Inventory AX Finance & Controlling

a cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance.

Explain how variable overhead costs are recorded and analyzed in a standard costing. Remember the underlying assumptions in the master budget and conventional linear cost-volume-profit analysis, i.e., constant sales prices, constant unit variable costs, and constant sales mix. This chapter shows how to analyze the differences between the static master budget and actual performance recognizing that prices, costs and sales mix are not constant. Profit analysis refers to the techniques used to generate an overall performance evaluation from the financial perspective. It is a broader level of analysis than the standard cost variance analysis for manufacturing costs and includes those variances as well as several others.

What are the two variances between the actual cost and the standard cost for direct labor who generally has control over the direct labor cost variances?

Answer: Similar to direct materials variances, direct labor variance analysis involves two separate variances: the labor rate variance and labor efficiency variance.

The pay cut was proposed to last as long as the company remained in bankruptcy and was expected to provide savings of approximately $620,000,000. How would this unforeseen pay cut affect United’s direct labor rate variance? The direct labor rate variance would likely be favorable, perhaps totaling close to $620,000,000, depending on how much of these savings management anticipated when the budget was first established. The total factory overhead rate of $12 per direct labor hour may then be broken out into variable and fixed factory overhead rates, as follows.

Visualizing Price Volume Mix data in Excel

It occurred because it took only 6,500 direct labor hours instead of 6,650 (13,300 units × .5 hours per unit) direct labor hours to produce the 13,300 units. The total variable cost variance of $542 is calculated by adding the $650 unfavorable spending variance and the $108 favorable efficiency variance. If some other activity measure were used to apply overhead, (e.g., machine hours) then the flexible budget would be based on the actual quantity of that measurement, rather than actual direct labor hours . The methods presented above are useful for isolating each specific variance, but the solution presented in Exhibit 13-8 is probably not the best method for presenting the analysis to management. The comparative income statement approach illustrated in Exhibit 13-9 generates the same results as the four variance method, and also provides a more revealing picture of the overall profit analysis.

a cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance.

In our example, baby food is priced higher than the average and increasing the volume will grow our revenue. On the other hand, the baked goods category is priced below our average, which means increasing the volume will get us a negative effect. Differentiation between estimated and actual volumes of material consumed. Differentiation between estimated and actual prices paid for the resources consumed. Cost control is the practice of identifying and reducing business expenses to increase profits, and it starts with the budgeting process. As before, the next accounting overview summarizes the generated ledger transactions.

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The labor efficiency variance focuses on the quantity of labor hours used in production. It is defined as the difference between the actual number of direct labor hours worked and budgeted direct labor hours that should have been worked based on the standards.

  • The following example includes three products so that all the variances can be illustrated, including the sale mix variances.
  • If total actual quantity is more than the total budgeted quantity, variance will be favourable and if total actual quantity is less than the total budgeted quantity, there will be unfavourable sales quantity variance.
  • A spending variance is the difference between the actual and expected amount of an expense.
  • The contractor’s credibility suffers and its claim may be denied.
  • Hospitals typically use a post-factum flexible budget variance analysis, which uses the volume of treated patients as its primary characteristic (Dove & Forthman, 1995).
  • When the estimates differ from the actual quantities consumed , an estimating error is included in the analysis.

But notice from Exhibit 13-7 that there is a $401,200 favorable variance in sales revenue. The four variance approach in the center of Exhibit 13-8 reveals that $109,200 of this variance was caused by sales price differences, and $292,000 was caused by sales volume differences. Also observe that there is a $229,600 unfavorable variance in variable costs. Exhibit 13-8 indicates that $57,600 of this variance was caused by unit cost differences and $172,000 was caused by sales volume differences.

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The quantity variance calculations are the same regardless of how the price variance is calculated. Therefore, the equations for the material quantity variance are not restated here. Comparing Exhibits 10-3 and 10-6 is a good way to see the similarities and differences between the two methods. A cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance.

a cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance.

A single standard hour is needed to manufacture four units of product A and eight units of product B. In this example, there is no mix variance and therefore, the materials usage variance will be equal to the materials yield variance. Does the traditional standard cost system described in this chapter recognize the concept of variability that is the basis of the statistical control chart methodology? (See the Introduction and the Onsi article mentioned above in footnote 1. Therefore, if it is not given, you can easily find budgeted fixed overhead as shown above, i.e., .

Construction Claims for Variation in Quantity

This simple table is not connected to any data and is just a list of values. In my example, I’m simply checking whether revenue was first generated this year or last generated last year . We will also discuss two different approaches to analysis and show you which will deliver better results. We will explain the three concepts and show how to prepare your data for analysis in Excel and Power BI.

  • Because the claimant is in each case associating a particular item of damage for each compensable problem, the cause/effect relationship is established as the numbers are calculated.
  • The quantity variance calculations are the same regardless of how the price variance is calculated.
  • The $232 volume variance indicates an over‐application of fixed costs.
  • As the other remaining production related standard cost variances are treated in a similar way as the previously analyzed lot size variance, they are analyzed together in this post.
  • Variance analysis of costs is performed by comparing actual costs and budgeted costs.

As with direct materials variances, all positive variances are unfavorable, and all negative variances are favorable. The labor rate variance calculation presented previously shows the actual rate paid for labor was $15 per hour and the standard rate was $13. This results in an unfavorable variance since the actual rate was higher than the expected rate. The first approach i.e., sales variance based on turnover, accounts a cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance. for difference in actual sales and budgeted sales. The sales variances using margin approach accounts for difference in actual profit and budgeted profit. In the margin method, it is assumed that cost of production is constant, i.e., no difference is assumed between actual cost of production and standard cost of production. The company prepared its budget for 2012 at 10,00,000 machine hours for the year.


Variance analysis is one step in the process of identifying and explaining the reasons for different outcomes. Standard costs can be used by management to assess the reasonableness of actual costs incurred. Once we have our separate products table, we have something to work with. In the Fields pane, you have Quantity and Revenue for the current and previous year. Now you can start calculating your Price field, meaning your average revenue per unit. Just divide revenue by quantity and add “zero” at the end.

a cost variance can be further separated into the quantity variance and the price variance.

The actual quantity produced and standard quantity fixed might be different because of higher or lower efficiency of workers employed in the manufacturing of goods. The calculation of labour efficiency or usage variance follows the same pattern as the computa­tion of materials usage variance. Labour efficiency variance occurs when labour operations are more efficient or less efficient than standard performance. If we used machine hours instead of direct labor hours as the overhead allocation basis, could we still calculate a variable overhead efficiency variance? The first entry records the actual factory overhead costs of $364,000 and shows a credit to miscellaneous accounts. The second entry charges the standard overhead costs of $320,000 to the work in process account.