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Contribution Format versus Traditional Income Statement

Marwick's Pianos, Inc., purchases pianos from a large manufacturer and sells them at the retail level. The pianos cost, on the average, $2,450 each from the manufacturer. Marwick's Pianos, Inc., sells the pianos to its customers at an average price of $3,125 each. The selling and administrative costs that the company incurs in a typical month are presented below:

Costs Cost Formula
Advertising $700 per month
Sales salaries and commissions $950 per month, plus 8 percent of sales
Delivery of pianos to customers $30 per piano sold
Utilities $350 per month
Depreciation of sales facilities $800 per month

Executive salaries $2,500 per month
Insurance $400 per month
Clerical $1,000 per month, plus $20 per piano sold
Depreciation of office equipment $300 per month

During August, Marwick's Pianos, Inc., sold and delivered 40 pianos.


1. Prepare an income statement for Marwick's Pianos, Inc., for August. Use the traditional format, with costs organized by function.

2. Redo (1) above, this time using the contribution format, with costs organized by behavior. Show costs and revenues on both a total and a per unit basis down through contribution margin.

3. Refer to the income statement you prepared in (2) above. Why might it be misleading to show the fixed costs on a per unit basis?