Break-even calculations, Cost Accounting

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Break-Even Calculations

As they say, a picture is significance a thousand words, and this is undoubtedly true for the CVP graphic just presented. Though, everyone is not an artist, and you may find it more precise to perform a little algebra to calculate/compute the break-even point. Let's consider:

Break-even results when the:

Sales = Total Variable Costs + Total Fixed Costs

For Leyland, the math comes out this way:

(Units X $2,000) = (Units X $800) + $1,200,000

Further Solving:

Step a: (Units X $2,000) = (Units X $800) + $1,200,000

Step b: (Units X $1,200) = $1,200,000

Step c: Units = 1,000

Now, it is possible to "jump to step b" above by separating the fixed costs by the contribution margin per unit. Hence, a break-even short cut is:

Break-Even Point in Units = Total Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin Per Unit

1,000 Units = $1,200,000 / $1,200

At times, you might want to know the break-even point in dollars of sales (rather than units). This approach is particularly useful for companies with more than one product, where all these products all have almost same contribution margin ratio:

Break-Even Point in Sales = Total Fixed Costs / Contribution Margin Ratio

$2,000,000 = $1,200,000 / 0.60


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