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Variances Analysis: Corrective Action and Responsibility

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As head plant manager, overseeing the entire production cycle, you have received a report from your accounting staff showing the results of your standard costing practices, shown below:

Materials Price Variance - 80,000 Favorable

Materials Quantity Variance - 60,000 Unfavorable

Labor Rate Variance - 75,000 Unfavorable

Labor Efficiency Variance - 90,000 Unfavorable

It is your job to bring these variances more in line so that the plant runs more efficiently and effectively. What are the first steps you take for corrective action, to whom do you address this variance problem, and why do you feel that they should be held responsible?

Your tutorial is 321 words and discusses what the variances might indicate, how they may be interrelated, and who you would ask about their potential causes. Several potential causes and questions are given to help you reason through the variance scenario.

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Solution Preview

The first steps depend on where I think the problem resides. From looking at these variables, we notice a few things. Let's review them in order.
First, they are buying materials below standard prices (favorable material price variance) but using more than standard or wasting more than standard (unfavorable material quantity variance). Those two variances can be related (lower quality material with more defects causing more waste) or they may be unrelated.

Second, the labor ...

Solution Summary

Your tutorial is 321 words and discusses what the variances might indicate, how they may be interrelated, and who you would ask about their potential causes. Several potential causes and questions are given to help you reason through the variance scenario.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Budgeting, Variance Analysis, and Performance Evaluations

T&P Fashion Shops

T&P Fashion Shops is a new chain that operates 10 stores in major malls throughout the United States. Each store manager is responsible for preparing a flexible budget for the store. T&P headquarters accumulates and analyzes the information for each store and in the aggregate.

Below follows some cost estimates for the Houston store.
T&P Fashions
Flexible Budget Information

Expense Fixed Variable

Cost of sales $210,000 40% $740,000
Management 27,000 12% 186,000
Shop assistants 162,000 8% 268,000
Rent 13,200 5% 54,450
Utilities 34,800 34,800

$447,000 $1,283,250

Additional information
•The sales forecast for the year is $1,400,000.
•Variable expenses are based on revenues. Do note that percentage clause for rent only kicks in above $500,000 in sales.
•Other expenses are all specific to this store. Headquarters pay for marketing and corporate overhead expenses.
•T&P wants to see a flexible budget based on the sales forecast, including estimates for sales being 10% below budget and 10% above budget.

Actual results

T&P Fashions
Actual Results from Operations

Revenues $1,325,000
Cost of sales 790,000
Management 208,000
Shop assistants 230,000
Rent 58,200
Utilities 31,000

Operating profit $7,800

Required:

Computations (use Excel)
•Prepare a flexible budget in good format.
•Compute the flexible variances and indicate whether favorable or unfavorable.
•Headquarters are contemplating charging each store a 5% marketing expense based on sales. How will that affect the operating profit of the store and the money available for managerial bonuses based on actual results for the past year? Summarize the information in the table.

Memo (use Word)

Write a 4- or 5-paragraph memo to the division manager explaining the flexible budget variances; how to interpret the information; and what action, if any to take. Comment on the 5% marketing proposal too. Start with an introduction and end with a recommendation. Each of the four or five paragraphs should have a heading.

Short Essay (use Word) Start with an introduction and end with a summary or conclusion. Use headings.

•Discuss how to interpret static and flexible budget variances. How is the information useful in general?
•What are the benefits of variance analysis? How can such analysis be detrimental rather than beneficial to the organization?

Assignment Expectations

Each submission should include two files: (1) An Excel file; and (2) A Word document. The Word document shows the memo first and short essay last. Assume a knowledgeable business audience and use required format and length. Individuals in business are busy and want information presented in an organized and concise manner.

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