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What Is an Acquisition Cost in Business Accounting?

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What Does an Acquisition Cost Mean?

An acquisition cost, also known as the cost of acquisition, is the entire cost that a business records for real estate or equipment on its books after discounting, compensating, paying closing fees, and other essential expenses, but before sales taxes. An acquisition cost might also include the sum required to acquire another business or buy an existing business unit from another organization. An acquisition cost may also refer to the expenses made by a company in connection with its attempts to acquire a new client.

Knowledge of Acquisition Costs

Purchase costs represent the price paid for fixed assets before sales tax is deducted for expenditures associated with acquiring a new client or purchasing other businesses. The benefit of utilizing acquisition costs over other metrics is that they reflect a more accurate cost on a company’s financial statements. For instance, the purchase cost of property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), sometimes referred to as the initial book value of the item in issue, acknowledges any reductions or other expenditures the firm would incur.

Purchase Prices for Fixed Assets

Additional expenses related to the purchase process may be included in the acquisition process and the price paid for the asset itself. Legal and regulatory expenses are included, for instance, if the asset in issue needs legal counsel to execute the deal. Purchase-related commissions may also be included, such as those given to a real estate agent to facilitate a property deal, a staffing agency for hiring a candidate, a marketing agency for luring clients, or an investment bank to facilitate a merger.

Any expenses related to production or manufacturing equipment up and running may also be accounted for when calculating the purchase cost. This covers the price of delivery and pickup and general installation, mounting, and calibration.

Customer Acquisition Costs

The costs of introducing new consumers to a company’s goods and services to win their business are customer acquisition costs. The customer acquisition cost is determined by dividing overall acquisition expenses by the total number of new customers during a certain period.

Planning future capital allocations for marketing budgets and sales discounts benefits from clearly understanding client acquisition expenses. Traditionally, client acquisition costs have included marketing and advertising, rewards and discounts, personnel related to those business sectors, additional sales personnel, and contracts with outside advertising companies. Incentives may be presented in various ways, such as buy one, get one free offer, a complimentary item when you buy another, free service upgrades, gift cards, and bill credits.

The wireless and cellular industry is one area with a high frequency of promotions targeted at new clients. New clients are often offered promotions by wireless providers, such as larger data packages, extra family phone lines gratis, and discounts on the newest mobile devices. These services are provided to lure clients away from other businesses.


  • Amounts spent for fixed assets, costs associated with acquiring a new client, or purchasing a rival are all considered acquisition costs.
  • It helps determine fixed asset costs since it excludes discounts and closing expenses and includes legal fees and commissions.
  • The total cost of acquiring new customers may be calculated using acquisition expenses, which can then be compared to the income that new customers bring in.

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