Outlay cost

An outlay cost is any expenditure made to support an activity. For example, the outlay cost for a research project may include wages, lab supplies and test services. Or, the outlay costs for a production run includes direct materials, indirect supplies, and direct labor.

The recognition of an outlay cost can be deferred in an accrual-basis accounting system, while the cost is recognized in a cash-basis system as soon as the supplier or employee is paid.