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COMM 112. Intro to Management Accounting. Variable Costing. The cost of a making a cog is the product cost. Product Costs. Variable Costing. The costs of running the business are the period cost. Period Costs. Quick Check.

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comm 112

COMM 112

Intro to Management Accounting

variable costing
Variable Costing

The cost of a making a cog is the product cost

Product Costs

variable costing1
Variable Costing

The costs of running the business are the period cost

Period Costs

quick check
Quick Check

Which method will produce the highest values for work in process and finished goods inventories?

a. Absorption costing

b. Variable costing

c. They produce the same values for theseinventories

d. It depends


Units are sold at $30


Cost of Goods Sold

Gross Margin

Sell & Admin Costs

Net Income


Variable Costs

Contribution Margin

Fixed Costs

Net Income

Absorption Costing

Variable Costing

a comparison
A Comparison




Fixed Costs

Fixed Costs




Fixed Costs



Fixed Costs




Fixed Costs

Fixed Costs






segment costing
Segment Costing
  • To operate effectively, managers need more information than a single, company-wide income statement.
  • Segments: A segment is any part or activity of an organization about which a manager seeks cost or revenue data. (E.g. sales territories, manufacturing facilities, product lines and individual customers)
  • Sales and contribution margin: Sales for each segment should be identified along with variable costs, resulting in a contribution margin.
  • Traceable vs. Common Fixed Costs: Whether a fixed cost is assigned to a segment should depend on whether it is traceable to that segment or is a common cost.
    • We will see this again in relevant costing
  • A good budgeting system must provide for both planning and control.
  • Self-imposed participative budget:
    • A budget that is prepared with the full cooperation and participation of managers at all levels
  • Step 1: Sales revenue budget
  • Step 2: Production budget (in units)
  • Step 3: Direct materials usage budget and direct materials purchases budget
  • Step 4: Direct manufacturing labour budget
  • Step 5: Manufacturing overhead budget
  • Step 6: Ending inventory budget
  • Step 7: Cost of goods sold budget
  • Step 8: Other costs budget
  • Step 9: Budgeted income statement
the sales budget
The Sales Budget

Units of sales

x Selling price

= Dollars of sales

  • Most of the planned activities of the organization depend upon forecasted sales
the production budget
The Production Budget
  • Converts the sales forecast into production plans by incorporating desired inventory policy:

Units of sales

+ Ending inventory in units

- Beginning inventory in units

= Units to be produced

  • Forms the starting point for materials, labour, and overhead budgets
the materials purchases budget
The Materials Purchases Budget
  • The total merchandise needed will be the sum of the desired ending inventory plus the amount needed to fulfill budgeted sales demand. The total will be partially met by the beginning inventory, the remainder must come from planned purchases.

Units to be produced

+ Ending inventory in units

= Total whole unit quantities needed

- Beginning inventory in units

= Purchases required in whole unit quantities

x Appropriate quantity measure of input material

= Quantity of input material needed

x Price per unit measure of unit quantity

= Cost of purchases

the direct labour budget
The Direct Labour Budget

Budgeted production, in units

Direct labour hours required per unit

Wages per hour

Cost of direct labour compensation

Total direct labour hours required





overhead budget and selling admin budget
Overhead Budget and Selling & Admin Budget

Selling and Admin. Budget

Predicted sales

x Variable S&A rate per sales dollar

= Total variable S&A cost

+ Fixed S&A cost

= Total S&A cost

Overhead Budget

Predicted activity base

x VOH rate per unit of activity

= Total variable overhead cost

+ Fixed overhead cost

= Total overhead cost

budgeting example
Budgeting Example
  • Prepare the following budgets: production, purchases, direct labour hours (only) and overhead.
cash budget
Cash Budget
  • Cash budget is a schedule of expected cash receipts and disbursements
  • Predicts the effects on cash position at the given level of operations
  • Plans for the borrowing and repayment of loans


Beginning cash balance $30,000

Cash receipts 913,700

Cash available 943,700

Cash disbursements (including minimum balance) 1,100,880

Ending Balance (157,180)

Minimum Balance 40,000

Excess (deficiency) (197,180)

Financing: Borrow (repay) 198,000

Ending cash balance $40,820

  • Quantity standards specify how much of an input should be used to make a product or provide a service. For example:
    • Labour: Auto service centers like Firestone and Sears set labour time standards for the completion of work tasks.
    • Materials: Fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s have exacting standards for the quantity of meat going into a sandwich.
  • Cost (price) standards specify how much should be paid for each unit of the input. For example:
    • Materials: Hospitals have standard costs for food, laundry, and other items.
    • Labour: Home construction companies have standard labour costs that they apply to sub-contractors such as framers, roofers, and electricians.
  • The difference between and actual operating result and a budgeted amount
  • A favourable variance (F) has the effect of increasing short-run operating profit
  • An unfavourable variance (U) has the effect of decreasing short-run profits
  • *Note: a negative variance does not automatically equal an unfavourable variance. Look at the effect on profit, not whether the sign is positive or negative. Also, a favourable variance is not necessarily good and an unfavourable variance is not necessarily bad.
level 1 variance static budget variance
Level 1 Variance: Static Budget Variance
  • the difference between actual operating results and the static budget
  • through variance decomposition mangers can explain the reasons for the static budget variance (i.e. level two and level three variance)
level 2 variance flexible budget variance and sales volume variance
Level 2 Variance: Flexible Budget Variance and Sales Volume Variance
  • Management now decomposes the static-budget variance to determine how much of the variance was due to a change in price and how much was due to a change in volume.
  • Sales Volume Variance: the difference between the static budget and the flexible budget based on output. It measures the effects of changes in the output on revenues, expenses and operating income.
  • Flexible budget variance (sales price variance): the difference between actual operating results of the period and the flexible budget based on output. It measures the effects of efficiencies in using resources on expenses and the effects of changes in selling price on revenues.

Variance due to

price/cost control

Variance due to

activity change

level 3 variance
Level 3 Variance

Price variance

= (AP - SP) x AQ

Actual inputs purchased

Standard price per unit of input

Actual price per unit of input


Efficiency variance

= (AQ - SQ) x SP

Also known as standard quantity allowed or budgeted input allowed for actual output units

Standard price per unit of input

Actual output x standard input per unit of output


Actual inputs used


Calculate the price and efficiency variances for direct labour and direct materials given the following information:

Plans and Standards:

  • Plans and Budgets: Produce 7,500 finished units
  • Price Standards (per unit of output): Direct Materials = $6.70/lbs; Direct Labour = $8.50/hr Quantity Standards (per unit of output): Direct Materials = 4 lbs; Direct Labour = 8 hrs

Actual Results:

  • Actual Production: 6,500 finished units
  • Direct Materials: Price: $6.80/lbs; Quantity: 25,000 lbs
  • Direct Labour: Rate (Price): $7.20/hr; Hours (Quantity): 63,000 hrs
example overhead
Example (Overhead)

BushCompany applies fixed and variable overhead on the basis of machine hours. Below are Bush Company's results for the month just past:

Machine hours used to set the predetermined overhead rate40,000

Variable overhead per machine hour$ 2.80

Actual variable overhead cost incurred117,000

Actual fixed overhead cost incurred302,100

Variable overhead cost applied to production117,600

Variable overhead efficiency variance (unfavourable)8,400

Fixed overhead budget variance (unfavourable)2,100

Compute the following:

i.Budgeted fixed overhead

ii.Fixed portion of the predetermined overhead rate

iii.Standard hours allowed for units produced

  • iv. Fixed overhead volume variance
  • v. Fixed overhead cost applied to production
  • vi. Variable overhead spending variance
  • vii. Actual machine hours worked
  • viii. Underapplied or (overapplied) overhead
centralization and decentralization
Centralization and Decentralization

Board of Directors

Decentralized structure






















Centralized portion

  • Firms can mix and match for the best fit given their goals and circumstances
responsibility accounting
Responsibility Accounting
  • Responsibility accounting is an accounting system that provides information to top management about segment or subunit performance.

Responsibility Centres

Cost centre – an organizational unit in which the manager has the authority only to incur costs and is specifically evaluated on the basis of how well costs are controlled

Revenue centre – an organizational unit in which the manager is accountable only for the generation of revenues and has no control over selling prices or budgeted costs

Profit centre – an organizational unit in which the manager is responsible for generating revenues, and planning and controlling all expenses

Investment centre – an organizational unit in which the manager is responsible for generating revenues, planning and controlling costs, and acquiring, disposing of, and using plant assets to earn the highest feasible rate of return on the investment base

transfer pricing
Transfer Pricing
  • Methods of determining transfer prices
  • Market-based transfer prices
    • The market for the transferred item is competitive
  • Cost-based transfer prices
    • No reliable market price is available
      • Intermediate good that is not sold in that form
      • Unique requirements from internal customer
    • Must always use standard costs to avoid possibility of passing on one division’s inefficiencies to the next
  • Negotiated transfer prices
    • Bargain reached between buying and selling divisions:
    • Generally will result in a transfer price between market and cost

Setting Transfer Prices

  • Where there is a market for the intermediate good:
  • Maximum price – is usually set by the market (ie market price)
  • Minimum Price – depends on whether there is excess capacity

variable costs market price

  • Where there is no market for the intermediate good:
  • Negotiation usually based in part on cost




Two of the divisions of Heavy-Duty Equipment Company are the Motor Division and the Dragline Division. The Motor Division produces motors that are used by both the Dragline Division and a variety of external industrial customers.

For external sales, sales orders are generally produced in 100-unit lots.

Motor Division normally has earned a profit margin of 20% on internal sales but has set the external selling price at $5,400. Because a significant number of sales are being made internally, Motor Division managers have now decided that $5,400 is the appropriate price to use for all future transfers to the Dragline Division. Previous transfers have been based on full cost plus the stipulated per unit profit.

When the managers' in Dragline Division hear of this change in the transfer price, they become very upset since the change will have a major negative impact on Dragline's net income. Because of competition, corporate management has asked Motor Division tolower its sales price and consider reducing the transfer price. At the same time, Dragline Division management has asked to be allowed to buy motors externally. Bill Bird, Dragline's president, has gathered the following price information in order to help the two divisional managers negotiate an equitable transfer price:

Current external sales price $5,400

Total variable production cost plus 20% profit margin ($2,100 x 1.2) 2,520Total production cost plus 20% profit margin ($3,000 x 1.2) 3,600

Unit bid price from external supplier (if motors are purchased in 100-unit lots) 4,800

Mr. Bird is a former classmate of yours and has asked you to help him analyze the following matters:

a. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of each of the above transfer prices to the selling and buying divisions and to Heavy-Duty Equipment Company. Explain what circumstances would make each of the alternative prices the most appro­priate choice.

b. If Motor Division can sell all of its production externally at $5,400 per unit, what is the appropriate transfer price and why?

return on investment roi
Return on Investment (ROI)



Return on Investment =

  • Most popular approach to incorporate the investment base into the performance measure
  • Includes all the major ingredients of profitability (revenues, costs, and investment)
  • Varied definitions for numerator and denominator

Can be operating income or net income (incl. taxes, interest, divs)

Can be total assets or net assets

Return on








Highlights benefits of increasing profitability

Highlights benefits of reducing investment by reducing idle cash, managing credit judiciously, determining proper inventory levels and spending carefully on fixed assets

Return on sales



Illustrative Example

  • At the present, Relax Inns does not allocate the total long-term debt of the company to the three separate hotels.


Current assets$350,000

Long-term assets 550,000

Total assets $900,000

Current liabilities $ 50,000

Revenues $1,100,000

Variable costs 297,000

Fixed costs 637,000

Operating income $166,000


Revenues $1,200,000

Variable costs 310,000

Fixed costs 650,000

Operating income $ 240,000

Current assets $ 400,000

Long-term assets 600,000

Total assets $1,000,000

Current liabilities $ 150,000


Current assets $ 600,000

Long-term assets 5,000,000

Total assets $5,600,000

Current liabilities $ 300,000

Revenues $3,200,000

Variable costs 882,000

Fixed costs 1,166,000

Operating income $1,152,000

economic value added eva
Economic Value Added (EVA®)

Economic Value Added






cost of capital







  • EVA uses the weighted-average cost of capital (WACC) as the minimum required rate of return
  • WACC represents the after-tax cost of capital from all debt and equity sources
  • Many companies also make adjustments to the accounting definition of operating income such as capitalizing (and amortizing) R&D, restructuring costs, and leases
  • Value created if after-tax operating income exceeds the cost of investing the capital
economic value added
Economic Value Added
  • Assume that Accor Hotels has two sources of long-term funds:
    • Long-term debt with a market value and book value of $4,800,000 issued at an interest rate of 10%
    • Equity capital that also has a market value of $4,800,000 and a book value of $2,200,000
  • Assume that the tax rate is 30%.
    • The after-tax cost of capital = 0.10 × (1 – Tax rate) = 0.07 or 7%
    • Assume that Accor Hotels’ cost of equity capital is 14%.
  • What is the weighted-average cost of capital?

WACC = [(7% × Market value of debt) + (14% × Market value of equity)]

÷ (Market value of debt + Market value of equity)

WACC = [(0.07 × 4,800,000) + (0.14 × 4,800,000)] ÷ $9,600,000

WACC = ($336,000 + $672,000) ÷ $9,600,000

WACC = 0.105, or 10.5%


What is the economic value added for each hotel?

Brisbane Hotel:

NOPAT = $166,000 × 0.7 = $116,200

WACC x Investment = WACC x (Total assets - Current liabilities)

= 10.5% x ($900,000 – $50,000)

= $89,250

EVA = NOPAT – WACC x Investment = $116,200 – $89,250 = $26,950

Melbourne Hotel:

NOPAT = $240,000 × 0.7 = $168,000

WACC x Investment = WACC x (Total assets - Current liabilities)

= 10.5% x ($1,000,000 – $150,000)

= $89,250

EVA = NOPAT – WACC x Investment = $168,000 – $89,250 = $78,750

Sydney Hotel:

NOPAT: $1,152,000 × 0.7 = $806,400

WACC x Investment = WACC x (Total assets - Current liabilities)

= 10.5% x ($5,600,000 – $300,000)

= $556,500

EVA = NOPAT – WACC x Investment = $806,400 – $556,500 = $249,900

relevant costing
Relevant Costing
  • Relevant costs are costs that are pertinent to or logically associated with a specific problem or decision and that differ between alternatives

General Rules for Determining Relevant Costs

  • Avoidable costs are relevant costs, but unavoidable costs are never relevant costs
  • Costs that are never relevant:
    • Sunk costs (which are costs that are incurred in the past) are irrelevant since they will be the same for any alternative
    • Future costs that do not differ between alternatives are irrelevant
    • Unavoidable fixed costs
  • Costs that are sometimes relevant
    • Variable costs
    • Avoidable fixed costs
adding or dropping a segment
Adding or Dropping a Segment
  • To evaluate performance of products or product lines, operating results are presented by product or product line.
  • If all costs (variable and fixed) are allocated to the products or product lines, some may be perceived to operate at a loss when they are not.
  • Decision Rule: Add or retain product lines when their contribution margin is greater than their avoidable fixed costs. Drop product lines when their contribution margin is less than their avoidable fixed costs.
  • Remember segments and common vs traceable costs

Should the bar be closed down?

make or buy
Make or Buy
  • A make or buy decision is concerned with whether an item should be made internally or purchased from an external supplier.
  • A firm’s make or buy choices should be based on the following considerations:
    • Cost to make (variable costs + avoidable fixed costs) vs. cost to buy
    • Opportunity costs (idle resources have no opportunity costs)
    • Available capacity


Newman Enterprises Ltd. manufactures Widgiesfor use in the production of Winkle, a major sales product for the company. The cost per unit for 10,000 Widgiesis as follows:

Direct Materials $ 3.00

Direct Labour 15.00

Variable Overhead6.00

Fixed Overhead 8.00

Total $32.00

John Black Corporation has offered to sell Newman 10,000 Widgies for $30.00 each. Also $5 per unit of the fixed overhead applied to Widgies would be totally eliminated. What decision would you make and why?

Next: Assume that if Newman accepts Black’s offer, the released facilities could be rented out for $45,000 annually . This is an opportunity cost incurred by using the facilities rather than renting them. Now what is the decision ?

special order
Special Order
  • Special orders are one-time orders that do not affect a company’s normal sales.
  • As long as the incremental revenue from the order exceeds its incremental costs, the order should be accepted
  • If idle capacity is not available, opportunity costs should be included as part of the incremental costs
constrained resource
Constrained Resource
  • When a company has limited resources (floor space, raw materials, or machine hours etc.), management must decide which products to make and sell
  • The proper criterion that maximizes operating income when operating at capacity is to obtain the highest contribution margin per unit of the resource (factor) that limits the production or sale of products.
  • This is obtained by dividing the contribution margin per unit of each product by the number of units of the limited resource required for each product.
  • Decision Rule: Production should be geared to the product with the highest contribution margin per unit of constrained resource

The Beach Comber is a takeout food store at a popular beach resort in Brighton, England. Susan, owner of the Beach Comber, is deciding how much shelf space to devote to four different drinks. Pertinent data on these four drinks are as follows:

Susanhas a maximum front shelf space of 12 metres to devote to the four drinks. She wants a minimum of 1 metre and a maximum of 6 metres of front shelf space for each drink.


  • What is the contribution margin per case of each type of drink?
  • A coworker of Sexton’s recommends that she maximize the shelf space devoted to those drinks with the highest contribution margin per case. Evaluate this recommendation.
  • What shelf space allocation for the four drinks would you recommend for the Beach Comber?
joint process
Joint Process
  • A joint process is a single process in which one product cannot be manufactured without others being produced
    • Joint products - multiple end products
      • Petroleum – gasoline, lubricating oil, kerosene
  • Once products reach the split-off point, the joint cost is a sunk cost
  • The only relevant items in the decision to sell or process further are the incremental costs after the split-off point

Decision Rule: Continue processing a joint product after the split-off point so long as the incremental revenue from such processing exceeds the incremental processing costs.

Further Processing


Cottage Cheese


Raw Milk

Common Process

Condensed Milk

Further Processing

Skim Milk


Joint Products

Joint Costs

Split-Off Point


Costs (per day)

Expected Revenues from Products (per day)

capital budgeting
Capital Budgeting
  • When a firm makes money it can
    • Invest in new projects
    • Pay Dividends
    • Keep it in the Bank
  • Capital Budgeting is used to determine which projects to invest in so as to increase the profitability of the firm
payback period
Payback Period
  • Length of time required to recoup, in the form of cash flows from operations, the initial outlay
  • If cash flows are uniform (identical per period), then it can be determined by the following formula:

Payback = Net initial investment

time Uniform increase in annual cash flows

  • If cash flows are uneven, then:
    • Construct a table of cumulative cash inflows

The John Radcliffe Hospital intends to acquire a new machine costing $50,000 which is expected to have a life of 5 years, with a scrap value of $10,000 at the end of that time. Cash flows arising from operation of the machine are expected to arise on the last day of each year as follows:

Calculate the actual payback period. The pack back requirement is 3 years and the hurdle rate is 20%

End of year












accounting rate of return
Accounting Rate of Return
  • Accounting rate of return is calculated by taking the average annual profits expected from a project as a percentage of the capital invested

Increase in expected

Accounting = average annual operating income

rate of return Net initial investment

  • Can also use average book value of fixed assets as the denominator (Initial Investment-Salvage)/2
  • Return to previous example
time value of money
Time Value of Money
  • $1 is worth more than $1 in the future
    • Because it could be invested (eg in a bank or building society, equities or other project) and make a return
    • People tend to attach greater utility for immediate rather than delayed consumption as it may not materialize
what would you do
What would you do?
  • Let us assume that you could actually invest your money risk free at 10%
    • 100 now or 115 later
    • 100 now or 110 later
    • 100 now or 100 later
  • You can use both present and future value calculations

Net Present Value Method

  • Discounts all future cash flows to their present value using the required rate of return as the discounting factor.
  • NPV = FV

(I + r)n

  • Simple decision rule:
    • NPV>0, accept project
    • NPV<0, reject project


  • where:
  • FV = the future accumulated value;
  • PV = the present value
  • r = the discount rate
  • n = the number of periods

t = n

points to watch out for
Points to Watch out For
  • Consider cash flows only
    • Ignore amortization and other accruals – focus on cash flows
  • Include all incidental effects
  • Do not include sunk costs
  • Unless told otherwise, we assume that cash flows occur at the end of the period
  • Do not forget the effect of taxation and depreciation on cash flows
  • If choosing between alternatives consider only differential cash flows are relevant – that is, consider only cash flows that differ among the alternatives
profitability index
Profitability Index
  • A ratio that compares the present value of net cash inflows with the present value of the net investment

PI= NPV of future cash flows / Net investment

PI > 1, accept the project

PI < 1, reject the project

internal rate of return
Internal Rate of Return
  • IRR is expressed in percentage form rather than in absolute amount
  • IRR is the discount rate at which the present value of the cash flows generated by the project is equal to the PV of the capital invested, so that the NPV=0

IRR > r, accept the project

IRR < r, reject the project


Hill Top Garden Supply Co. is considering purchasing a new

fertilizer blender. The equipment would cost $300,000 and produce annual cost savings of $50,000. The equipment is expected to last 10 years and have no salvage value. The company’s discount rate is 10%. Calculate the following relative to this investment. (Ignore taxes.)


a. Net present value

b. Profitability index

c. Internal rate of return

d. Payback period

e. Accounting rate of return


Vicky Newman Auction operates an auction market for cattle. The company is considering the purchase of a new computerized scale to weigh cattle. The equipment selected would cost $150,000 and would have a life of eight years and an estimated salvage value of $20,000. This is a class 10 asset and is subject to a CCA rate of 30%. The company has no other assets in this class. The corporate tax rate is 53%. Additional business generated by installation of the new scale would increase annual net cash inflows on a before-tax basis by $40,000. Annual cash maintenance costs would amount to $4,000. The company requires that the cost of the investment be recouped in less than five years and that the investment produce an accounting rate of return of at least 16%.

a. Compute the after-tax payback period and the after-tax accounting rate of return for this piece of equipment.

b. Quantitatively, is this piece of equipment an acceptable investment? Why or why not?