Objectives of Standard Costing

What is the standard costing definition?

Standard costing is a method that uses the standard cost. Standard costing is the process of using standard costs or costs predetermined by the company to compare them with the actual to determine the variance or the difference. The variance could be negative (actual results are less than the standard) or positive (actual results are better than the standard). A negative variance informs management that if all else remains unchanged, the company’s actual profits will be lower than the profit that was expected. A positive variance informs management that when everything else remains the same the actual profits will probably outstrip the budgeted profit.

  • What are the main goals of costing standards?
  • What are the different types of cost standards?

It is the degree of performance that management accepts as the basis on the basis of which costs for the standard are decided. There are four standards to take into consideration, including the current standard, the ideal standard, a basic standard, and normal. Current standards are one that is created to be used for a brief time period and are based on the current situation. It represents the level of standard of performance to be achieved in the present time. The standard period is typically one year. It is assumed that the production conditions remain constant. If there is a modification in the manufacturing situation standards will be updated. The current standard might be the ideal standard or expected standard. But the ideal standards are those that demonstrate a high degree of effectiveness. Ideal standards are based on assuming that favorable conditions prevail and that administration will perform at their highest. The price for materials will be the lowest, and the amount of waste, etc. will be at a minimum. The amount of time needed to produce the product will be minimal and the wages will be also low. Costs for overheads are planned with the highest efficiency keeping in mind. All circumstances, both internal and external, must be favorable, and only then the ideal standard can be reached. Ideal Standard is based on assuming those circumstances that may not exist. The standard cannot be implemented and could not be achieved. While this standard is unlikely to be met, at least it is a good effort. The gap between goals and actual performance is not noticeable. In real life, the perfect standards have an adverse impact on employees. They are not able to achieve the standard since the standards are not thought of as to be realistic. The third standard, which is the fundamental standard can be described as a standard that is created for an indefinite time period, which could be last for a long time. Basic standards are established for a lengthy period of time and do not adjust to the pre-set conations. The standard is in effect for a lengthy time. The standards are only updated upon changes in the specifications of production methods and materials. It’s really just an amount against which future modifications to processes are measured. The basic standard allows the evaluation of the changes in cost. For instance, if the price of the material at the base is 20 rupees per unit. 20 per unit, and the current cost is the equivalent of Rs. 25, this will result in an upsurge of 25 percent in the price of the materials. The change of manufacturing expenses can be assessed by using the standard of base because a base standard can’t be used as a tool for cost control since the standard has not been revised over a prolonged period. The variance between the cost of production and the standard can not be used as a measurement of effectiveness. The other is called normal standard. According to the definition normal standard is defined as a standard that is expected to be achieved, and is achievable over a long time frame, usually long enough to cover a trade cycle. This standard is determined by the conditions that will be covered over the next five years, pertaining to only one trading cycle. If a typical pattern of ups and downs in production and sales is 10 years long, then the standard is based on the average of production and sales which will be applicable to all the years. The standard is designed to accommodate variations in production from time to time. Averaging is derived from the times of depression and recession. The normal standard is only a theory and can’t be utilized for cost control purposes. Standard concepts can be used to absorb overhead costs over a lengthy length.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of standard costing systems?

Standard costing offers a number of advantages. The first benefit that standard costs have is that they can be the primary element in an approach to management by exception. If costs are within the standard, managers can concentrate on other areas. If costs are significantly out of the guidelines and managers are informed that they may have issues that require attention. This method helps managers concentrate on crucial problems. Another benefit is regular costing, which is standards that are perceived as acceptable by employees. They can also increase efficiency and the economy. They can provide benchmarks that people can evaluate themselves on their performance. In addition, standard costs can significantly simplify bookkeeping. Instead of recording the actual cost for each job, typical costs for material, labor, and overhead can be billed to the jobs. Not to mention the standard costs are a natural fit into an integrated system of accountability accounting. The guidelines define what costs are appropriate and who is responsible for them, as well as what actual costs can be controlled. However, using standard costs can cause several potential issues or drawbacks. Many of these issues arise from improperly using standard costs, and also using the “management by exception” method or the use of standard costs in instances in which they’re not suitable. The standard cost variance report is generally created on a monthly basis and typically released in weeks or days after the conclusion that month. In the end, the information contained in the reports can be so outdated that they are almost ineffective. Reports that are regularly updated and are roughly accurate are much more reliable than reports that are precise but are outdated by the time they’re released. Certain companies are reporting variances and other important operating information daily or more often. In addition, if management isn’t aware and uses variance reports as a way to build club morale could be affected. Employees must be given positive reinforcement for their work. Management is not an exception and, by nature, is inclined to focus on negative aspects of the work. If the use of variances is as a club for subordinates, they could be enticed by the opportunity to conceal unfavorable deviations or do things that aren’t beneficial to the company in order to ensure that the variances are in favor. For instance, employees could perform a frantic effort to boost output on the final day of the month in order to avoid an unfavorable labor efficiency variation. In the rush to increase output, the output, quality can be affected. In certain instances, it is possible that a “favorable” variance can be more or less harmful than the “unfavorable” variance. For instance, McDonald’s has a standard for the amount of hamburgers that should be included in the Big Mac. The term “favorable” variance would mean that there was less meat in the Big Mac than what the standard recommends. This results in a subpar Big Mac and maybe a disappointed customer. Another issue with standard costing is that there could be a tendency in the conventional system of cost reports to focus on conforming to requirements to the detriment of other goals such as improving and maintaining quality, timely delivery, and satisfaction of customers. This can be quelled by using performance metrics that are focused on these other aspects. The mere achievement of standards may not be enough; continuous improvements may be required to stay relevant in today’s business environment. This is why some businesses focus on changes in standard cost variances, aiming for continuous improvement, not simply meeting the requirements. In other organizations, the engineered standards are being replaced by a rolling cost average which is predicted to decrease or even by extremely challenging cost targets. Overall, managers must take great care when they utilization of a standard cost system. It is crucial that managers take the time to concentrate on the positive aspects, instead of solely focusing looking at the negatives, and be aware of the potential negative consequences that may not be anticipated. Standard costs are used in the vast majority of manufacturing firms and in a lot of service firms but their application is evolving. In order to evaluate efficiency, standard cost variations might be replaced in the future by a fascinating innovation called”balanced scorecard.

How are standard costs set?

The standards should be established for the quantity and cost of the materials, labor, and other services that are required to complete each process that is associated with the production of an item. The standard costs of a product are determined by listing the cost of operations that are required to make a specific product. Two strategies are employed in setting the standard cost. First, historical records from the past could be utilized to determine the amount of the use of materials and labor. Second, the standards can be established using engineering research. Engineering studies require a thorough analysis of every operation is conducted under monitored conditions, based on high-efficiency levels and accuracy, in order to establish the number of materials and labor required. The target prices then are in accordance with efficient purchasing to establish the cost of the average.

How does a typical costing system is implemented?

Standard costing is the best option for organizations whose business activities are comprised of repetitive tasks and the input required to create every output unit can be defined. The standard costing method includes the following elements:

The costs of standard for the output of the actual are recorded for every operation, for each responsibility center.

The actual costs for each operation are tracked to the respective responsibility center.

The cost of the standard and the actual are contrasted.

The causes of the variances are investigated, and corrective actions are implemented if necessary.

Standards are regularly monitored and adjusted in response to changes in the standard of usage or prices.


What is the reason for the variance analysis?

There aren’t many plans that work exactly as intended. Even when the goals of the plan have been achieved, however, there will be some, if perhaps all of the elements that make up the results will differ from the sub-plans and standards which comprise the overall picture. For instance, a football team might win a crucial game as planned however, within the team’s performance, there could be a variety of factors that the coach will analyze during and following the game to determine how improvement can be made the next game. Like in business, positive scores should be rewarded while negative aspects have to be looked at and addressed. In a football game, the team may have had a good number of corner kicks but allowed too many free-kicks to be conceded in defense. There’s nothing to gain from the following game in the event that we do not consider the previous performance in depth.

The Variance Analysis framework provides a way that allows business leaders to break down the general performance of their organization to ensure that every component of the business could be analyzed and analyzed individually.

What are the reasons behind the causes of overhead, labor, material, and sales margin variations?

Variations in the cost of materials arise because the quantity of resources used is greater than the actual use, or in the reverse. Examples of this include excessive use of labor and materials resulting due to the use of internal materials, inattention to handling materials, and inability to keep equipment in good condition. Price differences occur when the actual costs of materials are higher than the normal prices. Examples of this include the inability of the buying function to find suppliers that are most effective or the application of a different type of labor compared to its inclusion of standard costs.

How do you calculate the cost of labour, material variable overheads, fixed overhead, and sales variations?

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