Standard cost method, Applied Statistics

Under the standard cost method which is also referred as the standard cost method ,stock receipts are assigned a standard cost. Any variations between the actual cost and standard cost accounted for separately in various variance accounts. A standard cost is the predetermined cost of manufacturing a single unit or a number of product units during a specific period in the immediate future. It is the planned cost of a product under current and / or anticipated operating conditions. Standard price in costing is defined as pre-established uniform price for a good or service, based on its historical price, replacement cost, or an analysis of its competitive position in the market. Standards cost method charges issued materials at a predetermined or estimated price reflecting a normal or an expected future price. Receipts and issues of materials are recorded in quantities only on the materials ledger cards or in the computer data bank, there by simplifying the recordkeeping and reducing clerical or data processing costs.

A standard is a "benchmark" or "norm" for measuring performance. Standards are found everywhere your doctor, for example, evaluates your weight using standards that have been set for individuals of your age, height and gender. the food we eat in restaurants must be prepared under specified standards of cleanliness. The buildings we live in must conform to standards set in building codes. Standards are also widely used in managerial accounting where they relate to the quantity and cost of inputs used in manufacturing goods and producing services. Engineers and accountants assist managers to set quantity and cost standards for each major input such as raw materials and direct labor time. Quantity standards specify how much of an input should be used to make a product or provide a service. Cost or price standards specify how much should be paid for each unit of input. Actual quantities and actual costs are then compared with these standards. In case of significant deviations managers investigate the discrepancies. The purpose is to find the problem and eliminate it so that it does not recur. This process is called management by exception.

In our daily lives, we operate in a management by exception mode most of the time. Consider what happens when you sit down in the driver's seat of your car. You put the key in the ignition, your turn the key, and your car starts. Your exception (standard) that the car will start is met; you do not have to open the car hood and check the battery, the connecting cables, the fuel lines, and so on. If you turn the key and the car does not start, then you have a discrepancy (variance). Your exceptions are not met, and you need to investigate why. Note that even if the car is started after a second try, it would be wise to investigate anyway. The fact that exception was not met should be viewed as an opportunity to uncover the cause of the problem rather than as simply an annoyance. If the underlying cause is not discovered and corrected, the problem may recur and become much worse.

This basic approach to identifying and solving problems is exploited in the variance analysis cycle, The cycle begins with the preparation of standard cost performance reports in the accounting department. These reports highlight the variances, which are the differences between actual results and what should have occurred according to the standards. The variances raise questions. Why did this variance occur? Why is this variance larger than it was last period? The significant variances are investigated to discover their root causes. Corrective actions are taken. And then next period's operations are carried out. The cycle then begins again with the preparation of a new standard cost performance for the latest period. The emphasis should be on flagging problems for attention, finding their root causes, and then taking corrective actions. The goal is to improve operations - not to find blame.

Posted Date: 2/28/2013 4:54:48 AM | Location : United States

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