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Cost Accounting Question: Do the company costing systems cause a problem?

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Cost Accounting Question: Do the company costing systems cause a problem?

Cost Accounting Question: Do the company costing systems cause a problem?

I’m stuck with above question, below is case study.

Premier Products, Inc. manufactures tennis rackets. Premier Products has grown extensively over the past two years. While the company has been very profitable, President Mark Harrison is concerned with its ability to cost products accurately. Some products appear to be very profitable while others, which should be showing a profit, seem to be losing money. The production manager is convinced that his production processes are as efficient as any in the industry, and he is unable to explain the apparent high cost of producing some of the products.

Harrison agreed with his production manager and is convinced that the cost accounting system is at fault. He has hired Tom Arnold, a management consultant, to analyze the firm’s costing system. Arnold has documented the existing costing system. It is a very simple system that uses a single allocation rate for all overhead costs. The overhead rate for the year is determined by adding together the budgeted variable and fixed overhead costs and dividing this sum by the number of budgeted labor hours. The standard cost of a product is found by multiplying the number of direct labor hours required to manufacture that product by the overhead rate and adding this quantity to the direct labor and material costs.

Arnold is convinced that the company’s costing system is partially to blame for some of the firm’s problems. He has assembled data for four of Premier’s products. He has put together the actual costs required for each of these products in Table A. These costs will serve as the benchmark against which the results of different allocation schemes can be evaluated.

Of course, in real life we could never start out with accurate actual costs – accurate actual costs would be the end result that we would attempt to determine.  But we provide this information as a learning aid to help you to clearly understand the key issues. Table A is as follows:

PRODUCTABCD
Material$15.00$ 5.00$10.00$ 5.00
+ Labor30.005.0015.0010.00
+Variable OH15.007.505.007.50
= Unit var. cost$60.00$17.50$30.00$22.50
Fixed overhead$10,000$10,000$12,500$12,500
Units produced1,0001,0001,0001,000
Unit fixed cost$10.00$10.00$12.50$12.50
Total unit cost$70.00$27.50$42.50$35.00

The manufacturing processes for these products are structured such that the same labor and equipment can be used to produce products A and B but cannot be used to manufacture products C and D. Similarly, the labor and equipment used to manufacture products C and D cannot be used for A and B.

The company has the capacity to produce:

(1) 1,000 units of product A and 1,000 units of product B, or

(2) 2,000 units of product A, or

(3) 2,000 units of product B; or

(4) Any linear combination of products A and B.

The same is true for products C and D. The company has the capacity to produce:

(1) 1,000 units of product C and 1,000 units of product D, or

(2) 2,000 units of product C, or

(3) 2,000 units of product D; or

(4) Any linear combination of products C and D.

ProductLabor hrs per unitVariable Ohd/unitNumber of unitsTotal labor hrsTotal var ohd
A6$15.001,0006,000$15,000
B17.501,0001,0007,500
C35.001,0003,0005,000
D27.501,0002,0007,500
Total4,00012,000$35,000

The allocation rate is:

Variable overhead$35,000
Fixed overhead45,000
Total overhead costs$80,000
Labor hours12,000
Allocation rate per hour$6.67

Using this allocation rate, Arnold calculated the standard cost for the four products.

PRODUCTABCD
Material$15.00$ 5.00$10.00$ 5.00
+ Labor30.005.0015.0010.00
+Allocated cost40.006.6720.0013.33
Total unit cost$85.00$16.67$45.00$28.33

The selling prices for the four products are:

ABCD
$98.00$38.50$59.50$49.00

Premier is considering a policy that would discontinue a product if its mark-on is under 25%. The mark-on is calculated by taking the selling price, subtracting the product’s standard cost, and dividing by the standard cost. Harrison is concerned that if the firm’s costing system does not provide accurate cost estimates, products will be dropped that should be retained. Arnold calculated that the mark-on for each product using the correct product costs in Table A is 40%.

TABLE B

PRODUCTABCD
Selling price$98.00$38.50$59.50$49.00
Unit cost$70.00$27.50$42.50$35.00
Profit$28.00$11.00$17.00$14.00
Mark-on percentage40% (28/70)40% (11/27.50)40% (17/42.50)40% (14/35)

Arnold then calculated the mark-on for the four products using the standard cost for each product based on allocating the overhead costs using direct labor hours.

PRODUCTABCD
Selling price$98.00$38.50$59.50$49.00
Unit cost$85.00$16.67$45.00$28.33
Profit$13.00$21.83$14.50$20.67
Mark-on percentage15%131%32%73%

Under the policy of dropping products with mark-ons under 25%, product A would be dropped. Arnold recalculates the allocation rate assuming product A is dropped and the manufacturing capacity is shifted to produce an additional 1,000 units of product B.

ProductLabor hrs per unitVariable Ohd/unitNumber of unitsTotal labor hrsTotal var ohd
B17.502,0002,000$15,000
C35.001,0003,0005,000
D27.501,0002,0007,500
Total4,0007,000$27,500

The new allocation rate is:

Variable overhead$27,500
Fixed overhead45,000
Total overhead costs$72,500
Labor hours7,000
Allocation rate per hour$10.36


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