Use the following information to calculate direct material quantity variance. An unfavorable outcome means the actual costs related to materials were more than the expected (standard) costs. If the outcome is a favorable outcome, this means the actual costs related to materials are less than the expected (standard) costs. Since variable overhead is consumed at the presumed rate of $10 per hour, this means that $125,000 of variable overhead (actual hours X standard rate) was attributable to the output achieved. Comparing this figure ($125,000) to the standard cost ($102,000) reveals an unfavorable variable overhead efficiency variance of $23,000. However, this inefficiency was significantly offset by the $20,000 favorable variable overhead spending variance ($105,000 vs. $125,000).

This is an unfavorable outcome because the actual quantity of materials used was more than the standard quantity expected at the actual production output level. As a result of this unfavorable outcome information, the company may consider retraining workers to reduce waste or change their production process to decrease materials needs per box. In the standard costing system, material costs are posted at the standard price. The actual quantity (1,200 sheets) of plastic is removed from the raw materials inventory at the standard price (4.00) giving a credit entry of 4,800 posted to the account. The standard quantity (1,000) which should have been used in production is transferred to work in process inventory at the standard price (4.00), giving a total debit entry of 4,000.

Direct Materials Price Variance FAQs

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If the original standards are not accurate and fair, the resulting variance signals will themselves prove quite misleading. In this illustration, AH is the actual hours worked, AR is the actual labor rate per hour, SR is the standard labor rate per hour, and SH is the standard hours for the output achieved. During the recent period, Teddy Bear Company purchased 20,000 bags of stuffing material for manufacturing stuff toys. Direct materials volume variance is the difference arising from using more (or less) than the predetermined amount on a product.

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The variance is calculated using the direct materials quantity variance formula, which takes the difference between the standard quantity and the actual quantity, and multiplies this by the standard price per unit of material. Generally, the production managers are considered responsible for direct materials quantity variance because they are the persons responsible for keeping a check on excessive usage of production inputs. However, purchase managers may purchase low quality, substandard or otherwise unfit materials with an intention to improve direct materials price variance. In such cases, the responsibility of any unfavorable quantity variance would lie on the purchasing department.

What is the Direct Material Variance?

How much is the direct materials quantity variance of Prime Furniture Inc. for the month of December 2022? Variance analysis should also be performed to evaluate spending and utilization for factory overhead. Overhead variances are a bit more challenging to calculate and evaluate. As a result, the techniques for factory overhead evaluation vary considerably from company to company. To begin, recall that overhead has both variable and fixed components (unlike direct labor and direct material that are exclusively variable in nature).

Variance Analysis

Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries. He has been the CFO or controller of both small and medium sized companies and has run small businesses of his own. He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University. Variance from budgeted costs may arise due to price and volume elements. To make a batch of carrot cakes, you expect to use 60 pounds of carrots.

How to Calculate Material Quantity Variance

The actual quantity of direct materials at standard price equals $310,500. The combination of the two variances can produce one overall total direct materials cost variance. The direct material quantity variance will be adverse if the actual quantity of fabric used in manufacturing 10,000 units of shirts is 30,000 meters and the standard amount of fabric allowed for a single shirt is 2.8 meters.

Examining Variances

Note that both approaches—the direct materials quantity variance
calculation and the alternative calculation—yield the same
result. The standard quantity of 420,000 pounds is the quantity of
materials allowed given actual production. For Jerry’s Ice Cream,
the standard quantity of materials per unit of production is 2
pounds per unit. Thus the standard quantity (SQ) of 420,000 pounds
is 2 pounds per unit × 210,000 units produced and sold. Accountants determine whether a variance is favorable or unfavorable by reliance on reason or logic. If more materials were used than the standard quantity, or if a price greater than the standard price was paid, the variance is unfavorable.

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