipping and Handling: Any costs associated with shipping parts or complete products back and forth.
  • Administration: The overhead and administrative costs associated with managing the warranty process, including handling claims, customer service, etc.

From an accounting perspective, companies usually set up a warranty liability account to estimate and set aside the funds they expect to spend on warranty claims, based on historical data and forecast models. This is an essential part of financial planning, as failing to accurately predict warranty costs can result in unexpected expenses that harm a company’s profitability.

Example of Product Warranty Cost

let’s consider a hypothetical example of a company named “TechGadgets” that sells high-end headphones.

When TechGadgets sells a pair of headphones, they offer a two-year warranty. This warranty assures customers that if the headphones fail due to manufacturing defects within this period, TechGadgets will repair or replace them for free.

Now let’s say TechGadgets sold 10,000 units of headphones in 2023. Based on historical data, they know that approximately 5% of their headphones typically have warranty claims. So, they estimate that they will have 500 warranty claims (10,000 * 5%).

Further, they estimate that the average cost to address a warranty claim, including parts, labor, shipping, and handling, is $50. Therefore, they would set aside $25,000 (500 * $50) in a warranty liability account for future warranty claims related to the headphones sold in 2023.

It’s important to note that these are only estimates. The actual number of warranty claims could be higher or lower, and the actual costs could be more or less. TechGadgets would adjust their estimates and provisions over time as real data comes in.

This example illustrates how companies predict and manage product warranty costs. These costs are a significant part of doing business, especially for companies that sell physical products, and managing them effectively is crucial for maintaining profitability and customer satisfaction.

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