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Set-Up Company Costing System: analyze current system and recommend changes

Set-Up Company produces blue things and gray things. Blue things are in much greater demand in the market and the firm sells 120,000 blue things a year. Set-Up Co. sells 6,000 gray things per year in small boutiques. Things have a short shelf life. They must be distributed, sold, and consumed within two months of manufacture. Both things use the identical production process and production facilities. Direct labor is $0.50 per thing and direct material is $0.50 per thing. Things are produced in batches. Blue things are produced in batches of 600 units and gray things in batches of 30. Each batch of things goes through the thingamajig, which is the machine that converts raw inputs into things. Each batch requires engineers to reset the machine for the next batch, calibrate settings, and test the first 10 things for product quality and conformity to standards. Even if sequential batches of the same things are made, setups must be performed for each new batch. All the overhead costs are incurred in setups. Indirect labor, indirect materials, and supplies consumed during setup cost $360,000 per year. The only costs of producing things are direct labor, direct materials, and the overhead of setups. The company is currently allocating setup costs to things based on direct labor cost.

The firm has been selling blue things for $4 per unit and gray things for $6 per unit. But foreign competition for blue things is starting to put pressure on the $4 price. Some competitors are selling blue things for as low as $3 per unit. Management is considering putting more emphasis on selling gray things, whose margins are higher. On the other hand, management worries that the current system for allocating overhead costs is misrepresenting the costs of the two products because direct labor costs are not representative of the time spent by each product on the thingamajig. Management is considering allocating setup costs using machine hours on the thingamajig. A batch of gray things requires one hour of machine time and a batch of blue things requires 20 hours of machine time.

Required:

Analyze the present situation. Is there anything wrong with the costing system? If so, should management change to the proposed allocation base of machine hours?

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Solution Preview

See the attached file.

Required:

Analyze the present situation. Is there anything wrong with the costing system? If so, should management change to the proposed allocation base of machine hours?

See the calculations in Excel sheet.

Yes. The current costing system is wrong. The major component of cost is set-up cost. Currently the company is allocating overhead cost on the basis of direct labor cost. Since direct labor is not a determinant of the set-up cost the cost allocation is not correct. ...

Solution Summary

In a 316 word solution, the response adequately answers the questions together with recommendations for changes. The attached Excel spreadsheet analyzes the overhead allocation.

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