The company staffs all the Departments by using a core of full time staff to cover a minimum demand level and a flexible workforce of part time staff to work as and when required, with no guaranteed minimum or maximum number of hours for part-time staff.
a) On the assumption that the costs for this trading period will not change significantly from those of the previous period, prepare marginal costing statements to show contributions for each department and contribution and profit for the Store overall on the basis of:
i) all departments remaining in operation;
ii) the closure of the Restaurant Department
b) Discuss briefly the financial and non-financial consequences of closing the Restaurant Department.
Identify the problems which Samantha would need to address in her new role as Management Accountant of Traditions Limited.
d) How would you, as Samantha, approach the setting up of a budgetary planning and control system for the Store and what behavioural problems do you think you might encounter.
Section B Discussion and Short Answers
Refer to the quotation provided below.
“Distorted cost information is the result of sensible accounting decisions made when most businesses either provided or manufactured a narrow range of services or products. Distortions from allocating overhead by rates based on direct labour were minor and the high cost of collecting and processing data made it hard to justify more sophisticated methods to allocate these overhead costs. However, intensified global competition, radically new production and information technology, and the development of alternative costing systems have made possible the accurate product/service cost information vital to competitive success in the 21st century”.[1.Cooper, R., & Kaplan, R, S. (1988). Measure Costs Right: Make the Right Decisions. Harvard Business Review, September-October, p 96-103.
Identify the alternative cost systems and discuss how they contribute to better decision making in the 21st century business environment. Ensure you discuss the quotation with reference to all materials and ideas sourced from the literature. Your discussion should be well referenced using APA referencing format.
a) ‘… corporate planning and budgeting are complementary, rather than the former superseding the latter.’
Compare the aims and main features of ‘corporate planning’ and ‘budgeting’ systems.
b) The aims of zero-base budgeting have been described recently in the following terms:
‘Zero- base budgeting is a general management tool that can provide a systematic way to evaluate all operations and programmes; a means of establishing a working structure to recognise priorities and performance measures for current and future plans; in essence, a methodology for the continual redirection of resources into the highest priority programmes, and to explicitly identify tradeoffs among long-term growth, current operations, and profit needs.’
Explain how a system of zero-base budgeting works, and to assess its likely success in attaining the aims set out above.