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Helmetsmart, a three yearold company, has been producing and selling a single type of bicycle helmet. Helmetsmart uses standard costing. After...

Variable and absorption costing, sales, and operating-income changes Helmetsmart, a three year-old company, has been producing and selling a single type of bicycle helmet. Helmetsmart uses standard costing. After reviewing the income statements for the first three years, Stuart Weil, president of Helmetsmart, commented, “I was told by our accountants—and in fact, I have memorized—that our breakeven volume is 49,000 units. I was happy that we reached that sales goal in each of our first two years. But, here’s the strange thing: In our first year, we sold 49,000 units and indeed we broke even. Then, in our second year we sold the same volume and had a positive operating income. I didn’t complain, of course . . . but here’s the bad part. In our third year, we sold 20% more helmets, but our operating income fell by more than 80% relative to the second year! We didn’t change our selling price or cost structure over the past three years and have no price, efficiency, or spending variances . . . so what’s going on?!”
Helmetsmart, a three year-old company, has been producing and selling a single  type of bicycle helmet. Helmetsmart uses standard costing. After reviewing the  income statements for the first three years, Stuart Weil, president of  Helmetsmart, commented, “I was told by our accountants—and in fact, I have  memorized—that our breakeven volume is 49,000 units. I was happy that we  reached that sales goal in each of our first two years. But, here’s the strange  thing: In our first year, we sold 49,000 units and indeed we broke even. Then, in  our second year we sold the same volume and had a positive operating income. I  didn’t complain, of course . . . but here’s the bad part. In our third year, we sold  20% more helmets, but our operating income fell by more than 80% relative to  the second year! We didn’t change our selling price or cost structure over the  past three years and have no price, efficiency, or spending variances . . . so  what’s going on?!” Required1. What denominator level is Helmetsmart using to allocate fixed  manufacturing costs to the bicycle helmets? How is Helmetsmart disposing of 
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any favorable or unfavorable production-volume variance at the end of the year?  Explain your answer briefly.2. How did Helmetsmart’s accountants arrive at the  breakeven volume of 49,000 units?3. Prepare a variable costing-based income  statement for each year. Explain the variation in variable costing operating  income for each year based on contribution margin per unit and sales volume.4.  Reconcile the operating incomes under variable costing and absorption costing  for each year, and use this information to explain to Stuart Weil the positive  operating income in 2012 and the drop in operating income in2013.
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