Why Standard Costing Is The Choice For Manufacturers

Standard Costing

Companies are required to produce non-standard products that can cater to the taste of every potential customer. Companies in the modern market have to balance between cost and quality. Diversification of products has become a necessity but producing products that are expensive may adversely affect the company. Production of diverse products means that different expenditures will be encountered thus limiting the use of standard costing. Many years have passed since the introduction of the standard costing technique. There is increased competition nowadays with the products being demanded not only provided by local suppliers but also by foreign companies.

Standard costing is the practice of substituting an expected cost for an actual cost in the accounting records. Subsequently, variances are recorded to show the difference between the expected and actual costs. This approach represents a simplified alternative to cost layering systems, such as the FIFO and LIFO methods, where large amounts of historical cost information must be maintained for inventory items held in stock. Modern companies mainly pay their workers on a “set-piece” basis instead of hourly rates. Set-piece basis is where workers are paid depending on completion of a given task or product component. Standard costing mainly relies on hourly rates hence this change may prove difficult to integrate into the system . Another issue that may discourage the use of standard costing is where variance reports are use to control worker’s effectiveness.

Standard Costing

Standard costing involves setting up of benchmarks that specify the expected cost of products manufactured by a company. The standard costing system was developed in the early 1900’s and has been used as a means of control by many companies. The system generally works best in companies whose production functions are simple and repetitive e.g. manufacturing companies. The world has undergone tremendous changes since the system was first introduced mainly in the technology sector. Other changes that have occurred in the modern economy are globalization, shorter product lifecycle and a change in consumer behavior. Due to these changes, standard costing is under scrutiny on its applicability in the current economy.

Managerial Accounting

In fact, one company’s senior leadership team created a policy where they would simply ignore the variances reported and focus efforts on understanding lean performance measurements. With Standard Costing, you need to ask if the return on your investment of time and resources is worth it. Is someone actively reviewing variances or operational variances at the production order or item level, looking for trends, and using the information to make improvements? If not, then perhaps another costing method is best for your company. This is a forecast of the average prices of material during the future period.

  • In the end, we can ensure you have a system and solution that will deliver cost control and financial stability.
  • The goal is to have a small favorable variance against standard cost.
  • Regardless of which costing method you use, don’t strive for 100 percent accuracy if you can’t ensure that same level of inventory accuracy.
  • Standard Costing is a predetermined cost which is calculated from management standards of efficient operations and the relevant necessary expenditure.
  • The system calculates the standard cost for all pay types except Retro Pay and Equipment Usage .
  • Due to increase in wealth the consumer habits have changed a lot.

The second objective that a standard costing system may be used to achieve is to help in setting budgets. Third, such a system may be used to provide useful and detailed information for managerial planning and decision-making.

Standard Costing In The Modern World

A proper standard costing system assists in achieving cost control and cost reduction. The last advantage of using standard cost is that even when other standards and guidelines are constantly being revised, standard cost serves as a reliable basis for evaluating performance and control costs. With standard costing, the general ledger accounts for inventories and the cost of goods sold contain the standard costs of the inputs that should have been used to make the actual good output. Differences between the actual costs and the standard costs will appear as variances, which can be investigated. Thus, variances are based on either changes in cost from the expected amount, or changes in the quantity from the expected amount. The most common variances that a cost accountant elects to report on are subdivided within the rate and volume variance categories for direct materials, direct labor, and overhead.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Having set the standards for direct materials, direct labor and overhead costs it is the possible to calculate the variances. The variances are the differences that arise between the set standard cost and the actual cost incurred . In standard costing, two variances are mainly considered and they are the price and quantity variances.

Another suggestion that has presented is the consideration of continuous improvement in the alteration of standard costing system (Cheatham & Cheatham, 1993). Suggestion include using the result from the prior period as a standard, setting up of benchmarks and periodically modifying them, utilizing moving cost reductions and finally target costing. The points discussed above have highlighted the changes in the modern world that challenge the standard costing system. It has however been noted that standard costing is alive and well and is being used in many companies throughout the world. In their Article “Standard Costing is Alive and Well” Johnsen and Sopariwala discuss the applicability of standard costing in the current fast paced economy.

Standard Cost Accounting, Topics

Ending inventory contains errors in the Standard Costing process. Similar to the cost of goods sold, ending inventory reported on the balance sheet can have overstatements or understatements. Standard costs lower than actual costs result in understated ending inventory. Standard costs higher than actual costs result in overstated ending inventory.

Standard Costing

Deciding on the quality of materials to be used, because a better quality of material will cost more, but perhaps reduce material wastage. There would be no logical method of disposing of these variances. Is a low-maintenance inventory accounting system that requires fewer people and resources to maintain. Standard costing is backward-looking, inaccurate, and resource-intensive. As organizations strive to be agile and flexible, they must have a system that conforms to them instead of being beholden to the system.


Implicitly, this assumes there will be little changes in the budgeted amounts in the foreseeable future. Even though there are methods to input various prices across the year and weigh them, the result is still one cost estimate. As production activities begin, the actual costs of materials, labor, and overhead aggregate in control accounts, one for each actual cost input category. Variance calculations are based on actual costs and standard costs.

Available machine production hours could be 24 hours a day for five days over 50 weeks, which is 6,000 hours per year. However, if the machine is only usable for an average of 85% per year for 10 years, the total would be 51,000 hours. Obviously, fewer hours will be useable the first few years but much more in later years. Administration, meetings, and maintenance or downtime can affect the hours that are purely live production work. Taking the number of yearly production hours into account provides that percentage. No matter which method you choose, one would want to automate unit-cost updates with the current system and compare them to your standard unit-cost monthly. Nonreporting of certain variances Workers do not always report all exceptions or variances.

The standard is generally defined as that which is attainable but only after substantial effort. For this reason, historical costing is simply a post-mortem of a case and has its own limitations.

Standard Costing And Abc: A Coexistence

There are several reasons and purposes of a standard cost system. LIFO, or Last In, First Out, reports the most current prices in ending inventory.

Standard Direct cost is any expenditure (other than direct material and direct labor which is directly to be incurred on a specific cost unit. It is charged directly to the particular cost standard concerned. The standard direct material cost is found by multiplying the quantity of materials to be purchased with the rate of a price at which they are available. Gross Profit MarginGross Profit Margin is the ratio that calculates the profitability of the company after deducting the direct cost of goods sold from the revenue and is expressed as a percentage of sales. It doesn’t include any other expenses into account except the cost of goods sold. Khaleel industries operating in the business of manufacturing of steel pipes are worried about its rising cost and want to make a budget starting this year. It has provided you with the below information and asked you to calculate the total budgeted or standard cost. While wage code rates paid to the employee are date sensitive, standard labor rates are not.

All a company needs to do to calculate its inventory value is to multiply the amount of actual inventory by the standard cost of each item. Because it’s the “standard” cost being used in the calculation, the number won’t be dead on accurate, but it’s likely to be close to the actual cost if the company has been doing a similar type of production for a while. The simplified standard costing method provides greater detail on a production run than any other costing method, confirming which production metrics are good while identifying those needing improvement. Basic standards provide the basis for comparing actual costs over time with a constant standard. They are used primarily to measure trends in operating performance. Standard costs are predetermined costs that provide a basis for more effectively controlling costs.

Calculation Of Standard Cost Step By Step

The standard unit cost can account for waste generated on each job, including non-recoverable material or depreciation of virgin material left over in regrind. The standard unit cost might also include a small buffer against price increases. Again, these should be minimal in percentage and act to avoid repetitive updates, administrative tasks, and create a small margin for errors in profitability tracking. Possible reductions in production costs A standard cost system may lead to cost savings. The use of standard costs may cause employees to become more cost conscious and to seek improved methods of completing their tasks. Only when employees become active in reducing costs can companies really become successful in cost control.

The standard costs for a company’s products allow management to set benchmarks so that the actual costs can eventually be compared across segments and to the competition. If the benchmarks are not met, the company can try to determine efficiencies in the production process to lower those costs in the future. More useful information for managerial planning and decision making When management develops appropriate cost standards and succeeds in controlling production costs, future actual costs should be close to the standard. As a result, management can use standard costs in preparing more accurate budgets and in estimating costs for bidding on jobs. A standard cost system can be valuable for top management in planning and decision making.

Establishment Of A Standard Costing System

The standard hours are fixed for all categories of labour i.e., for skilled and unskilled labour. In these standards, number of hours and workers are established. The main benefit is that average costing focuses the business’s attention on what the product costs to produce. For example, if a company relies on procuring commodity prices, and the price swings begin to occur https://www.bookstime.com/ in both directions, the business will have very little recourse to mitigate the impact. However, this will stick out in summaries and presentations and will be the main topic of performance conversations. A portion of costs is assigned to various production lines and business units. If not done based on true cost driver behavior, all sorts of bastardizations can happen.

This is an example of a product standard cost report with the estimated technical specifications of the product. However, for simplicity purposes, I would recommend rounding the rate up to $22. It’s important to understand that production profit contribution and SSCM models are not mutually exclusive and may co-exist for plastics processors. Control.It is used to ascertain the profit or the loss incurred during a period.It is used for the measurement of operational efficiency of the enterprises. Because the standards of marginal costing fluctuate and vary time to time, it is difficult to always sustain and continue the same standards. Valuation of stocks becomes a simple process by valuing them at standard cost. Standard costing provides the norms and yard sticks with which the actual performance can be measured and assessed.

Indirect cost centers are allocated as well, based on machine hours for areas such as utilities and maintenance, or other metrics such as square footage, head count, or other obtainable metrics. Standard costing is embedded and inherent in commercial enterprise resource planning software vendor systems such that a large deviation from standard costing is deemed not feasible, even if it’s desired. Coming up with your standard indirect cost is an iterative process. The more data you have about your business operations, and the more you analyze your variances, the better handle you will get on indirect costs.

I also believe that ABC is against lean accounting – costing principles. Direct costs are those that can be specifically linked or traced to the project. They represent the consumption of company resources that are shared across all work projects. These are costs that are necessary for your operating activity but are not directly traceable to a department, project, activity, customer, etc. This code is used record the offset to the direct cost adjustment. Agreeing a labour efficiency standard (e.g. whether current times, expected times or ideal times should be used in labour efficiency standard). Price of material in the past, current prices and fluctuating trends are the base for determining standard of price.

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