Transfer prices / Verrechnungspreise
The term transfer price should be used very sparingly, in order not to be misunderstood. Transfer pricing determines the prices when exchanging goods and services between interrelated companies or divisions within a single company or group. If services are exchanged between cost centers, then the term internal cost allocation is used. Within corporations the problem arises that the supplying company allocates structure costs and profit elements to its delivery price (also called transfer price). For the receiving company these transfer prices are like external material costs, i.e. as if this material would have been bought from outside suppliers. The receiver therefore has no transparency over allocated cost elements. This can lead to the situation that the individual company maximizes its own profit without taking the overall interests of the corporation into consideration. Therefore, corporate controllers should design corporate management accounting systems in a way that the total contribution margin throughout the corporation is transparent. They have to ensure that for decision-taking the proportional costs and the contribution volume, over all levels of production, are known to the person fixing the contract with the outside customer.