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Fundamentals Of The Cost Benefit Accounting

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1. Calculate the following variance:
  1. Direct materials price and quantity (Efficiency) variances
  2. Direct labour rate and efficiency variances
  3. Variable overhead spending and efficiency variances
  4. Fixed overhead spending and production volume variances

2. Discuss your results and provide Rafael with recommendations on whether some of the variances should be investigated further.



Answer 1

Answer i:

Direct Materials Price and Quantity (Efficiency) Variances



Actual price


Standard Price


Quantity Purchased


Material Price Variance


Material Quantity (Efficiency) Variance


Actual Quantity Used for Actual Output


Standard Quantity allowed for Actual Output


Standard Price


Material Quantity (Efficiency) Variance


Working Notes

Material Price Variance

= (4.6 – 4.5) = 0.1

= 25,000 x 0.1 = 2500

Material Quantity Variance

= 23100 – 25000 = (1900)

= (1900) x Standard price

Or (1900) x 4.5 = (8550)

Answer ii:

Direct Labour Rate and Efficiency Variances



Labour Rate Variance


Actual Labour Price Per hour


Standard labour price per hour


Actual Hours use


Labour Rate Variance


Labour Efficiency Variance


Actual Hours for actual output


Standard hours for actual output


Standard Price


Labour Efficiency Variance


Working Notes:

Labour Variance

Actual labour price per hour – Standard Labour price per hour

= 14.6 – 15 = (0.4)

= (0.4) x Actual Hours Used

Or (0.4) x 40100 = (16040)

Labour efficiency variance:

Actual hours for actual output – Standard hours for actual output x Standard Price

= (40100 – 40000) x 4.5

= 450


Answer iii:

Variable Overhead Spending and Efficiency Variance:

Variable Overhead


Variable Overhead Spending Variance


Actual Variable Overhead Costs


Standard variable overhead rate


Actual volume of allocation base




Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance


Actual volume of allocation base


Standard Volume  of allocation base for output


Standard variable overhead rate


Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance


Working Notes

Variable overhead spending variance:

Actual variable overhead costs – (Standard variable overhead rate x actual volume of allocation base)

= 119000 – (3 x 25000)

= 44,000

 Variable overhead efficiency variance

Actual volume of allocation base – Standard volume of allocation base x Standard variable overhead rate

= 23100 – 25000 x 3 = (5700)

Answer to iv:

Fixed Overhead Spending and Production Volume Variance

Fixed Overhead


Fixed overhead spending variance


Actual Fixed overhead costs


Estimated fixed overhead costs


Fixed overhead spending variance


Fixed overhead volume variance


Estimated volume of allocation base


standard volume of allocation base for output


standard fixed overhead allocation rate


Fixed overhead volume variance


Working Notes

Fixed overhead spending variance

= Actual Fixed overhead cost – Estimated fixed overhead costs

= 180,000 – 160,000

= 20,000

Fixed overhead volume variance

Estimated volume of allocation base – Standard volume of allocation base for output x standard fixed overhead allocation rate

= (8000 – 7800) x 20

= 4,000

Answer 2:

As evident from the current situation the material price variance reflected a favourable situation as the material price variance stood 2500. The material quantity efficiency variance reported an unfavourable efficiency variance -8550. Under the labour variance the labour rate variance stood -16040. While the labour efficiency variance favourably stood 450. The variable quantity overhead stood 44000 for the year while the variance overhead efficiency variance stood unfavourably to (5700). The fixed overhead spending variance stood favourably to 20000 while the fixed overhead volume variance stood 4000.

As evident from the above stated computations an assertion can be bought forward by stating that the material quantity variance for the company stood negatively which significantly requires an effort to be understand the cause of unfavourable amount of actual quantity that was used on the actual output. It can be stated that there were also the instances of labour rate variance as the variance stood negatively to 16040. The company is required to look into the primary reason for the such cause of unfavourable variances and investigate unfavourable situation to take into the account the causes of variance.  Additionally, the variable overhead efficiency variance stood negatively to -5700 therefore it is recommended that the variances should be invested further by Rafael to understand the major cause of such deviation.


Reference List:

Boardman, A.E., Greenberg, D.H., Vining, A.R. and Weimer, D.L., 2017. Cost-benefit analysis: concepts and practice. Cambridge University Press.

Lanen, W., 2016. Fundamentals of cost accounting. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.  

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