7-1 CHAPTER 7 FLEXIBLE BUDGETS, DIRECT-COST VARIANCES, AND MANAGEMENT CONTROL 7-1 Management by exceptionis the practice of concentrating on areas not operating as expected and giving less attention to areas operating as expected. Variance analysis helps managers identify areas not operating as expected. The larger the variance, the more likely an area is not operating as expected. 7-2Two sources of information about budgeted amounts are (a) past amounts and (b) detailed engineering studies. 7-3A favorable variance––denoted F––is a variance that has the effect of increasing operating income relative to the budgeted amount. An unfavorable variance––denoted U––is a variance that has the effect of decreasing operating income relative to the budgeted amount. 7-4The key difference is the output level used to set the budget. A static budgetis based on the level of output planned at the start of the budget period. A flexible budgetis developed using budgeted revenues or cost amounts based on the actual output level in the budget period. The actual level of output is not known until the end of the budget period. 7-5A Level 2 flexible-budget analysis enables a manager to distinguish how much of the difference between an actual result and a budgeted amount is due to (a) the difference between actual and budgeted output levels, and (b) the difference between actual and budgeted selling prices, variable costs, and fixed costs. 7-6 The steps in developing a flexible budget are: Step 1: Identify the actual quantity of output. Step 2: Calculate the flexible budget for revenues based on budgeted selling price and actual quantity of output. Step 3: Calculate the flexible budget for costs based on budgeted variable cost per output unit, actual quantity of output, and budgeted fixed costs. 7-7Four reasons for using standard costs are: (i) cost management, (ii) pricing decisions, (iii) budgetary planning and control, and (iv) financial statement preparation. 7-8 A manager should subdivide the flexible-budget variance for direct materials into a price variance (that reflects the difference between actual and budgeted prices of direct materials) and an efficiency variance (that reflects the difference between the actual and budgeted quantities of direct materials used to produce actual output). The individual causes of these variances can then be investigated, recognizing possible interdependencies across these individual causes.
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