Home Uncategorized 8 1: Explain How and Why a Standard Cost Is Developed Business LibreTexts

8 1: Explain How and Why a Standard Cost Is Developed Business LibreTexts

written by Barry and Joyce Vissell December 23, 2022

Refer to the total variable manufacturing overhead variance in the top section of the template. Total standard quantity is calculated as standard quantity of the cost driver per unit times actual production, or 0.25 direct labor hours per unit times 150,000 units produced equals 37,500 direct labor hours. The standard variable manufacturing overhead rate per direct labor hour was established as $3. Total variable manufacturing overhead costs per the standard amounts allowed are calculated as the total standard quantity of 37,500 times the standard rate per hour of $3 equals $112,500. During the period, Brad projected he should pay $112,500 for variable manufacturing overhead to produce 150,000 units. The standard and actual amounts for direct materials quantities, prices, and totals are calculated in the top section of the direct materials variance template.

  1. AccountingCoach PRO includes forms to assist in a better understanding of standard costs and their related variances.
  2. The Chocolate Cow Ice Cream Company has grown substantially recently, and management now feels the need to develop standards and compute variances.
  3. For example, the direct materials necessary to produce a wood desk might include wood and hardware.
  4. The direct labor efficiency and rate variances are used to determine if the overall direct labor variance is an efficiency issue, rate issue, or both.

The total variances can be calculated in the last line of the top section of the template by subtracting the actual amounts from the standard amounts. The standard quantity allowed of 630,000 feet is subtracted from the actual quantity purchased and used of 600,000 feet, yielding a variance of 30,000 feet. quickbooks online 2021 Variances are favorable if the standard amount is more than the actual amount. When using the template format presented in this chapter, positive variances are favorable and negative variances are unfavorable. In the NoTuggins example, the total standard direct materials allowed was 630,000 feet.

Direct materials price variance

For example, an investigation could reveal that the company had to pay a higher rate to attract employees, so the standard hourly direct labor rate needs to be adjusted. Standard costs are estimates of the actual costs in a company’s production process, because actual costs cannot be known in advance. If the variance analysis determines that actual costs are higher than expected, the variance is unfavorable.

The $100 credit to the Direct Materials Price Variance account indicates that the company is experiencing actual costs that are more favorable than the planned, standard costs. DenimWorks purchases its denim from a local supplier with terms of net 30 days, FOB destination. This means that title to the denim passes from the supplier to DenimWorks when DenimWorks receives the material. Any difference between the standard cost of the material and the actual cost of the material received is recorded as a purchase price variance. Then we describe howmanagement uses the concept of management by exception toinvestigate variances from standards.

After the March 1 transaction is posted, the Direct Materials Price Variance account shows a debit balance of $50 (the $100 credit on January 8 combined with the $150 debit on March 1). It means that the actual costs are higher than the standard costs and the company’s profit will be $50 less than planned unless some action is taken. Traditionally, overhead costs are assigned based on one generic measure, such as machine hours. Under ABC, an activity analysis is performed where appropriate measures are identified as the cost drivers. As a result, ABC tends to be much more accurate and helpful when it comes to managers reviewing the cost and profitability of their company’s specific services or products.

disadvantages of using standard costs

Indirect labor is included in the manufacturing overhead category, not the direct labor category. This result is interpreted as the organization paid $30,000 more for materials used in production than they planned. This direct materials price variance could indicate a purchasing issue, such as the purchasing department paying more than the agreed-upon amount (purchase order amount). Or the cause could be a supplier or sourcing issue in which the material can be sourced cheaper elsewhere. Another possibility is that the direct material price standard needs to be increased because prices have increased.

Variable manufacturing overhead rate variance

During the period, 45,000 direct labor hours were actually worked and actual variable manufacturing overhead of $121,500 was incurred. As shown in Exbibit 8-1, Brad projects that the standard variable cost to make one unit of product is $7.35. He estimates that each unit should require 4.2 feet of flat nylon cord that costs $0.50 per foot for total direct material costs per unit of $2.10. Each unit should require 0.25 direct labor hours to assemble at an average rate of $18 per hour for total direct labor costs of $4.50 per unit. Variable manufacturing overhead costs are applied to the product based on direct labor hours.

Chocolate Cow Ice Cream Company

For example, while QuickBooks is very robust, it may involve a steeper learning curve and come at a higher cost than competitors–especially for businesses that want to use its payroll features. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than https://www.wave-accounting.net/ 25 years. Since the calculation of variances can be difficult, we developed several business forms (for PRO members) to help you get started and to understand what the variances tell us. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License .

Cost Accounting: Definition and Types With Examples

A cost driver, typically the production units, drives the variable component of manufacturing overhead. As with any variable cost, the per unit cost is constant, but the total cost depends on the quantity produced or another cost driver. The focus of this section is variable manufacturing overhead since it has both a quantity and price standard. Standard costs are established for all direct labor used in the manufacturing process. Direct labor is considered manufacturing labor costs that can be easily and economically traced to the production of the product. For example, the direct labor necessary to produce a wood desk might include the wages paid to the assembly line workers.

Standard costs are estimates used for totals in some of the line items in that budget, as they related to manufacturing costs. Often favorable variances are not noted at all, and unfavorable variances are scrutinized. This can lead to some problems with staff, as often the production process, including how labor is used, is reassessed when unfavorable variances arise. Staff may feel their performance is being questioned, when it’s possible that the estimates may have been too low in the first place, and that the line already runs efficiently. Yes, eventually those extra charges will be accounted for by being added to the variance cost, but typically an inventory valuation will go by the standard costing method in order to keep things simplified. Since cost-accounting methods are developed by and tailored to a specific firm, they are highly customizable and adaptable.

As the business actually incurs theseexpenses, management determines if the selling prices set are stillreasonable and, when necessary, considers some price adjustmentsafter taking competition into account. In addition to developing budgets,companies use standard costs in evaluating management’sperformance, evaluating workers’ performance, and settingappropriate selling prices. Kitchen Co. is experiencing production problems with SuddyBuddy, its most profitable product. Management has requested standard cost variances in order to isolate the issue.

This method will always update to reflect on current business operations. So they can use over a long or short time based on how fast the change in business.

The standard and actual amounts for direct labor hours, rates, and totals are calculated in the top section of the direct labor variance template. Once the top section is complete, the amounts from the top section can be plugged into the formulas to compute the direct labor efficiency (quantity) and rate (price) variances. At the highest level, standard costs variance analysis compares the standard costs and quantities projected with the amounts actually incurred. Standard costs and quantities are established for each direct material.

After this transaction is recorded, the Direct Materials Price Variance account shows a credit balance of $190. In other words, your company’s profit will be $190 greater than planned due to the lower than expected cost of direct materials. Thus, in a standard cost system, acompany assumes that all units of a given product produced during aparticular time period have the same unit cost. Logically,identical physical units produced in a given time period should berecorded at the same cost. By considering these expenses, management candetermine how much to charge for a product so that it can producethe desired net income.

Instead, management uses practical standards inplanning because these standards are more realistic, allowing formachinery repairs and rest periods for workers. Any variances thatresult when practical standards are used indicate abnormal orunusual problems. A standard cost is a carefullypredetermined measure of what a cost should be under statedconditions.

In contrast to general accounting or financial accounting, the cost-accounting method is an internally focused, firm-specific system used to implement cost controls. Cost accounting can be much more flexible and specific, particularly when it comes to the subdivision of costs and inventory valuation. Cost-accounting methods and techniques will vary from firm to firm and can become quite complex. When using lean accounting, traditional costing methods are replaced by value-based pricing and lean-focused performance measurements. Financial decision-making is based on the impact on the company’s total value stream profitability. Value streams are the profit centers of a company, which is any branch or division that directly adds to its bottom-line profitability.

As discussed in the previously,budgets areformal written plans that represent management’s planned actions inthe future and the impacts of these actions on the business. As abusiness incurs actual expenses and revenues, management comparesthem with the budgeted amounts. To control operations, managementinvestigates any differences between the actual and budgetedamounts and takes corrective action. The variable manufacturing overhead variances for NoTuggins are presented in Exhibit 8-10 below. The Chocolate Cow Ice Cream Company has grown substantially recently, and management now feels the need to develop standards and compute variances.

Related Articles

Log In

Lost Password


The first step to becoming a member of the RD&T Community and the beginning of your personal Journey to Ultimate Success:

Join Now

Click the button below to register for a free membership and have access to unlimited articles.