The Need For Multiple Overhead Accounts

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After studying this chapter, you should be able to:

1. Discuss the need for multiple overhead accounts within WIP.

2. Describe how the general ledger system for WIP can be designed to provide more accurate product cost information and cost management information.

3. Explain how to allocate service department costs to production departments, and describe the different methods that can be used.

4. Design an SCAS that includes cost variances for both production and service departments.

INTRODUCTION

As Chapter 4 pointed out, all CASs satisfy one overall goal, to determine the cost of products or services. The cost of a product or service is used for many purposes:

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as the one “true product cost.” All product and service costs are based on assumptions, estimates, allocations, and averages. It is up to the management accountant to choose the costing procedures that best fit the production system and management's need for cost control, and then aim for costs that are approximately accurate. Remember the “relevancy” attribute of high-quality information from Chapter 1: “It's more important to be approximately right than precisely wrong.”

The purpose of this chapter is to provide the theory and tools necessary for designing more sophisticated CASs to account for overhead. If all costs could be directly traced to individual products, the “true cost” of the products would be known and objectively measurable. However, all costs are not directly traceable. As manufacturers become more capital intensive (automated), the proportion of indirect costs (overhead) increases. Accounting for overhead is the albatross around the management accountant's neck.

Many traditional manufacturers still maintain only one total overhead account and one plantwide TOH POR to apply all the overhead into jobs (JOCAS) or production departments (PCAS). The need for separate VOH and FOH subsidiary WIP accounts when budgeting overhead for the standard cost card and manufacturing cost equation was discussed in Chapter 7. In this chapter, the VOH and FOH accounts within WIP become control accounts. The CAS design issues involved will be identified in the following order:

PLANTWIDE VERSUS MULTIPLE PREDETERMINED OVERHEAD RATES

LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Discuss the need for multiple overhead accounts within WIP

The management accountant can develop a single plantwide TOH POR. Or, instead of using one plantwide blanket rate, the TOH POR may be subdivided into two or more component PORs. The following examples demonstrate both situations.

Plantwide Total Predetermined Overhead Rate

Assume that Cerro Company makes only one product and uses one TOH POR for the entire plant's overhead, rather than separate rates for VOH and FOH costs. Cerro estimates 100,000 machine hours as the level of activity, $340,000 VOH costs, and $400,000 FOH costs. The single plantwide TOH POR for Cerro is calculated as follows:

Total estimated VOH costs

$340,000

Total estimated FOH costs

400,000

Estimated TOH costs

$740,000

Divided by estimated level of activity in machine hours
100,000 Mhr
Single plantwide TOH POR per machine hour
$7.40

For each machine hour used during the period on a job (JOCAS) or in a production department (PCAS), the TOH POR will apply $7.40 of overhead to the products in journal entry 7.

Multiple Predetermined Overhead Rates

In a simple one-product company such as Cerro's, a single plantwide TOH POR may be sufficient. In highly diversified companies, a single plantwide TOH POR may result in misinformation that leads to wrong decisions, Therefore, the goals in subdividing the TOH POR are to provide more useful cost management information and more accurate product or service costing. The TOH POR can be subdivided in a number of different ways:

In deciding whether to use multiple PORs, the management accountant should analyze both the operations and the kinds of products made or services performed:

Departmental Overhead Rates

Normally, however, the best way to begin designing the overhead accounting system is to set up separate PORs for production departments. No matter how diverse the products or services, they will receive a fairer share of the overhead if separate production department PORs are used. For example, if product x flows through three departments, it will be charged its appropriate share of overhead costs within each department, assuming a proper activity application base is chosen. If product Y flows through two departments, it likewise will be charged its appropriate share of overhead costs from only these departments.

Indeed, the management accountant can use various combinations. The aim is to search for the most accurate basis for applying overhead costs to products or services. But there is a practical limit to the extent overhead rates can be subdivided. At some point, further subdivision leads to an insignificant change in product or service costs and does not provide more useful cost management information. Each company must decide on the number of overhead rates after experimenting with different methods. A balance should be struck between the need for more detailed accuracy on the one side and the time and cost of preparing and applying multiple overhead rates on the other side. The accompanying Starfire Company case on the next page illustrates the differing results from using departmental PORs versus a single plantwide overhead rate.

What is learned from the Starfire case?

• If departmental TOH PORs are used, the applied overhead costs more closely reflect the different amounts and types of machine and labor work performed on the two products.

An even more serious miscosting occurs when the plantwide TOH POR is based on direct labor hours. The majority of the plant's overhead is caused by machine usage in the Assembly Department. Car bodies require 12 machine hours whereas truck bodies only require 5 machine hours. Obviously, more Assembly Department overhead should be applied to car bodies than to truck bodies. However, since car bodies require less direct labor hours of work than do truck bodies, less overhead is applied to car bodies than to truck bodies!

Insights and Applications

Starfire Company's Use of Departmental versus. Plantwide Overhead Rates

Starfire has two production departments: Assembly and Painting. Assembly work is performed by robots, and depreciation, utilities, and maintenance make up a large part of this department's overhead costs. Painting and special detail work are performed manually by skilled workers.
 
Starfire makes two products: fibreglass bodies for its Starfire miniature automobile and for its customized miniature truck line. Car bodies require 12 machine hours in Assembly and 4 direct labor hours in Painting. Truck bodies require 5 machine hours in Assembly and 14 direct labor hours in Painting. Total budgeted overhead is $800,000 for the Assembly Department and $177,500 for the Painting Department. Departmental and plantwide POR calculations follow:
 

ASSEMBLY DEPARTMENT

PAINTING DEPARTMENT

Estimated annual overhead

$800,000

$177,500

Estimated annual direct labor hours (DLhr)

-0-

50,000

Estimated annual machine hours (Mhr)

80,000

5,000

 

 

 

Departmental TOH PORs:
 
 
Assembly: $800,000 - 80,000 Mhr = $10.00 per Mhr

 

 
Painting: $177,500 - 50,000 DLhr = $ 3.55 per DLhr

 

 
 
 
 
Total plantwide overhead costs: $800,000 + $177,500 = $977,500

 

 
Plantwide overhead rate using Mhr:$977,500 / 85,000 Mhr = $11.50 per Mhr
Plantwide overhead rate using DLhr: $977,500 / 50,000 DLhr = $19.55 per DLhr

 

OVERHEAD APPLIED:
CAR BODIES
 
TRUCK BODIES
 
Using departmental overhead rates: Assembly
 
$10.00 x 12 Mhr =
 
$120.00
 
$10.00 x 5 Mhr =
 
$ 50.00
Painting
$ 3.55 x 4 DLhr =
14.20
$ 3.55 x 14 DLhr =
$ 49.70
Totals
 
$134.20
 
$ 99.70
Using plantwide overhead rates: Based on Mhr
 
$11.50 x 12 Mhr =
 
$138.00
 
$11.50 x 5 Mhr =
 
$ 57.50
Based on DLhr
$19.55 x 4 DLhr =
$ 78.20
$19.55 x 14 DLhr =
$273.70

 

The direct materials cost per unit for truck bodies is $100, and the direct labor cost is $ 50. Adding the various overhead amounts to these prime costs gives the total product cost under each method. The following calculations show the product costs and the profit or loss for truck bodies assuming a selling price of $300 per unit:
 

Departmental Rates

Plantwide Rate (Mhr)

Plantwide Rate (Dlhr)

Direct materials

$100.00

$100.00

$100.00

Direct labor

50.00

50.00

50.00

Overhead

99.70

57.50

273.70

Total cost

<$249.70>

<$207.50>

<$423.70>

Selling price

300.00

300.00

300.00

Profit (loss)

$ 50.30

$ 92.50

<$123.70>

Use of the product costs generated from plantwide TOH PORs may cause management to make wrong decisions about truck bodies (and car bodies). The product cost produced by a plantwide TOH POR based on machine hours will make management think that truck bodies are more profitable than the product line actually is. This belief may motivate management to employ more resources to produce more truck bodies, thereby diverting resources from other more profitable products.

If the plantwide TOH POR based on direct labor hours is used, management may think that truck bodies should be eliminated because this product line appears to be generating a significant loss. The more accurate product cost is generated by the departmental overhead rates because they more closely reflect truck bodies' utilization of different overhead resources in each department. Thus, decisions based on the product costs produced by the departmental overhead rates should be better decisions.

Predetermined Variable and Fixed Overhead Rates

To support management analysis of overhead costs, it is usually desirable to calculate two PORs, a variable overhead (VOH) rate and a fixed overhead (FOH) rate. Generally, separate VOH and FOH rates provide managers with more useful information than just developing one TOH POR for VOH and FOH costs combined. Budgeting separate VOH and FOH PORs was introduced in Chapter 7. The last section of this chapter will illustrate an allocation method using separate VOH and FOH PORs.

Many traditional CASs were designed primarily for financial reporting needs. Cost management information was viewed as less important. With respect to accounting for overhead, just one TOH subsidiary account was designed into the WIP general ledger system. Overhead costs were debited into this account in journal entries 4, 5, and 6. Overhead was applied to products in total using one plantwide TOH POR in journal entry 7. This type of overhead accounting was illustrated for a basic CAS in Chapter 4 (Exhibit 4-2), for a JOCAS in Chapter 5 (Exhibit 5-1), and for a PCAS in Chapter 6 (Exhibit 6-4). Similarly, the Starfire Company example above, which illustrated separate overhead accounts for each production department, did not have separate VOH and FOH accounts within the departments.

In the discussion that follows, VOH and FOH will not be separated to avoid overly complicating the calculations. Furthermore, the techniques that follow are usually used with total overhead on professional accounting certification exams. Nevertheless, even though the VOH and FOH accounts are not separate in the CAS examples that follow, their separation is important for standard cost card calculations and overhead budgeting, as well as in cost control through four-way overhead cost variance analysis.

Service Department PORs

Learning
Objective 2
Describe how the general ledger system for WIP can be designed to provide more accurate product cost information and cost management information.

Production departments (also called operating departments, cells, or workcenters) are where the central purposes of the organization are carried out. Examples include the surgery department in a hospital, the shoe department in a retail store, and the assembly department in a manufacturing enterprise.

Service departments, by contrast, do not engage directly in production activities. Rather, they provide assistance and support that facilitate the activities of the production departments. Examples include the human resources department, purchasing, storeroom, maintenance, computing center, engineering, internal auditing, and cafeteria. Although service departments do not engage directly in the producing activities of the organization, their costs are part of the cost of manufacturing products or providing services.

Because service department costs cannot be directly traced to products being manufactured or services (for the customer) performed by the company, these costs must be allocated to the production departments' overhead accounts. The service department costs then become part of the budgeted overhead costs of the production departments. In this manner, they are included with the other overhead costs of the production department in calculating the departmental TOH POR. In total, these “all-inclusive” departmental PORs, therefore, ultimately apply all the plant's overhead to the products when the PORs are used in the overhead application journal entry 7.

This type of CAS design results in a three-stage overhead allocation process:

Stage one primary cost assignment directly traces costs to service departments. It also directly traces as many VOH and FOH costs as is possible to the production departments. These are properly considered direct costs to the departments even though they may be indirect (overhead) costs with respect to individual products. A cost element can be directly traceable to one cost object (such as a department) and still be an indirect cost with respect to another cost object (such as a job). Thus, these costs are labelled as direct VOH costs (DVOH) and direct FOH costs (DFOH).

Stage two: Service department overhead cost allocations. Once overhead costs are accumulated in the service and production department overhead accounts within WIP, the service department costs can be allocated to the production department overhead accounts so that they can be included in the departmental TOH PORs. This is called secondary cost allocation. The management accountant must use a reasonable allocation base for secondary cost allocations. The allocation base for each service used must bear a relationship to the costs of the services being rendered. Ideally, this is a cause-and-effect relationship. If, for example, the costs of operating the human resources department tend to vary with the number of people employed, this service department's costs can be allocated according to the number of employees working in each production department. As another example, the purchasing department's costs may be allocated to production department overhead accounts on the basis of the number of purchase orders processed for each producing department. Some common bases used in allocating service department costs are presented in Exhibit 9-2.

Possible Stage-Two Alocation Bases for Service Department

Service Departments

Possible Allocation Bases v,

Cafeteria
Number of employees
Medical infirmary
Periodic survey of cases handled, number of employees
Airport ground services
Number of flights
Occupancy services
Square footage
Materials handled
Volume handled, number of requisitions
Power
Kilowatt hours used, number of machines
Computing center
Number of reports, computer time
Human resources
Number of employees, turnover of labor, periodic survey of time spent
Custodial
Square footage
Repairs and maintenance
Number of machines, number of repair calls
Laundry
Pounds of laundry, number of items processed

In summary, any overhead costs that can be specifically associated with a production or service department should be directly assigned to it. For example, the costs of computer supplies are charged directly to the computing center. Lease payments on computer equipment also are charged directly to the computing center. Food costs are charged directly to the cafeteria.

The service department costs should be allocated according to some measure that has a cause-and-effect or benefit relationship. Thus, such items as building depreciation, insurance, and taxes are commonly allocated on the basis of square feet of floor space occupied. Plant heating and cooling costs may be allocated on cubic feet of space occupied. Costs of lighting may be allocated on the basis of kilowatt hours. inspection costs may be allocated on the basis of direct labor hours and so on.

Stage two allocates all overhead to production department overhead accounts. In stage three, overhead is applied from the production department overhead accounts to the products produced or services rendered by the company, using departmental PORs. Refer to Exhibit 9-1 to verify this.

METHODS OF PERFORMING SERVICE DEPARTMENT SECONDARY COST ALLOCATIONS

Learning
Objective 3.
Explain how to allocate service department costs to production departments, and describe the different methods that can be used.

Four common methods exist for allocating service department costs to production department overhead accounts. The first three methods are illustrated here, assuming there is one total overhead account for each service department and production department. The fourth method, illustrated in the next section of this chapter, uses separate VOH and FOH accounts for each service and production department. The first three methods discussed, in order of increasing sophistication, are as follows:

The Direct Method

The direct method is widely used for allocating service department costs. This method allocates each service department's total costs directly to the production departments' overhead accounts. This method's major weakness is that it ignores any service rendered by one service department to another. For example, Birchtree Manufacturing makes white-water rafting products such as canoes, kayaks, and rafts. These products are made in two production departments, Assembly and Finishing. The plant has four service departments, each with its own subsidiary ledger account within WIP-Manufacturing Overhead. These services include the Human Resources Department, Occupancy Services, the Computing Center, and the Engineering Department.

Obviously, each of the four service departments occupies space and should be allocated some occupancy costs (building depreciation, property taxes and insurance, heating and air conditioning, and so forth). The Human Resources and Engineering Departments also use computer services. To determine the “real costs” of each service more accurately, inter-service department cost allocations should be made. The Human Resources Department's cost should include some allocation of Occupancy Services costs and Computing Center costs. The direct method, however, ignores this inter-service department usage in determining the costs of each service allocated in stage two, secondary cost allocations.

With the direct method, the primary costs of operating each service department are allocated directly to the production departments. This method is the simplest and quickest way to allocate service costs. The number of secondary cost allocations is equal to the number of service departments. Exhibit 9-3 illustrates the direct method cost allocation worksheet. Each department's primary costs are shown as the first line. The secondary cost allocations to production departments are made using the following bases:

DEPARTMENT
ALLOCATION BASE
PERCENTAGE
SERVICE DEPARTMENT ALLOCATION
Human Resources
Budgeted payroll:
 
 
Assembly
$60,000
75%
$165,000
Finishing
20,000
25%
55,000
Total
$80,000
100%
$220,000
Occupancy Services
Square feet:
 
 
Assembly
14,000 square feet
70%
$105,000
Finishing
6,000 square feet
30%
45,000
Total
20,000 square feet
100%
$150,000
Computing Center
Expected reports:
 
 
Assembly
40 reports
40%
$ 72,000
Finishing
60 reports
60%
108,000
Total
100 reports
100%,
$180,000
Engineering
Budgeted machine hours:
 
 
Assembly
2,000 machine hours
80%
$ 80.000
Finishing
500 machine hours
20%
20,000
Total
2,500 machine hours
100%
$100,000

The budgeted Human Resources cost of $220,000 is allocated to Assembly and Finishing on the basis of 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively, using

Cost Allocation Worksheet for the Direct Method
 
Birchtree Manufacturing
Allocation of Service Department Costs
 
 
 
 
Service Departments
 
 
Production Departments
 
 
Human Resources
Occupancy Services
Computing Center
Engineering
 
Assembly
Finishing
Total
Stage one primary cost assignment: Total DVOH and DFOH Costs
$220,000
$150,000
$180,000
$100,000
 
$170,000
$ 50,000
$870,000
Stage two service department cost allocations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Human Resources
<220,000>
 
 
 
 
$165,000
$ 55,000
 
Occupancy Services
 
<150,000>
 
 
 
105,000
45,000
 
Computing Center
 
 
< 180,000>
 
 
72,000
108,000
 
Engineering
 
 
 
<100,000>
 
80,000
20,000
 
Total overhead costs allocated to production departments TOH accounts
$ -0-
$ -0-
$ -0-
$ -0-
 
$592,000
$278.000
$870,000
Stage three overhead cost application:
 
 
Budgeted Mhr
2,000 Mhr
 
Budgeted DLhr
 
10,000 DLhr
Departmental Toll PORs
$ 296.00$/Mhr
27.80 $/DLhr
 
 

payroll dollars as the allocation base. Since the major purpose of Human Resources is to service employees, the Human Resources costs are allocated to these production departments on the basis of their payroll amounts.

Because Assembly occupies 14,000 square feet of the building versus 6,000 square feet occupied by Finishing, it seems equitable to allocate 70 percent ($105,000) of the budgeted occupancy costs to Assembly. Thirty percent ($45,000) of budgeted occupancy costs is allocated to Finishing.

The Computing Center expects to process 40 reports for Assembly and 60 reports for Finishing. So, 40 percent of the Computing Center's budgeted costs of $180,000 is allocated to Assembly and 60 percent to Finishing.

Management has determined that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between Engineering costs and machine hours. Therefore, 80 percent ($80,000) of Engineering's budgeted costs ($100,000) is allocated to Assembly. The remaining $20,000, or 20 percent, is allocated to Finishing.

The Step Method

Some companies use the step method, which allows for limited recognition of services rendered by service departments to other service departments. This method is more complex than the direct method because a sequence of alloca-tions must be chosen. The sequence often begins with the department that renders the most services to other service departments. The sequence continues in a step-by-step fashion and ends with the allocation of the costs of the service department that renders the lowest percentage of its services to other service departments.

Where reciprocal (inter-service department) relationships exist, first allocate the service department providing the most service to the other service departments will generally result in the best step allocation. The deficiency in the step method is that it recognizes only one-way inter-service department use. Once a service department's costs are allocated to other service and production departments, a subsequent service department's costs are not allocated back to the original service. To illustrate, using the Birchtree Manufacturing example, the following order of service department allocations has been determined:

  1. Human Resources
  2. Computing Center
  3. Occupancy Services
  4. Engineering

Using this order, the Human Resources service is allocated first. Its costs are allocated to the remaining service centers and to the production departments. The Computing Center's costs are allocated next. These costs now include the primary costs of the Computing Center (from stage one) plus an allocation of Human Resources costs (from stage two). Human Resources, having already been allocated, does not receive an allocation of Computing Center costs even though it uses computing services. This means that the “real” total cost of Human Resources is understated because it does not include any Computer Center costs. To minimize this costing error from not making any “backward” allocations of subsequent service center costs to previous service centers, the biggest service is allocated first, with smaller services allocated subsequently.3 The cost allocation worksheet for the step method is illustrated in Exhibit 9-4.

The base used to allocate budgeted Human Resources costs is payroll dollars. The payroll dollars associated with the other departments, along with the amounts of Human Resources costs allocated to each department, are as follows:

DEPARTMENT

BUDGETED

PAYROLL

PAYROLL

PROPORTION

 

AMOUNT TO BE ALLOCATED

 

AMOUNT ALLOCATED

 
x
=
Computing Center

$ 50,000

50/200

 

$220,000

 

$ 55,000

Occupancy Services

40,000

401200

 

220,000

 

44,000

Engineering

30,000

30/200

 

220,000

 

33,000

Assembly

60,000

60/200

 

220,000

 

66,000

Finishing

20,000

20/200

 

220,000

 

22,000

 

$200,000

200/200

 

 

 

$220,000

The step method allocates the $220,000 of budgeted Human Resources costs to each department using its services, regardless of whether the user is another service department or a production department. Thus, 25 percent ($55,000) of Human Resources costs is allocated to the Computing Center because it represents 25 percent ($50,000 = $200,000 shown in the Payroll Proportion column above) of Birchtree's budgeted factory payroll costs for the departments that are to receive an allocation under the step method.

The second department to have its costs allocated is the Computing Center. A reasonable base is computer time or number of reports. Because the reports all require about the same amount of work and the number of reports is easier to measure than computer time, number of reports is used as the allocation base. The expected number of reports for each department and their proportion of the total for the departments receiving an allocation of Computing Center costs under the step method, together with the amounts of budgeted Computing Center costs allocated to its users, follow:

Cost Allocation Worksheet for the Step Method
 
Birchtree Manufacturing
Allocation of Service Department Costs
 
 
 
 
Service Departments Production Departments
 
 

Human Resources

Computing Center

Occupancy Services

Engineering

Assembly

 

Finishing

Total

Stage one primary cost assignment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total DVOH and DFOH costs

$220,000

$180,000

$150,000

$100,000

$170,000

$ 50,000

$870,000

Stage two service department cost allocations:

 

 

 

 

 

Human Resources

<220,000>

55,000

44,000

33,000

66,000

22,000

 

 

 

235,000

 

 

 

 

 

Computing Center

 

<235,000>

47,000

164,500

9,400

14,100

 

 

 

 

241,000

 

 

 

 

Occupancy Services

 

 

<241,000>

41,000

140,000

60,000

 

 

 

 

 

338,500

 

 

 

Engineering

 

 

 

<338,500>

270,800

67,700

 

Total overhead costs allocated to production dept. TOH accounts

$ -0-

$ -0-

$ -0-

$ -0-

$656,200

$213,800

$870,000

Stage three overhead cost application:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budgeted Mhr

 

 

 

 

/ 2,000 Mhr

 

 

Budgeted DLhr

 

 

 

 

 

/ 10,000 DLhr

 

Departmental TOH PORs

 

 

 

 

$328.10/Mhr

$21.38/DLhr

 

 

 

 

Department
Number Of Reports
Proportion
x
Amount To Be Allocated
=
Amount Allocated
Human Resources

100

n/a

 

n/a

 

n/a

Occupancy Services

200

200/1,000

 

$235,000

 

$ 47,000

Engineering

700

700/1,000

 

235,000

 

164,500

Assembly

40

40/1,000

 

235,000

 

9,400

Finishing

60

60/1,000

 

235,000

 

14,100

Totals

1,100

1,000/1,000

 

 

 

$235,000

Notice that the Human Resources Department receives computer reports. These reports are not included in the allocation proportions, however, because no Computing Center costs are allocated “backward” to Human Resources when using the step method.

The Occupancy Services costs are allocated next because this department provides more services to more departments than Engineering, the remaining service department. Occupancy Services costs are generally allocated on the basis of floor space occupied by the departments, although in some situations, a cubic measure may be more appropriate, such as for heating cost in a plant where ceilings are of varying heights. The square footage occupied by each department and the proportions for the departments receiving an allocation of occupancy costs, as well as the amount of budgeted Occupancy Services costs allocated to each, follow:

DEPARTMENT
Area In Square Feet
 
Proportion X
Amount To
= Amount
Be Allocated
Allocated
Human Resources

1,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

Computing Center

900

n/a

n/a

n/a

Engineering

4,100

4,100/24,100

$241,000

$ 41,000

Assembly

14,000

14,000/24,100

241,000

140,000

Finishing

6,000

6,000/24,100

241,000

60,000

Totals

26,000

24,100/24,100

 

$241,000

The budgeted Occupancy Services costs are allocated over a base consisting only of the area occupied by departments that have not yet been allocated. Although Human Resources occupies 1,000 square feet and the Computing Center occupies 900 square feet, no costs are allocated back to these departments. Thus, their areas are not included in the base for allocating Occupancy Services costs, which is 24,100 square feet rather than 26,000 square feet.

Engineering is the last service department to be allocated. Consequently, its costs are allocated only to the production departments. Budgeted Engineering costs, which now include the costs allocated to this department from previous services, are allocated to the production departments as follows:

DEPARTMENT
MACHINEHOURS
PROPORTION x
AMOUNT TO BE ALLOCATED =
AMOUNT ALLOCATED
Assembly

2,000

2,000/2,500

$338,500

$270,800

Finishing

500

500/2,500

338,500

67,700

Totals

2,500

2,500/2,500

 

$338,500

Compare the budgeted overhead allocated to the two production departments with the direct method (Exhibit 9-3) and the step method (Exhibit 9-4). The step method, being more accurate, allocated more service departments' overhead to the Assembly Department than did the direct method. The direct method understated Assembly Department overhead costs. This means that the Finishing Department absorbed more service departments' overhead than it should have. Consequently, the direct method resulted in the Finishing Department cross-subsidizing the Assembly Department (i.e., the Finishing Department's overhead account includes service department costs that should be assigned to the Assembly Department).

The Reciprocal Method

Like the step method, the reciprocal method recognizes that services rendered by certain service departments are used, in part, by other service departments. This method, therefore, allocates services back-and-forth among all departments using the services. Instead of the one-way allocations performed under the step method, this method performs two-way (reciprocal) allocations. The reciprocal method's advantage over the step method is that it recognizes all interrelationships among departments and, therefore, produces more accurate service department cost allocations.

The first step in making reciprocal allocations is to determine the share of each service department's costs that is to be allocated to the other service departments and to the production departments. A spreadsheet program can be used to calculate these percentage shares. Exhibit 9-5, which will be used as a starting point for reciprocal cost allocations, shows each Birchtree Manufacturing department's proportionate usage of the other departments' services.

The percentages in Exhibit 9-5 are used to derive simultaneous equations for calculating the costs of the services rendered. When there are few departments and interrelationships, simultaneous equations can be solved by hand.

Bases and Percentage Allocations for Reciprocal Method
Birchtree Manufacturing Share Calculations for Cost Allocations
Department
 
 
Cost Allocation Base
 
 
 
Payroll Dollars
Reports
Square Feet
Machine Hours
Amount
Percent
Amount
Percent
Amount
Percent
Amount
Percent
Human Resources

n/a

n/a

100

9.1

1,000

3.8

-0-

0.0

Computing Center

$ 50,000

25.0

n/a

n/a

900

3.5

-0-

0.0

Occupancy Services

40,000

20.0

200

18.2

n/a

n/a

-0-

0.0

Engineering

30,000

15.0

7011

63.6

4,100

15.8

n/a

n/a

Assembly

60,000

30.0

40

3.6

14,000

53.8

2,000

80.0

Finishing

20,000

10.0

60

5.5

6,000

23.1

500

20.0

Totals

$200,000

100.0

1,100

100.0

26,000

100.0

2,500

100.0

If a large number of variables are present, the simultaneous equations will be too complex to solve without the aid of a computer.

With the method of simultaneous equations, the relationships among departments are expressed as a system of linear equations, with one equation for each department. Exhibit 9-6 summarizes the percentages of service department cost allocations from Exhibit 9-5. The percentages in the vertical columns, shown as negative amounts, represent credits to the overhead accounts indicated at the top of the columns. The charges (debits) to other service departments' overhead accounts and to the production departments' overhead accounts are the percentage of the service used multiplied by its cost from the reciprocal solution. The stage one TOH costs of each department are shown in the last column of Exhibit 9-6. The following symbols represent the total cost associated with the departments indicated:

SERVICE DEPARTMENT
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT
x1 = Human Resources
x5 = Assembly
x2 = Computing Center
x3 = Occupancy Services
x4 = Engineering
x6 = Finishing

Then, x1, the cost associated with Human Resources, is expressed as:

x1 = 0.091x2 + 0.038x3 + 0x4 + 0x5 + 0x6, + $220,000

This expression indicates that the cost of Human Resources is its DVOH and DFOH cost of $220,000 plus stage two allocations from the Computing Center and Occupancy Services.

Summary of Services Rendered Recognizing Reciprocal Relationships
Birchtree Manufacturing Proportion of Cost to be Allocated to Other Departments
 
Department Rendering Service
 
 
Department Receiving Service

x 1

Human Resources

x 2

Computing Center

x 3

Occupancy Services

x 4

Engineering

x 5

Assembly

x 6

Finishing

 
Total D VOH and DFOH Costs
Human Resources

-

-0.091

-0.038

0.00

0.00

0.00

 

$220,000

Computing Center

-0.25

-

-0.035

0.00

0.00

0.00

 

180,000

Occupancy Services

-0 20

-0.182

-

0.00

0.00

0.00

 

150, 000

Engineering

-0.15

-0.636

-0.158

-

0.00

0.00

 

100,000

Assembly

-0.30

-0.036

-0.538

-0.80

-

0.00

 

170,000

Finishing

-0.10

-0.055

-0.231

-0.20

0.00

-

 

50,000

Totals

-1.00

-1.000

-1.000

-1.00

-1.00

0.00

 

$870,000

similarly, the cost of the Computing Center is expressed as:

x2 = 0.25x1 + 0.035x3 + 0x4 + 0x5 +0x6 + $180,000

This expression indicates that the Computing Center is to be charged with 25 percent of the cost of Human Resources and 3.5 percent of Occupancy Services plus its DVOH and DFOH costs of $180,000. Formatting all the equations:

x 1 =
(0.091)x2
+ (0.038)x3
+ (0.000)x4
+ (0.00)x5
+ (0.00)x6
+ $220,000
x2 =
(0.250)x 1
+ (0.035)x3
+ (0.000)x4
+ (0.00)x5
+ (0.00)x6
+ $180,000
x3 =
(0.200)x 1
+ (0.182)x2
+ (0.000)x4
+ (0.00)x5
+ (0.00)x6
+ $150,000
x4 =
(0.150)x1
+ (0.636)x2
+ (0.158)x 3
+ (0.00)x5
+ (0.00)x6
+ $100,000
x5 =
(0.300)x 1
+ (0.036)x2
+ (0.538)x 3
+ (0.80)x4
+ (0.00)x6
+ $170,000
x6 =
(0.100)x 1
+ (0.055)x2
+ (0.231)x 3
+ (0.20)x4
+ (0.00)x5
+ $ 50,000

The total cost variables x 1 through x6 appear on the left-hand side of the equations, one variable for each equation. On the right-hand side of each equation are the cost variables for each of the remaining departments, multiplied by the appropriate proportions from Exhibits 9-5 and 9-6.

Using a spreadsheet program to solve this system of equations, the secondary cost allocations of service department costs to the producing departments' overhead accounts are shown in Exhibit 9-7a. Note that the Assembly Department's budgeted total overhead equals $656,682, while $213,318 is budgeted for the Finishing Department. The TOH PORs are shown in Exhibit 9-7b. The spreadsheet method is show in the appendix to this chapter.

Neither of the production departments renders services to any of the service departments. Thus, the production departments are not involved in the “vicious circle” of reallocations. The term vicious circle refers to the fact that where service departments are interrelated, it is impossible to know the total cost of department A until the allocation of department B is complete, but the allocation of department B cannot be made until it has received its share of department A's cost.

Reciprocal Method Cost Allocations
a. Recriprocal Allocations
 
 
 
Service Departments
Variable name
Reciprocal Allocation amount
Formulas
Human resources
x1
= $252,261
0.091 x CC + 0.038 x 0S + 220,000
Computing Services
x2
= $251,684
0.25 x HR + 0.035 x 0S + 180,000
Occupancy Services
x3
= $246,259
0.2 x HR + 0.182 x CC + 0.158 x 0S + 150,000
Engineering
x4
= $336,819
0.15 x 0.636 x CC + 0.158 x 0S + 100,000
 
 
 
 
Service Departments
 
 
 
Assembly
x5
= $656,682
0.3 x HR + 0.036 x CC + 0.538 x 0S + 0.8 x E + 170,000
Finishing
x6
= $213,318
0.1 x HR + 0.055 x CC + 0.231 x 0S + 0.2 x E + 50,000
Total Budgeted Overhead
 
$870,000
 
 
 
 
 
b. TOH POR Calculations
 
 
 
Assembly Department:
TOH POR =
($656,682 Budgeted TOH / 2,000 Mhr) = 328.34 $/Mhr
 
 
 
 
Finishing Department
TOH POR =
($213,318 Budgeted TOH / 10,000 DLhr) = 21.33 $/DLhr

Compare the total budgeted overhead to be included in each production department's TOH POR using the direct method (Exhibit 9-3), the step method (Exhibit 9-4), and the reciprocal method (Exhibit 9-7). Earlier, the comparison of the direct and step methods indicated that the direct method resulted in the Finishing Department cross-subsidizing the Assembly Department because too much service department costs were allocated to Finishing, while Assembly was undercosted. Now, comparing the step and reciprocal methods reveals that the step method apparently results in the same cross-subsidization costing problem. However, the magnitude of this problem has been greatly reduced. The difference between the step and reciprocal methods' allocations of total service department costs to the production departments' overhead accounts is insignificant.

RESPONSIBILITY ACCOUNTING AND SERVICE DEPARTMENT ALLOCATIONS

Seldom, if ever, will overhead costs applied during a period equal the actual overhead costs recorded in the same period. The reason for this disparity is that the actual level of activity is above or below the budgeted level, and/or actual overhead costs are different from estimated overhead costs. Consequently, in some periods actual overhead costs exceed applied overhead costs, and overhead is underapplied. In other periods, applied overhead costs exceed actual overhead, and overhead is overapplied. Several factors can produce under- or over-applied overhead:

The need for overhead cost variance analysis becomes even greater when service departments are present. For proper responsibility accounting and cost management, overhead cost variances need to be traced back to where they are caused. In other words, overhead cost variances for service departments, as well as for production departments, are needed.

Cost variance analysis is very difficult, if not impossible, for two reasons, when percentages are used to allocate total service department costs. First, VOH and FOH are combined into one TOH account, but four-way overhead variance analysis cannot be performed without separate VOH and FOH costs. Second, the percentages based on relative usage normally are recalculated when making actual overhead cost allocations throughout the year.

To illustrate, Birchtree Manufacturing's use of percentages based on the relative usage of services created two problems in evaluating performance. These problems resulted from two events during the year:

In many traditional CASs, the percentages used to allocate a service department's costs are recalculated based on actual data. These recalculated percentages for the Human Resources Department are shown in Exhibit 9-8. Upon seeing the actual overhead cost allocations from the Human Resources Department to the other departments, Birchtree's management made the following performance evaluations:

What happened? First, assume that by keeping their payroll costs at budget, Occupancy Services, Engineering, Assembly, and Finishing used the same amount of Human Resources services as planned. Although they used exactly the amount of services budgeted, all of these departments were rewarded because the amount of overhead allocated to each was less than budgeted, solely due to Computing Services having a larger payroll than originally budgeted. This created the illusion that the departments saved Birchtree some money. Birchtree management rewarded them for something they did not do!

Actual Percentages for Birchtree's Human Resources Department's Actual Overhead Cost Allocations
 
Original Allocations (See Exhibits 9-4 and 9-5)
Revised Allocations (Using actual costs)
 
 

Budgeted Payroll

a

Allocation Percentages

b

Budgeted Allocations c

ActualPayroll

d

Actual Percentages

e

Actual Costs Allocated

f

Cost Variances

g=c-f

Computing Center

$50,000

25%

$ 55,000

$150,000

50,00%

$140,000

<$85,000>U

Occupancy Services

40,000

20%

44,000

40,000

13.33%

37,333

6,667 F

Engineering

30,000

15%

33,000

30,000

10,00%

28,000

5,000 F

Assembly

60,000

30%

66,000

60,000

20.00%

56,000

10,000 F

Finishing

20,000

10%

22,000

20,000

6.67%

18,667

3,333 F

Totals

$200,000

100%

$220,000

$300,000

100.00%

$280,000

<$60,000>U

Second, the Computing Services personnel were penalized for being allowed to hire three people. Computing Services may, or may not, have used more Human Resources services than it should have used. But, the CAS does not capture this information. As a result of recalculating the Human Resources allocation percentages based on actual payroll costs, the Computing Services Center is apparently cross-subsidizing the other departments. Both a motivational and an ethical dilemma have resulted.

The problem of a potentially incorrect performance evaluation was caused by recalculating the percentages used to allocate service department costs. Using percentages based on actual payroll costs may not produce a high-quality CAS. Birchtree management also experienced another problem stemming from the amount of Human Resources costs allocated. Originally, the budgeted costs $220,000 were allocated to the user departments. When many traditional CASs recalculate the percentages, they also allocate the actual costs of the services along with these new percentages.General Ledger System Comparisons: Overhead Accounts for Production Departments and Service Departments

In other words, since the Human Resources Department actually spent $280,000, the CAS allocated this amount to the other departments. The CAS did not capture the spending variance created by this service department, nor did the CAS assign the variance to the proper responsibility center. Instead, the CAS allocations buried this cost overrun in the users' accounts! Thus, Birchtree management, not knowing any better, rewarded the Human Resources Department personnel for not showing any cost variances.4

Actual Percentages for Birchtree’s Human resources Department’s Actual Overhead Cost Allocations
 

A high-quality CAS will separate VOH and FOH, creating separate accounts and overhead allocations for each department's VOH and FOH. The system used at Birchtree did not. Exhibit 9-9 illustrates the design of a WIP general ledger system that has individual VOH and FOB accounts for production and service departments. Compare this exhibit to Exhibit 8-8.

INSIGHTS & APPLICATIONS

St. John's Hospital

St. John's Hospital is a relatively small rural hospital located in central Iowa. Its three profit centers arc Services, Obstetrics, and General Services. The hospital calls these billing centers. It has three services: Cafeteria, Administration, and Laundry. The management accountant, Prasid Kalari, has designed a normal P0CAS in which each patient is treated as a job. Even though a normal CAS is used, rather than a standard CAS, cost variances are prepared and reported annually. The CAS has separate VOH and FOH accounts for each billing center and service center.
Variable service department costs are allocated using a budgeted rate. For example, variable costs of the Cafeteria (meals) are allocated using a budgeted rascal rate multiplied by the number of meals eaten in the other responsibility centers. Administration variable costs (files, insurance claims, and so forth) are allocated based on the files processed multiplied by a budgeted rate per file. Laundry variable costs are allocated using the number of loads of laundry processed for each revenue center multiplied by its budgeted rate per load.
 
The logic behind using a budgeted rate (instead of a percentage) is that these costs are variable. The stable relationship for expressing a variable cost is on a per unit (rate) basis. For example, it should cost so much per meal, or file processed, or load of laundry washed and dried.
The fixed costs of each service are allocated based on percentages. These percentages are calculated from the maximum capacity usage of each service, rather than the actual or budgeted usage, as is done in many traditional CASs. Prasid's rationale is that fixed costs represent the costs of having a certain amount of capacity available. The size of each user of a service, such as the Cafeteria, determines how big that service should be and, therefore, its fixed costs. Allocating the fixed costs by using relative size percentages of the users, in effect, charges the users a flat fee for having the service available. Prasid Kalari prepared a flowchart for making budget allocations at the beginning of an accounting period (BOP) to set PORs and for making end-of-period (FOP) actual overhead cost allocations for performance evaluation. The flowchart is shown in Exhibit 9-10 (see p. 418).
When services are allocated using the step method, the Cafeteria is first, then Administration, and, finally, Laundry. The secondary cost allocation bases for these three services are meals served, files processed, and loads of laundry, respectively. The basis for each billing center's POR is patient-days for the stage three applying overhead to the patients' bills (i.e., to these individual jobs).

A high-quality CAS also recognizes that VOH and FOH are caused by different activities, even for the same department. Thus, VOH and FOH should be allocated differently. The above Saint John's Hospital example has a high-quality CAS for overhead responsibility accounting.

Budget Allocations for VOH PORs

In developing the service departments' budgets, Prasid felt it was important to involve all those responsible for the costs and their control. Accordingly, each department head had to coordinate plans with the others, sharing information so that the budgeting process could be efficiently and effectively performed. For example, the heads of the three billing centers and the other two service departments provided the Cafeteria manager with the meals they expected to eat given their budgeted patient-days for the upcoming year. Similarly, the budgeted files and the budgeted loads of laundry also were determined, based on the budgeted patient days for the billing centers.

In allocating the fixed service center costs, Prasid obtained information about the size of the various departments from the head of hospital administration. With this information, the various department heads prepared their DVOH and DFOH budgets. Prasid then collected the budget information and input it into the Data Section of his spreadsheet program shown in Exhibit 9-11 (see p. 419). The Data Section for Budget Allocations has two parts, one for VOH and one for FOH. The first line of each part (“Budgeted DVOH” and “Budgeted DFOH") represent the budgeted direct variable and fixed costs of each service department along with the budgeted DVOH and DFOH for each billing center.

Service Department Cost Allocations: Step Method
 
* DVOH + allocations from previous departments.
** For remaining departments only. (Foot means to total a column of numbers.)

The Cafeteria can be used to demonstrate how th e VOH service department rates are calculated in the Solution Section for VOH Allocations. From line two in the Data Section, the Cafeteria manager is budgeting to serve 37,500 meals (1,000 to Administration, 500 to Laundry personnel, none to outpatients, 6,000 to OB patients, and 30,000 to general patients). She budgeted variable food preparation costs of $71,250 for this volume of meals (line one in the Data Section). Dividing this budgeted DVOH by the budgeted meals produces the Meal Rate shown in the Solution Section. The meals' variable costs should be $1.90 per meal. Using this budgeted meal rate, the cafeteria's variable meal costs can be allocated to the other departments based on the number of meals each has planned:

User Of Cafeteria Services
Meal Rate x
Budgeted Meals
= Voh Allocation
Administrative Services

$1.901meal x

1,000

$ 1,900

Laundry Services

$1.90/meal x

500

950

Outpatient

$1.90/meal x

-0-

-0-

Obstetrics

$1.90/meal x

6,000

11,400

General

$1.90/meal x

30,000

57,000

Variable cafeteria costs to be allocated

$1.90/meal x

37,500

$71,250

The File Rate and Laundry Rate are calculated in a similar way. The File Rate is 0.50 $/per file processed, and the Laundry Rate is 4.00 $/per load5. As with the meal allocations, these rates are multiplied by the budgeted number of files and loads of laundry, respectively, in each user department to receive an allocation under the step method. Using the budgeted rates for the services multiplied by the budgeted amount of services to be provided, all the variable service department costs are allocated into the VOH accounts of the three billing,departments. Once the total VOH for each billing department is known, the VOH PORs can be prepared. Each outpatient is billed $3.05 for VOH, each OB patient is billed $9.35 per day, and each patient in the General Wing of St. John's Hospital is billed $7.00 per day.

St. John's Hospital Step Method Allocations: Budget Allocations for PORs
DATA SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH

$71,250

$8,100

$38,300

$12,000

$15,000

$251,700

BUDGETED MEALS

36,000

0

0

0

6,000

30,000

BUDGETED FILES

 

18,500

0

3,000

900

14,600

BUDGETED LOADS

 

 

10,000

1,200

300

8,500

BUDGETED PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,000

3,000

50.000

BUDGETED DFOH

$48,000

$33,040

$59,520

$26,958

$99,738

$344,744

CAPACITY MEALS

48,500

0

0

0

8,500

40,000

CAPACITY FILES

 

18,000

0

4,000

6,000

8,000

CAPACITY LOADS

 

 

12,000

1,560

360

10,080

SOLUTION SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)
 
 
 
VOH ALLOCATIONS:
 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH
 

$71,250

$8,100

$38,300

$12,000

$15,000

$251,700

MEAL RATE
$1.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAL ALLOCATION
 

<71,250>

1900

950

0

11,400

57,000

FILE RATE
$0.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILE ALLOCATION
 

 

<8,100>

750

1,500

450

7,300

LAUNDRY RATE
$4.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION
 

 

 

<40,000>

4,800

1,200

34,000

TOTAL VOH
 

$0

$0

$0

$18,300

$28,050

$350,000

VOH POR/IPATIENT-DAY
 

 

 

 

$3.05

$9.35

$7.00

FOH ALLOCATIONS:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGETED DFOH
 

$48,000

$33,040

$59,520

$26,958

$99,738

$344,744

MEAL CAPACITIES
 

100%

2%

1%

0 %

17%

80%

MEAL ALLOCATION
 

<48,000>

960

480

0

8,460

38,400

FILE CAPACITIES
 

 

100%

10 %

20

30%

40%

FILE ALLOCATION
 

 

<34,000>

3400

6800

10,200

13,600

LAUNDRY CAPACITIES
 

 

 

100%

13%

3%

84%

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION
 

 

 

<63,400>

8242

1,902

53,256

TOTAL FOH
 

$0

$0

$0

$42,000

$120,000

$450,000

FOH POR/PATIENT-DAY
 

 

 

 

$7.00

$40.00

$9.00

TOH BUDGETED
 

$0

$0

$0

$60,300

$148,050

$800,000

TOH POR/PATIENT-DAY
 

 

 

 

$10.05

$49.35

$16.00

 

 

 

Budget Allocations for FOH PORs

Fixed service department costs are allocated to producing departments (billing centers in the hospital) based on the relative size of each user. To demonstrate this, the number of meals that could be eaten by each user department if operating at full capacity is used to determine “relative size ratios” for each user department. For the cafeteria, these ratios are as follows:

User Of Cafeteria Services
Capacity Meals
Relative size Ratio
Cafeteria Foh Allocation
Administrative Services
1,000 meals
2%
$ 960
Laundry Services
500
1 %
480
Outpatient Treatment
-0-
-0-
-0-
Obstetrics
8,500
17%
8,160
General
40,000
80%
38,400
Totals
50,000 meals
100%
$48,000

With these relative size ratios, the cafeteria's budgeted fixed costs ($48,000) can be allocated to the various users of this service. Combining the VOH and FOH allocations, each user is contracting to receive a particular service for a mixed cost.6 The FOH allocations represent the fixed cost of having this service available for its users. The VOH allocations represent the incremental cost of using one more unit of that service. The allocated costs of the Cafeteria that should be used by the other departments in budgeting their VOH costs are as follows:

User Of Cafeteria Services
Fixed Cost
+
Variable Cost
Administrative Services
960 $/year
+
$1.90/meal
Laundry Services
480 $/year
+
$1.90/meal
Outpatient Treatment
n/a
 
n/a
Obstetrics
8,160 $/year
+
$1.90/meat
General
38,400 $/year
+
$1.901meal

In effect, each user is contracting for a specific amount of service at a contracted cost (expressed by the Cafeteria's cost equation for each user). These budgeted (contracted) amounts will be used in the actual overhead cost allocations and cost variances presented in the following sections.

Actual Variable Cost Allocations

Each user of a service contracts to buy that service for a specific price, such as $1.90 per meal for the Cafeteria. As shown in the Data Section for Actual Cost Allocations in Exhibit 9-12, the actual variable and fixed costs, along with the actual usage of each service, are input. The first two amounts under the “Cafeteria” column are the actual variable Cafeteria costs and the actual meals served. From these two amounts, the actual variable cost of a meal is $2.00 ($80,000 - 40,000 meals). However, the users only contracted to pay $1.90 per meal, and that is all they should have to pay. It is the Cafeteria manager's responsibility to control these costs. If more is spent in preparing meals than was budgeted, this “spending” variance should remain within the Cafeteria VOH account

St. John's Hospital Step Method Allocations: Year-End Actual Costs Allocations
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
 
 
 
 
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
ACTUAL DVOH

$80,000

$6,210

$38,600

$11,050

$15,000

$177885

ACTUAL MEALS

40,000

1000

400

0

8,600

30,000

ACTUAL FILES

 

18,000

1,280

4,000

1,500

11,220

ACTUAL LOADS

 

 

10,000

1,500

500

8,000

ACTUAL PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,500

4,000

45,000

ACTUAL DFOH

$50,000

$31,040

$59,250

$30,000

$143,000

$340,000

SOLUTION SECTION: ACTUAL COST ALLOCATIONS AT END OF PERIOD (EOP)

VOH ALLOCATIONS:
 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
ACTUAL DVOH

 

$80,000

$6,210

$38,600

$11,050

$15,000

$177,885

MEAL RATE

$1.90

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<76,000>

1,900

760

0

16,340

57,000

FILE RATE

$0.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<9,000>

640

2,000

750

5,610

LAUNDRY RATE

$4.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<40,000>

6000

2000

32,000

TOTAL VOH

 

$4,000

<$890>

$0

$19,050

$34,090

$272,495

LESS: PATIENT CHARGES

 

 

 

 

<19,825>

<37,400>

<315,000>

ENDING VOH BALANCE

 

$4,000

<$890>

$0

<$775>

<$3,310>

<$42,505>

FOH ALLOCATIONS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTUAL DFOH

 

$50,000

$31,040

$59,520

$30,000

$143,000

$340,000

MEAL CAPACITIES

 

100%

2%

1%

0%

17%

80%

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<48,000>

960

480

0

8,160

38,400

FILE CAPACITIES

 

 

100%

10%

20%

30%

40%

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<34,000>

3,400

6,800

10,200

13,600

LAUNDRY CAPACITIES

 

 

 

100%

13%

3%

84%

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<63,400>

8,242

1,902

53,256

TOTAL FOH

 

$2000

<$2000>

$0

$45,042

$163,262

$445,256

LESS: PATIENT CHARGES

 

 

 

 

<45,500>

<160,000>

<405,000>

ENDING FOH BALANCE

 

$2000

<$2000>

$0

<$458>

$3,262

$40,256

ENDING TOH BALANCE

 

$6,000

<$2,890>

$0

<$1,233>

<$48>

<$52,249>

The number of meals eaten, however, is the responsibility of the user departments. Therefore, their allocated actual variable meal costs are calculated as the budgeted meal rate multiplied by the actual meals eaten.7 In this way, the users assume responsibility for the usage of services (i.e., the number of meals they actually ate), and the provider of the service assumes responsibility for the cost of providing that service.

To illustrate this for the cafeteria costs, there was a $0.10 per meal unfavorable variable cost spending variance ($1.90/meal standard rate versus the $2.00/meal actual rate) for each of the 40,000 actual meals served. This $4,000 unfavorable spending variance is the responsibility of the Cafeteria manager, and this allocation method keeps the spending variance within the Cafeteria's VOH account.8 The $4,000 ending (debit, underapplied) overhead balance in the Cafeteria's VOH account is shown on the “Ending VOH Balance” line of the Solution Section for VOH Allocations in Exhibit 9-12.9

What type of variances should make up the ending VOH account balances? There are two VOH cost variances, spending and usage (efficiency):

Actual Fixed Cost Allocations

Actual fixed service department costs are not really allocated to the using depart-ments. Instead, the budgeted FOH is allocated. During the budgeting process, the departments using services contracted to pay for these services as a mixed cost. Using a budgeted VOH rate, users pay for the actual meals eaten, files processed, or loads of laundry done. With respect to the fixed costs of having a service available, each user contracted to pay a fair share of the budgeted fixed cost. From the users' perspective, they should only have to pay the budgeted rate (multiplied by the actual amount of services used) and the budgeted fixed cost. Accordingly, they should only have to pay the budgeted fixed cost agreed to in the service's cost equation developed as part of the POR and budgeting process. In other words, only the budgeted fixed cost should be allocated to the users of a service. Any difference between the actual FOH and budgeted FOH should remain in the service's FOH account as an FOH budget (spending) variance.

To illustrate this for the Cafeteria's fixed costs, the ending balance in its FOH account is $2,000. From the FOH Allocations in the Solution Section in Exhibit 9-12, actual fixed cafeteria costs were $50,000 against a budget of $48,000. The $2,000 unfavorable FOH budget variance is the responsibility of the Cafeteria manager, and, as with a VOH spending variance, this amount remains in the Cafeteria's account. it is not allocated to the users and buried in the cost of their overhead. In Administration, $33,040 was budgeted for primary (direct) fixed costs. Actual DFOH was $31,040, yielding a $2,000 favorable FOH budget variance for Administration. This variance (overapplied overhead is a credit balance) remains in the Administration FOH account. For Laundry, $59,520 was budgeted and spent for DFOH, so that service center has no ending FOH account balance.

In summary, by allocating the same amounts at both the beginning of the year and the end of the year, any FOH spending variance remains in the service center FOH account responsible for it. Which cost variances comprise the ending FOH account balance?

There is no FOH volume variance for the service departments because an FOH POR is not used to allocate service department FOH to other services and production departments. A service's FOH is allocated using the lump-sum amounts budgeted for each user. There is an FOH volume variance, though, in the production department FOH accounts because a rate (FOH POR) is used to apply FOH to individual products. FOH needs to be absorbed into each products' cost and sales price so that total sales revenues are sufficient to pay for the total FOH costs. The FOH POR is multiplied by the volume of its basis in allocating FOH to products. If more products are made than budgeted, more FOH will be allocated than budgeted (resulting in a favorable volume variance).

Service Department Cost Variances

In reconciling the ending overhead account balances and breaking down the balances into their underlying cost variances, Prasid Kalari prepared the analyses shown in Exhibits 9-13 and 9-14 (see p. 424 and p. 426). Exhibit 9-13 contains the cost variances for the service departments that are discussed in the following paragraphs.

CAFETERIA COST VARIANCES. The Cafeteria's DVOH spending variance has already been illustrated, as has the DFOH budget variance. These two variances are calculated as follows:

DVOH spending variance = AQp x (SP - AP)

 

= 40,000 meals x ($1.90/meal - $2.00/meal)

 

= <$4,000> unfavorable

DFOH budget variance = Budgeted DFOH - Actual DFOH

 

= $48,000 - $50,000

 

= <$2,000> unfavorable

A service department's overhead account balances are made up of its direct (primary) costs spending variances and usage variances for any services allocated to it. Since the Cafeteria is the first service department, no previous service costs are allocated to it. Its overhead account ending balances can only consist of the two variances above, totalling <$6,000>.10

ADMINISTRATION COST VARIANCES. Administration's VOH account balance can be made up of two cost variances, the DVOH spending variance and a Cafeteria usage variance. Its FOH balance consists of only one variance, the DFOH budget variance.

St. John's Hospital Step Method Allocations: Cost Variance Analysis of Year-End Service Department Overhead Accounts
 
Quantities
Costs per unit
Totals
Cafeteria
 
 
 
Variable costs should have totaled

 

$ 1.90

$ 76,000

Actual variable costs for 40,000 meals

 

<$ 2.00>

<$ 80,000>

Overspent (Unfavorable Spending Variance):

 

<$ 0.10>

<$ 4,000> U

Actual direct fixed costs should not have been different form budget. Overspent by:

 

 

<$ 2,000> U

Total net unfavorable spending variance

 

 

<$ 6,000> U

Administration

 

 

 

Direct Variable Costs should have totaled:

 

$ 0.405

$ 7,290

Actual Direct Variable Costs for 18,000 files

 

<$ 0.345>

<$ 6,210>

Underspent (Favorable spending Variance)

 

$ 0.060

$ 1,080

Standard Quantity Allowed (meals per file)

900

 

 

Actual meals eaten

<1,000>

 

 

Unfavorable Meal Usage Variance

<100>

$ 1.90

<$ 190> U

Net Favorable Variable Cost Variance

 

 

$ 890 F

Favorable Direct Fixed Costs Spending Variance:

 

 

$ 2,000 F

Total net Favorable Cost Variance

 

 

$ 2,890 F

 

 

 

 

Laundry Services

 

 

 

Direct Variable Costs should have totaled:

 

$ 3.83

$ 38,300

Actual Direct Variable Costs (10,000 loads):

 

<$ 3.86>

<$ 38,600>

Unfavorable Direct VOH spending Variance

 

<$ 0.03>

<$ 300> U

Standard Quantity Allowed (meals per load):

500

 

 

Actual meals eaten:

<400>

 

 

Favorable Meal Usage Variance:

100

$ 1.90

$ 190 F

Standard Quantity Allowed (files per load):

1,500

 

 

Actual files processed:

<1,280>

 

 

Favorable Files Usage Variance:

220

$ 0.50

$ 110 F

Net Variable Costs Variance:

 

 

$ 0

Direct Fixed Costs Spending Variance:

 

 

$ 0

Total Net Cost Variance:

 

 

$ 0

 

 

 

 

DVOH spending variance = AQp x (SP - AP)
= 18,000 files x ($0.405/tile - $0.345/file)
= $1,080 favorable

The $0.50 budgeted file rate (Exhibit 9-12) consists of $0.405 per file for DVOH ($8,100 - 20,000 budgeted files) and $0.095 per file for variable meal costs ($1,900 - 20,000 files). The actual DVOH rate is $6,210 _ 18,000 actual files ($0.345). These calculations are shown in the Administration section of Exhibit 9-13.

Meal usage variance = SP x (SQA - AQu)
= $1.90/meal x (900 meals - 1,000 meals)
= $<190> unfavorable

The standard quantity of meals per file is 0.05 (1,000 budgeted meals / 20,000 budgeted files). This manager budgeted 1,000 meals to be eaten if 20,000 files are planned to be processed. Thus, 20 files should be processed for each meal eaten. Since 18,000 files were actually processed, only 900 meals (the SQA) should have been eaten.

DFOH budget variance = Budgeted DFOH - Actual DFOH

= $33,040 - $31,040

= $2,000 favorable

LAUNDRY SERVICES COST VARIANCES. As the third service department in the step method allocation order, Laundry Services' VOH account balance can consist of three variances: its DVOH spending variance and usage variances for each of the two services allocated to it. Its FOH balance consists of the DFOH budget variance.

DVOH spending variance = AQp x (SP - AP)
= 10,000 loads x ($3.83/load - $3.86/load)
= <$300> unfavorable

The budgeted DVOH rate is $3.83 ($38,300 budgeted DVOH - 10,000 budgeted loads). The actual DVOH laundry rate is $3.86 per load ($38,600 - 10,000 loads).

Meal usage variance = SP x (SQA - AQu)
= $1.90/meal x (500 meals - 400 meals)
= $190 favorable

The standard quantity of meals per load of laundry is 0.05 meals per load (500 budgeted meals - 10,000 budgeted loads). If 10,000 actual loads of laundry were done, 500 meals should have been eaten.

Files usage variance = SP x (SQA - AQu)
= $0.50/file x (1,500 files - 1,280 files)
= $110 favorable

The number of files that should have been processed for the loads of laundry actually done (SQA) is 1, 500 (SQ of 0.15 files per load multiplied by the 10,000 actual loads). The SQ for files is 1,500 budgeted files - 10,000 budgeted loads. There is no FOH ending balance for Laundry Services because its budgeted and actual DFOH are $59,520.

Production Department Cost Variances

Exhibit 9-14 (see p. 426) reports the overhead cost variances for each of the billing departments. The VOH variances can include a direct VOH spending variance for each billing department and usage variances for each service allocated to it. The FOH variances include a direct FOH budget variance and a volume variance for each billing department. These variances are calculated below.

Out-patient Overhead Cost Variances

DVOH spending variance = AQp x (SP - AP)
= 6,500 patient-days x ($2.00/patient-day - $1.70/patient-day)
= $1,950 favorable

The budgeted DVOH of $12,000 (Exhibit 9-11) _ 6,000 budgeted patient-days equals the $2.00 per patient-day budgeted rate. The actual rate is $11,050 _ 6,500 actual patient-days ($1.70).

File usage variance = SP x (SQA - AQu)
= $0.50/file x (3,250 files - 4,000 files)
= <$375> unfavorable

For outpatient treatments, planning called for 3,000 files to be processed for 6,000 patient-days (Exhibit 9-11), yielding a standard quantity of 0.5 files per patient-day and an SQA of 3,250 files for the 6,500 actual patient-days.

Laundry usage variance = SP x (SQA - AQu)
= $4.00/load x (1,300 loads - 1,500 loads)
= <$800> unfavorable

From the budgeted information in the Data Section of Exhibit 9-11, the loads of laundry planned (1,200) for the budgeted patient-days (6,000) yields a standard quantity of 0.2 loads per patient-day. For the actual 6,500 patient-days incurred, then, 1,300 loads should have been done.

St. John’s Hospital Step Method Allocations: Cost Variance Analysis of Year-end Billing Department Overhead Accounts
 
Quantities
Costs per unit
Totals
Out-Patient

 

 

 

Direct VOH costs should have totaled:

 

$ 2.00

$ 13,000

Actual Direct VOH costs for 6,500 patients

 

<$ 1.70>

<$ 11,050>

Favorable DVOH spending Variance:

 

$ 0.30

$ 1,950 F

Standard Quantity Allowed (files per patient-day)

3,250

 

 

Actual files processed:

<4,000>

 

 

Unfavorable File Useage Variance

<750>

$ 0.50

<$ 375> U

Standard Quantity Allowed (loads per patient-day):

1,300

 

 

Actual loads done:

<1,500>

 

 

Unfavorable Laundry Usage Variance

<200>

$ 4.00

<$ 800> U

Net Favorable Variable Costs Variance

 

 

$ 775 F

Unfavorable Direct FOH Spending Variance

 

 

<$ 3,042> U

Actual Patient-days:

6,500

 

 

Budgeted patient-days

:<6,000>

 

 

Favorable FOH Volume Variance:

500

$ 7.00

$ 3,500 F

Net Favorable FOH Cost Variance:

 

 

$ 458 F

Total Net Favorable Cost Variance:

 

 

$ 1,233 F

Obstetrics

 

 

 

Direct VOH costs should have totaled:

 

$ 5.00

$ 20,000

Actual Direct VOH costs for 4,000 patients

 

<$ 3.75>

<$15,000>

Favorable DVOH spending Variance:

 

$ 1.25

$ 5,000 F

Standard Quantity Allowed (meals per patient-day)

8,000

 

 

Actual meals eaten:

<8,600>

 

 

Unfavorable Meal Useage Variance

<600>

$ 1.90

<$ 1,140> U

Standard Quantity Allowed (files per patient-day)

1,200

 

 

Actual files processed:

<1,500>

 

 

Unfavorable File Useage Variance

<300>

$ 0.50

<$ 150> U

Standard Quantity Allowed (loads per patient-day):

400

 

 

Actual loads done:

<500>

 

 

Unfavorable Laundry Usage Variance:

<100>

$ 4.00

<$ 400> U

Net Variable Costs Variance

 

 

$3,310 F

Unfavorable Direct FOH Spending Variance

 

 

<$ 43,262> U

Actual Patient-days:

4000

 

 

Budgeted patient-days

<3000>

 

 

Favorable FOH Volume Variance:

1,000

$ 40.00

$ 40,000 F

Net Unfavorable FOH Cost Variance:

 

 

<$ 3,262> U

Total Net Favorable Cost Variance

 

 

$ 48 F

General

 

 

 

Direct VOH costs should have totaled:

 

$ 5.043

$ 226,530

Actual Direct VOH costs for 45,000 patients

 

<$ 3,953>

<$ 177,885>

Favorable DVOH Spending Variance:

 

$ 1.081

$ 48,645 F

Standard Quantity Allowed (meals per patient-day):

27,000

 

 

Actual meals eaten:

<30,000>

 

 

Unfavorable Meal Usage Variance:

<3,000>

$ 1.90

<$ 5,700> U

Standard Quantity Allowed (files per patient-day)

13,140

 

 

Actual files processed:

<11,220>

 

 

Favorable File Useage Variance

1,920

$ 0.50

$ 960 F

Standard Quantity Allowed (loads per patient-day):

7,650

 

 

Actual loads done:

<8,000>

 

 

Unfavorable Laundry Usage Variance:

<350>

$ 4.00

<$ 1,400> U

Net Variable Costs Variance

 

 

$ 42,505 F

Unfavorable Direct FOH Spending Variance

 

 

$ 4,744 F

Actual Patient-days:

45,000

 

 

Budgeted patient-days

<50,000>

 

 

Favorable FOH Volume Variance:

<5,000>

$ 9.00

<$ 45,000> U

Net Unfavorable FOH Cost Variance:

 

 

<$ 40,256> U

Total Net Favorable Cost Variance

 

 

$ 2,249 F

DFOH budget variance = Budgeted DFOH - Actual DFOH = $26,958 - $30,000 = <$3,042> unfavorable

FOH volume variance = FOH POR x (Actual patient-days - Budgeted patient-days)
= $7.00/patient-day x (6,500 - 6,000)
= $3,500 favorable

The volume variance arises because FOH has to be absorbed into the cost of each patient-day. In other words, the FOH has to be billed to all the patients by breaking it down into a rate per patient-day. This is absorption costing. The FOH volume variance only arises with absorption costing. There are no volume variances for the service departments' FOH allocations because a rate is not needed to allocate service department FOH to the production departments' FOH accounts.

Why is an FOH POR needed for production departments in applying FOH to

products (stage three allocations), but not needed for service -to -producion department (stage two) allocations? The number of departments receiving a service's FOH allocation is known. Therefore, a lump-sum amount can be allocated to each. if the number of patient-days could be known with certainty, then a lump-sum amount of FOH could be applied to each department. But, because sales and production volumes are not known when budgeting, an FOH POR must he calculated based on the estimated volumes. When the estimated and actual volumes do not agree, an FOH volume variance results.

OBSTETRICS AND GENERAL OVERHEAD COST VARIANCES. The cost variances of the Obstetrics and General Billing departments are calculated in the same way as for the Outpatient Treatment center, and, therefore, will not be reproduced here.” The VOH account for Obstetrics contains four cost variances: the DVOH spending variance ($5,000 favorable) and a meal usage variance ($1,140 unfavorable), file usage variance ($150 unfavorable), and laundry usage variance ($400 unfavorable). The DFOH budget variance for Obstetrics is $43,262 unfavorable, and the FOH volume variance is $40,000 favorable.

The same variances exist in the VOH and FOH accounts for the General Wing of St. John's Hospital. These variances include a DVOH spending variance ($48,645 favorable), meal usage variance ($5,700 unfavorable), file usage variance ($960 favorable), laundry usage variance ($1,400 unfavorable), direct FOH budget variance ($4,744 favorable), and FOH volume variance ($45,000 unfavorable).

Standard Cost Accounting Systems for Service Department Allocations

Prasid Kalari developed a normal JOCAS for St. John's Hospital, but cost variances were calculated and reported annually. An SCAS could have been used. How would an SCAS differ from the normal JOCAS used by Kalari? In an SCAS, cost variances are journalized into separate subsidiary WIP accounts for each responsibility center. These “level three” accounts within WIP were first introduced in Chapter 8 (Exhibit 8-8). When service departments are present, each will have its own cost variance accounts just like the production departments' cost variance accounts.

In journalizing service department VOH cost variances, the stage two amounts allocated to production departments are calculated by using the budgeted rates multiplied by the standard quantity of the service allowed, rather than the actual quantity of the service used. Accordingly, instead of including the usage variances for services within the using department's VOH account balance, these can be journalized to that department's cost variance accounts if using an SCAS. When the actual amount of a service is used to allocate VOH, the usage variance remains within the user's VOH and FOH accounts as ending under- or over-applied overhead.

As long as cost variances are properly calculated and reported to the correct responsibility centers, whether or not they are journalized into special accounts (as with an SCAS) is not critical for effective cost management. The important attribute of a high-quality overhead accounting system is that the cost variances are reported to the proper responsibility centers. This reporting should be timely enough to allow corrective actions and operational control. It is unlikely that St. John's annual reporting will promote operational control actions if cost variances are only reported annually.

11It probably is a good idea to go back to Exhibits 9-12 and 9-14 and work through [tie cost variance calculations.

SUMMARY OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The major goals of this chapter were to enable you to achieve four learning objectives:

Learning objective 1. Discuss the need for multiple overhead accounts within WIP.

Overhead represents the indirect costs of making a product or providing a service. These costs, which are becoming a more significant portion of the total manufacturing costs as enterprises automate processes, need to be accounted for in a way that promotes accurate product costing and cost management. Traditionally, CASs were designed primarily for financial reporting. All overhead items were (and still are in many manufacturers) journalized into one TOH account, and one TOH POR was created to apply these costs to production.

To understand and control overhead, and to measure the costs of making a product more accurately, multiple overhead accounts are needed. Each overhead account should have a POR that applies that overhead based on the activities that cause it.

Separate overhead accounts can be created for VOH and FOH and for each production and service department. This allows overhead costs and their cost variances to be directly traced to responsibility centers. In addition to facilitating control over these costs, separate PORs can more accurately apply VOH and FOH based on their different causes.

Accumulating primary costs in departmental overhead accounts is the first stage in overhead accounting. The second stage involves secondary overhead cost allocations from service departments to other service and production departments using those services. Variable and fixed service costs should be allocated using a basis that represents their usage. Once all overhead costs have been allocated into production department VOH and. FOH accounts, then (stage three) these costs can be applied to products as they pass through the production departments.

Learning objective 2. Describe how the general ledger system for WIP can be designed to provide more accurate product cost information and cost manage-ment information.

WIP consists of two “levels” of subsidiary accounts in a normal PCAS or JOCAS. These are the product cost accounts (jobs or production departments) and overhead accounts. Product costs are level one accounts. Overhead accounts are level two accounts. SCASs add a third level of subsidiary accounts, as discussed in Learning Objective 4.

The overhead accounts consist of two control accounts, one for VOH and one for FOH. Within the VOH and FOH control accounts, there are separate accounts for each production and service department. Using multiple overhead accounts enables these costs to be accumulated according to the departments that are responsible for their management and control.

Using proper allocation techniques (summarized in the next learning objective), a more accurate product cost can result. By analyzing the ending balances in each over-head account, the CAS can also provide cost variance information to promote cost management.

Learning objective 3. Explain how to allocate service department costs to production departments, and describe the different methods that can be used.

Four methods can be used for making secondary (stage two) overhead cost allocations between service department accounts and production department overhead accounts:

The reciprocal method, using simultaneous equations, allocates service department costs back-and-forth between services. Accordingly, it is considered to provide the most accurate product cost. The allocations can be performed with a fairly simple spreadsheet program, although the circular error problem may require the use of matrix algebra or linear programming as the number of services increases.

­ The reciprocal method allocates service costs based on the percentages of services used by other departments. For better cost management information, separate allocations should be made for VOH and FOH. The variable service costs should be allocated with a budgeted rate (summarized under the next objective). The fixed service costs should be allocated using percentages based on the relative size of each user in terms of the service rendered. These relative size ratios are calculated using the maximum amount of the service that could be requested by each user if it is operating at full production capacity.

Learning objective 4. Design an SCAS that includes cost variances for both production and service departments.

An SCAS adds a third level of subsidiary accounts to WIP. These are for departmental cost variances. Both service departments and production departments should have cost variance accounts.

To calculate overhead cost variances properly, service department variable costs should be allocated using a FOR. By using a POR, the DVOH spending variance can be isolated within the responsibility center's VOH account. Fixed overhead should be allocated using relative size ratios. This allows the DFOH budget variance to be isolated within the departmental overhead account responsible for controlling the cost of that service.

Within a normal CAS, service department variable costs are allocated using the actual quantity of the service instead of the SQA. This moves the services' usage variances to the VOH accounts of the departments using those services. The ending balances in the VOH accounts of each service and production department will then include that department's DVOH spending variance, as well as usage variances for each service used by it. The ending over- and underapplied overhead balances in each service and production department's account are analyzed in terms of the overhead cost variances that make up those ending balances.

With an SCAS, the variances are journalized into the variance accounts for each department. Thus, VOH and FOH cost variances are moved out of the service and production department VOH and FOH accounts. With an SCAS, then, there are no ending over- or underapplied overhead account balances.

Appendix: Spreadsheet Reciprocal Method

Using the example in the book, Excel easily computes all the items we need for a reciprocal solution. There are 4 steps in the process:

  1. Derive the cost equations for each department
  2. Prepare the Matrix representing the equations
  3. Invert the Martix of cost relationships
  4. Multiply the inverted Matrix by the vector of deparment costs

From Table 9.6 we can prepare the matix of cost percentages seen in Ehhibit 9-15.

 
 
Note that the diagonal with the 1s shows negative numbers [-1] for all service department row-by-column intersections. This indicates that 100% of costs are being transfered out of the service departments. The diagonal shows positive numbers [1] for the row-by-column intersections for production departments. This indicates that 100% of costs are being transfered into production departments.
 
The next step is to invert the matrix. In Excel you move your cursor below the original matrix and highlight an empty area the same size as the original matrix. This creates the output area. For this problem you would create a 6-by-6 output area since you do not include the titles or check figures at the bottom. Next, type “=minverse(“ and then move our cursor up to the original matrix and highlight it. Then press cntl-shift-enter at the same time. The following matrix will appear:
 
 
Next, enter the following vector of costs:
 
 
The last step is to write equations to multiply the costs imes the inverted matrix. This is a good test of your equation-writing skills. If you use absolute and relative referencing properly you can write 1 equation and paste it into all 36 cells to get the following answer [The last column is a sum of the first 6 columns]:
 
The last column represents the total costs transfered out or into all departments. Negative numbers indicate a transfer out and positive numbers indicate a transfer in. With these numbers you can reconstruct Exhibit 9-7. In general you only need the shaded numbers for OH cost allocation. These are the numbers that will be used to compute the PORs. Notice that the amount transfered out [$1,087,023] is greater than the amount transfered in. This is correct because this method computes the amount transfered out by including all costs transfered in. Explaining this to a non-numerate colleague is difficult and may be a reason to not show them the complete results.
 

IMPORTANT TERMS

DEMONSTRATION PROBLEMS

DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 1 Allocation of budgeted service department costs by the direct method.

Use the information from St. John's Hospital in Exhibit 9-11 to calculate VOH and FOH PORs for each of its three billing departments. Allocate the variable service department costs using a budgeted rate for each service based on budgeted cost of the service and budgeted demand. The FOH allocations should be based on relative size ratios. Discuss the differences that result from the direct method and the step method.

SOLUTION TO DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 1

The solution is presented below and on top of the next page. The same spreadsheet program used for the step method in Exhibit 9-11 can be used for the direct method. The difference between the two methods is that with.the direct method, no service department costs are allocated to other service departments.

This is reflected in the Data Section by inputting zero meals and zero files for Administration and Laundry Services. As can he seen in the VOH and FOH Solution Sections, no service department costs are allocated to other services. Instead they are directly allocated to the billing departments.

Because no Cafeteria or Administrative Services costs were allocated to other service departments, the meal rate increased. It now represents a rate based just on the meals eaten in the billing departments. The file and laundry rates decreased from the step method rates, for the same reason (no inter-service allocations). No previous service department costs are included in the direct method rates for these (subsequent) services. The FOH allocations also changed from the step method amounts for the same reason.

The ultimate effect on the VOH, FOH, and TOH PORS appears negligible in this example. But, this may not always be the case. If these allocations are done manually, then the direct method, which is easier, may provide accurate enough PORs and product costs. Alternatively, if a spreadsheet program is used, it takes no more time to input the raw data necessary for the step method. Since it produces more accurate cost allocations and PORs, the step method seems the logical choice.

A word of caution is in order. The spreadsheet program is formatted to display all allocations rounded to the nearest whole dollar. The rate cells are formatted to display dollars and cents. For example, the meal rate is $1.979167. When doing these calculations manually, using $1.98 will produce slightly different amounts. Additionally, this formatting choice appears to create some minor addition errors. For example, the outpatient VOH and FOH really sum to $59,947 (rounded). But, $17,910 + $42,038 = $59,948. The modern management accountant understands that this is not an addition error in the program, and is not bothered by this. It is simply a rounding problem created by the formatting option used and is of no real consequence.

DATA SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH

$71,250

$8,100

$38,300

$12,000

$15,000

$251,700

BUDGETED MEALS

36,000

0

0

0

6,000

30,000

BUDGETED FILES

 

18,500

0

3,000

900

14,600

BUDGETED LOADS

 

 

10,000

1,200

300

8,500

BUDGETED PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,000

3,000

50.000

BUDGETED DFOH

$48,000

$33,040

$59,520

$26,958

$99,738

$344,744

CAPACITY MEALS

48,500

0

0

0

8,500

40,000

CAPACITY FILES

 

18,000

0

4,000

6,000

8,000

CAPACITY LOADS

 

 

12,000

1,560

360

10,080

SOLUTION SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)
VOH ALLOCATIONS:
 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH

 

$71,250

$8,100

$38,300

$12,000

$15,000

$251,700

MEAL RATE

$1.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<71,250>

0

0

0

11,875

59,375

FILE RATE

$0.44

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<8,100>

0

1,314

394

6,392

LAUNDRY RATE

$3.83

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<38,300>

4,596

1,149

32,555

TOTAL VOH

 

$0

$0

$0

$17,910

$28,418

$350,022

VOH POR/IPATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$2.98

$9.47

$7.00

FOH ALLOCATIONS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGETED DFOH

 

$48,000

$33,040

$59,520

$26,958

$99,738

$344,744

MEAL CAPACITIES

 

100%

0%

0%

0 %

18%

82

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<48,000>

0

0

0

8,412

39,588

FILE CAPACITIES

 

 

100%

0 %

22%

33%

44%

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<33,040>

0

7,342

11,013

14,684

LAUNDRY CAPACITIES

 

 

 

100%

13%

3%

84%

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<59,520>

7,738

1,786

49,997

TOTAL FOH

 

$0

$0

$0

$42,038

$120,949

$449,013

FOH POR/PATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$7.01

$40.32

$8.98

TOH BUDGETED

 

$0

$0

$0

$59,947

$149,367

$799,035

TOH POR/PATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$9.99

$49.79

$15.98

 

 

 

DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 2 Allocation of budgeted service department costs by the step method.

Using the following new raw data for St. John's Hospital, calculate VOH and FOH PORs for each of its three billing departments. Allocate the variable service department costs using a budgeted rate for each service based on the budgeted cost of the service and budgeted demand. The FOH allocations should be based on relative size ratios.

SOLUTION TO DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 2

DATA SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)

 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH

$75,000

$8,000

$5,000

$15,280

$5,600

$35,120

BUDGETED MEALS

30,000

900

400

0

8,000

20,700

BUDGETED FILES

 

25,625

1,500

3,800

8,000

12,325

BUDGETED LOADS

 

 

11,000

2,000

2,000

7,000

BUDGETED PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,000

3,000

48,000

BUDGETED DFOH

$60,000

$17,500

$20,000

$39,766

$99,696

$315,038

CAPACITY MEALS

50,000

1,000

500

0

8,500

40,000

CAPACITY FILES

 

35,000

3,500

7,000

10,500

14,000

CAPACITY LOADS

 

 

12,000

2,400

2,400

7,200

 

SOLUTION SECTION: BUDGET ALLOCATIONS AT BEGINNING OF PERIOD (BOP)

VOH ALLOCATIONS:
 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OS
GENERAL
BUDGETED DVOH

 

$75,000

$8,000

$5,000

$15,280

$5,600

$35,120

MEAL RATE

$2.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<75,000>

2,250

1,000

0

20,000

51,750

FILE RATE

$0.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<10,250>

600

1,520

3,200

4,930

LAUNDRY RATE

$0.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<6,600>

1,200

1,200

4,200

TOTAL VOH

 

$0

$0

$0

$18,000

$30,000

$96,000

VOH POR/PATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$3.00

$10.00

$2.00

FOH ALLOCATIONS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGETED DFOH

 

$60,000

$17,500

$20,000

$39,766

$99,696

$315,038

MEAL CAPACITIES

 

100%

2%

1%

0%

17%

80%

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<60,000>

1,200

600

0

10,200

48,000

FILE CAPACITIES

 

 

100%

10%

20%

30%

40%

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<18,700>

1,870

3,740

5,610 '

7,480

LAUNDRY CAPACITIES

 

 

 

100%

20%

20%

60%

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<22,470>

4,494

4,494

13,482

TOTAL FOH

 

$0

$0

$0

$48,000

$120,000

$384,000

FOH POR/PATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$8.00

$40.00

$8.00

TOE BUDGETED

 

$0

$0

$0

$66,000

$150,000

$480,000

TOH PORIPATIENT-DAY

 

 

 

 

$11.00

$50.00

$10.00

 
 
 

DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 3 Allocation of actual service department costs by the step method.

Using the following new raw data for St. John's Hospital, allocate actual service department costs to each of its three billing departments. Allocate the actual variable service department costs using a budgeted rate for each service (based on the budgeted cost of the service and budgeted demand from Demonstration Problem 2) and actual demand. The FOH allocations should be based on relative size ratios.

St. John's Hospital Step Method Allocations Year-End Actual Costs Allocations

DATA SECTION: ACTUAL COST ALLOCATIONS AT END OF PERIOD (EOP)

 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
ACTUAL DVOH

$80,000

$5,200

$5,000

$15,000

$10,000

$25,000

ACTUAL MEALS

39,250

800

450

0

8,000

30,000

ACTUAL FILES

 

18,000

1,280

4,000

1,500

11,220

ACTUAL LOADS

 

 

10,000

1,500

500

8,000

ACTUAL PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,500

4,000

45,000

ACTUAL DFOH

$60,000

$17,000

$22,000

$41,766

$95,000

$340,000

SOLUTION TO DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM 3

DATA SECTION: ACTUAL COST ALLOCATIONS AT END OF PERIOD (EOP)

 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
 
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
ACTUAL DVOH

$80,000

$5,200

$5,000

$15,000

$10,000

$25,000

ACTUAL MEALS

39,250

800

450

0

8,000

30,000

ACTUAL FILES

 

18,000

1,280

4,000

1,500

11,220

ACTUAL LOADS

 

 

10,000

1,500

500

8,000

ACTUAL PATIENT-DAYS

 

 

 

6,500

4,000

45,000

ACTUAL DFOH

$60,000

$17,000

$22,000

$41,766

$95,000

$340,000

SOLUTION SECTION: ACTUAL COST ALLOCATIONS AT END OF PERIOD (EOP)

VOH ALLOCATIONS:
 
 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
BILLING DEPARTMENTS
CAFETERIA
ADMIN
LAUNDRY
OUTPATIENT
OB
GENERAL
ACTUAL DVOH

 

$80,000

$5,200

$5,000

$15,000

$10,000

$25,000

MEAL RATE

$2.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<98,125>

2,000

1,125

0

20,000

75,000

FILE RATE

$0.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<7,200>

512

1,600

600

4,488

LAUNDRY RATE

$0.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<6,000>

900

300

4,800

TOTAL VOH

 

<$18,125>

$0

$637

$17,500

$30,900

$109,288

LESS: PATIENT CHARGES

 

 

 

 

<19,500>

<40,000>

<90,000>

ENDING VOH BALANCE

 

<$18,I25>

$0

$637

<$2,000>

<$9,100>

$19,288

FOH ALLOCATIONS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTUAL DFOH

 

$60,000

$17,000

$22,000

$41,766

$95,000

$340,000

MEAL CAPACITIES

 

1.00%

2%

1%

0%

17%

80%

MEAL ALLOCATION

 

<60,000>

1,200

600

0

10,200

48,000

FILE CAPACITIES

 

 

100%

10%

20%

30%

40%

FILE ALLOCATION

 

 

<18,700>

1,870

3,740

5,610

7,480

LAUNDRY CAPACITIES

 

 

 

100%

20%

20%

60%

LAUNDRY ALLOCATION

 

 

 

<22,470>

4,494

4,494

13,482

TOTAL FOH

 

$0

<$500>

$2,000

$50,000

$115,304

$408,962

LESS: PATIENT CHARGES

 

 

 

 

<52,000>

<160,000>

<360,000>

ENDING FOH BALANCE

 

$0

<$500>

$2,000

<$2,000>

<$44,696>

$48,962

ENDING TOH BALANCE

 

<$18,125>

<$500>

$2,637

<$4,000>

<$53,796>

$68,250

REVIEW QUESTIONS

CHAPTER-SPECIFIC PROBLEMS

These problems require responses based directly on concepts and techniques presented in the text.

9.41 Multiple-choice questions concerning service department allocations.

1. Allocation of service department costs to production departments is necessary to:

a. Predict costs.
b. Coordinate production activity.
c. Determine predetermined overhead rates.
d. All of the above.

2. The overhead cost allocation method that usually starts with the service depart-ment rendering services to the greatest number of other service departments and progresses in descending order to the service department rendering service to the smallest number of other service departments is the:

a. Step method.
b. Direct method.
c. Reciprocal method.
d. Partial method.

3. The overhead cost allocation method that allocates service department costs without consideration of services rendered to other service departments is the:

a. Direct method.
b. Reciprocal method.
c. Step method.
d. POR method.

4. The most accurate method for allocating service department costs is the:

a. Step method.
b. Direct method.
c. Reciprocal method.
d. None of the above.

5. The method that recognizes service provided by one service department to another but does not recognize reciprocal interdepartmental service is the:

a. Direct method.
b. Reciprocal method.
c. Simultaneous equation method.
d. Step method.

6. The janitorial department provides cleaning services to all departments of a large store. Management wishes to allocate the janitorial costs to the various sales departments that benefit from this service. What would be the most reasonable allocation base for janitorial services?

a. Sales of each department.
b. Number of employees in each department.
c. Square footage of each department.
d. Number of inventory items.

7. The function of a cost allocation base is to:

a. Estimate service department costs.
b. Allocate costs.
c. Develop a cost object.
d. Divide conversion costs.

8. Why are predetermined overhead rates used?

a. To budget overhead costs.
b. To smooth seasonal variability of overhead costs.
c. Allow timely product and service costing,
d. Both (b) and (c).

9. It is proper to allocate variable and fixed elements of overhead costs by individual predetermined overhead rates for:

a. Service departments to production departments.
b. Production departments to the final output units of products and services.
c. Both (a) and (b),
d. None of the above.

9.42 Departmental predetermined overhead rates. Tillman Corporation has two production departments, M and A. Budgeted manufacturing costs for the year were as follows:

 
DEPARTMENT M
DEPARTMENT A
Direct materials
$700,000
$100,000
Direct labor
200,000
800,000
Manufacturing overhead
600,000
400,000

The actual material and labor costs charged to job 432 during the year were as follows:

Direct materials
 
$25,000
Direct labor: Department M
$ 8,000
 
Department A
12,000
$20,000

Tillman applies manufacturing overhead to production orders on the basis of direct labor cost using departmental rates predetermined at the beginning of the year based on the annual budget.

Required: Determine the total annual manufacturing costs associated with job 432. [AICPA adapted]

9.43 Allocation of service department costs by the direct and step methods. [AICPA adapted] Thomas Manufacturing Company has two producing departments, Fabrication and Assem-bly, and three service departments, General Factory Administration, Factory Main-tenance, and Factory Cafeteria. A summary of costs and other data for each department prior to allocation of service department costs for the year ended June 30, 20x2, follows:

 
PRODUCING DEPARTMENTS
 
FABRICATION
ASSEMBLY
Direct labor costs

$1,950,000

$2,050,000

Direct materials costs

3,130,000

950,000

Factory overhead costs

1,650,000

1,850,000

Direct labor hours

562,500

437,500

Number of employees

280

200

Square footage occupied

88,000

72,000

 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
 
GENERAL FACTORY ADMINISTRATION
FACTORY MAINTENANCE
FACTORY CAFETERIA
Direct labor costs

$90,000

$82,100

$87,000

Direct materials costs

-

65,000

91,000

Factory overhead costs

70,000

56,100

62,000

Direct labor hours

31,000

27,000

42,000

Number of employees

12

8

20

Square footage occupied

1,750

2,000

4,800

The costs of General Factory Administration, Factory Maintenance, and Factory Cafeteria are allocated on the basis of direct labor hours, square footage occupied, and number of employees, respectively. Round all final calculations to the nearest dollar.

Required:

9.44 Allocation of service department costs by the step and reciprocal methods. Departments A, B, and C provide services to each other and to production departments Y and Z in the following manner:

 
 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENTS
TOTAL COST
 
A
B
C
Y
Z
$100,000

A

 

15%

5%

55%

25%

75,000

B

10%

 

9%

18%

63%

60,000

C

-

 

 

30%

70%

$235,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Required: Make the proper cost allocations using the step method.

9.45 Reciprocal allocations. You have been provided with the following equations, which represent total costs for each department (D, through D5) at Crystal-Glo Corporation:

D1 =
(0.00)D2
+ 0.00)D3
+ (0.00)D4
+ (0.00)D5
+ $22,000
D2 =
(0.25)D1
+ (0.04)D3
+ (0.00)D4
+ (0.00)D5
+ $18,000
D3 _
(0.20)D1
+ (0.40)D2
+ (0.00)D4
+ (0.00)D5
+ $15,000
D4 =
(0.15)D1
+ (030)D2
+ (0.36)D3
+ (0.00)D5
+ $14,400
D5 =
(0.40)D1
+ (0.30)D2
+ (0.60)D3
+ (0.00)D4
+ $65,000

Required: Use the reciprocal method to allocate costs between the five departments. Primary costs are given in dollars.

9.46 Allocation of service department costs using the direct step, and reciprocal methods. [AICPA adapted] Hartwell Company distributes service department overhead costs directly to producing departments without allocation to the other service departments. Informa-tion for the month of January follows:

 
MAINTENANCE
UTILITIES
Overhead costs incurred

$18,700

$9,000

Service provided to:Maintenance Department

 

10%

Utilities Department

20%

 

Producing Department A

40%

30%

Producing Department B

40%

60%

Required:

9.47 Allocation of service department costs using the direct method. A hospital has a $100,000 expected utility bill this year. The Janitorial, Accounting, and Orderlies Departments are service functions to the Operating, Hospital Rooms, and Labora-tories Departments. Floor space is assigned to each department as follows:

DEPARTMENT
SQUARE FOOTAGE
Janitorial

1,000

Accounting

2,000

Orderlies

7,000

Operating

4,000

Hospital Rooms

30,000

Laboratories

6,000

 

50,000

Required: How much of the $100,000 will eventually become the Hospital Rooms Department total costs, assuming a direct allocation based on square footage? [CIA adapted]

9.48 Service department allocations with separate VOH and FOH PORs. Illinois Electric produces electricity from the Chicago River. The electricity is carried over electric lines to four branch stations. Using the information below and the step method, calculate VOH and FOH PORs based on DLhr for each branch station.

DATA SECTION: BUDGETED VARIABLE AND FIXED OVERHEAD COSTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BRANCHES
 
ELECTRIC COSTS
ROCKFORD
PEORIA
HAMMOND
KANKAKEE
BUDGETED DIRECT VOH

$6,000

$25,000

$30,000

$20,000

$ 15.000

BUDGETED USAGE (KWhr)

30,000

8,000

9,000

7,000

6,000

BUDGETED DIRECT LABOR HOURS

 

266,000

3,180

107,000

8,100

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUDGETED DIRECT FOH

$9,000

$130,000

$145,000

$90,000

$150,000

CAPACITY USAGE (KWhr)

50,000

10,000

20,000

12,000

8,000

9.49 Service department allocations with separate VOH and FOH PORs. During July,

the Maintenance Department of WonderWorks, Inc., budgeted variable costs of $9,000 and fixed costs of $4,500. The Maintenance Department serves three production departments: Grinding, Polishing, and Assembly. Maintenance direct labor hours are used to allocate its overhead to the production departments. The following information is available:

 
GRINDING
POLISHING
ASSEMBLY
Budgeted DLhr

300

200

400

Capacity DLhr

500

600

400

Primary VOH

$3,000

$4,000

$5,000

Primary FOH

$6,000

$7,000

$8,000

Budgeted machine hours

1,000

800

2,000

Required: Calculate the VOH and FOH PORs for each production department using machine hours as the PORs' allocation basis.

9.50 Single and separate allocations of budgeted service department costs. During April, the Accounts Receivable Department budgeted $20,000 in variable costs and $50,000 in fixed costs. Credit sales of the four retail branches are used to allocate these costs. Budgeted credit sales information includes the following:

 
UPTOWN
DOWNTOWN
EASTSIDE
WESTSIDE
Budgeted for April

$20,000

$100,000

$40,000

$40,000

Maximum potential sales

75,000

120,000

60,000

45,000

Required:

THINK-TANK PROBLEMS

Although these problems are based on chapter material, reading extra material, reviewing previous chapters, and using creativity may be required to develop workable solutions.

9.51 Ethical considerations in overhead allocation. In Chapter 1, four ethical standards for management accounting were identified. What are the implications of each in designing an overhead allocation system?

9.52 High-quality information about overhead. Consider each characteristic of high-quality information presented in Chapter 1. What implications does each have for the design of a high-quality CAS for reporting overhead?

9.53 Service departments and JITs. Design a WIP general ledger system for a JIT. The CAS should be high quality. Consider the value of service department allocations to JIT cells and the need for service department cost variance information. If you do not believe allocations should be made to JIT cells or believe that cost variance information is not needed, then what information should be provided by the CAS, to whom, and how?

9.54 Backflush systems and service departments. Review backflush systems in Chapter 8. If services exist, can a high-quality backflush system be designed to account for them?

9.55 Spreadsheet programs for budgeted service department allocations. Construct a spreadsheet program that will perform step method allocations for calculating VOH and FOH PORs. Variable service department costs should be allocated based on the budgeted rates developed_ Fixed costs should be allocated using relative size ratios. Test your program using the information from Demonstration Problem 2.

9.56 Spreadsheet programs for actual service department cost allocations. Construct a spreadsheet program that will perform step method allocations for actual VOH and FOH costs. Test the program using the information front Demonstration Problems 2 and 3.

9.57 Spreadsheet programs for direct method allocations. Using the information from Demonstration Problems 2 and 3, construct a spreadsheet program that will perform direct method allocations for budgeted and actual service department costs. Variable and fixed costs should be allocated separately as was done in Demonstra-tion Problem 1.

9.58 Comprehensive allocation of costs. Barnes Company has two service departments and three production departments, each producing a separate product. For a number of years, Barnes has allocated service department costs to the production departments on the basis of the annual sales revenue dollars. In a recent audit report, the internal auditor stated that the distribution of service department costs on the basis of annual sales dollars would lead to serious inequities. The auditor suggested that maintenance and engineering service hours would be a better service cost allocation basis. For illustrative purposes, the following information was appended to the audit report:

 
SERVICE DEPARTMENTS
PRODUCTION DEPARTMENTS
 
Maintenance
Engineering
Product A
Product B
Product C
Maintenance hours used

-

400

800

200

200

Engineering hours used

400

-

800

400

400

Department direct costs

$12,000

$54,000

$80,000

$90,000

$50,000

Required:

[CIA adapted]

9.59 Comprehensive allocation of costs. The managers of Rochester Manufacturing are discussing ways to allocate the cost of service departments such as Quality Control and Maintenance to the production departments. To aid them in this discussion, the controller has provided the following information:

 
Quality Control
Maintenance
Machining
Assembly
Total
Budgeted overhead costs before allocation

$350,000

$200,000

$400,000

$300,000

$1,250,000

Budgeted machine hours

-

-

50,000

-

50,000

Budgeted direct labor hours

-

-

-

25,000

25,000

Budgeted hours of service: Quality Control

 

7,000

21,000

7,000

35,000

Maintenance

10,000

-

18,000

12,000

40,000

Required:

[CMA adapted]

9.60 Development of predetermined overhead rates. Marfrank Corporation is a manufacturing company with six functional departments-Finance, Marketing, Personnel, Production, Research and Development (R&D), and Information Systems-each administered by a vice president. The Information Systems Department (ISD) was established in 20x3 when Marfrank decided to acquire a new mainframe computer and develop a new information system.

While systems development and implementation is an ongoing process at Marfrank, many of the basic systems needed by each of the functional departments were operational at the end of 20x4. Thus, calendar year 20x5 is considered the first year when the ISD costs can be estimated with a high degree of accuracy. Marfrank's president wants the other five functional departments to be aware of the magnitude of the ISD costs by reflecting the allocation of ISD costs in the reports and statements prepared at the end of the first quarter of 20x5. The allocation of ISD costs to each of the departments was based on their actual use of ISD services.

Jon Werner, vice president of ISD, suggested that the actual costs of ISD be allocated on the basis of pages of actual computer output. He suggested this basis because all of the departments use reports in evaluating their operations and making decisions. The use of this basis resulted in the following allocation:

DEPARTMENT
PERCENTAGE
ALLOCATED COST
Finance

50%

$112,500

Marketing

30

67,500

Personnel

9

20,250

Production

6

13,500

R&D

5

11,250

Totals

100%

$225,000

After the quarterly reports were distributed, the Finance and Marketing Departments objected to this allocation method. Both departments recognized that they were responsible for most of the output in terms of reports, but they believed that these output costs might be the smallest of ISD costs and requested that a more equitable allocation basis be developed.

After meeting with Werner, Elaine Jergens, Marfrank's controller, concluded that 1SD provided three distinct services-systems development, computer processing represented by central processing unit (CPU) time, and report generation. She recommended that a predetermined rate he developed for each of these services from budgeted annual activity and costs. The ISD costs would then be assigned to the other functional departments using the predetermined rate times the actual activity used. Any difference between actual costs incurred and costs allocated to the other departments would be absorbed by ISD.

Jergens and Werner concluded that systems development could he charged on the basis of hours devoted to systems development and programming, computer processing based on CPU time used for operations (exclusive of database development and maintenance), and report generation based on pages of output. The only cost that should not he included in any of the predetermined rates would be purchased software; these packages were usually acquired for a specific department's use. Thus, Jergens concluded that purchased software would be charged at cost to the department for which it was purchased. In order to revise the first quarter allocation, Jergens gathered the information on ISD costs and services shown on the next page:

 
Information Systems Department Costs
 
 
 
Estimated Annualcosts
Actual first quarter Costs
Percentage Devoted To
Systems Development
Computer Processing
Report generation
Wages and benefits Administration

$100,000

$ 25,000

60%

20%

20%

Computer operators

55,000

13,000

 

20

80

Analysts/programmers

165,000

43,500

100

 

 

Maintenance Hardware

24,000

6,000

 

75

25

Software

20,000

5,000

 

100

 

Output supplies

50,000

11,500

 

 

100

Purchased software

45,000

16,000*

 

-

-

Utilities

28,000

6,250

 

100

 

Depreciation

 

 

 

 

 

Mainframe computer

325,000

81,250

 

100

 

Printing equipment

60,000

15,000

 

 

100

Building improvements

10,000

2,500

 

100

 

Total department costs

$882,000

$225,000

 

 

 

*Note: All software purchased during the first quarter of 20x5 was for the benefit of the Production Department.

Information Systems Department Services

 
Systems Development
Computer Operations (Cpu)
Report Generation
Annual capacity

4,500 hours

360 CPU hours

5,000,000 pages

Actual usage during first quarter, 20x5Finance

100 hours

8 CPU hours

600,000 pages

Marketing

250 hours

12 CPU hours

360,000 pages

Personnel

200 hours

12 CPU hours

108,000 pages

Production

400 hours

32 CPU hours

72,000 pages

R&D

50 hours

16 CPU hours

60,00 pages0

Total usage

1,000 hours

80 CPU hours

1,200,000 pages

Required:

a.

b. With the method proposed by Elaine Jergens for charging the ISD costs to the other five functional departments, there may be a difference between ISD's actual costs incurred and the costs assigned to the five user departments. 1. Explain the nature of this difference.

[CMA adapted]

 

 


1. Service departments have a staff, rather than a line, responsibility.

2. Notice in the exhibit that the term allocated is used for the assignment of service department costs to production departments. But, the term applied is used to describe the assignment of production department overhead costs to the final cost objects; that is, the products manufactured or services performed by the organization.

3. In some situations, a certain service department allocation order must be used, regardless of the relative amounts of services provided. This is true in Medicare reimbursement claims by hospitals. All hospitals are required by law to use the same allocation order. Technically, however, the most accurate allocations result from ordering services by the amount of services provided to the other service departments. This order may not always be the same as ordering service departments from highest to lowest budgeted cost.

4. When the Computing Services employees found out that everyone got bonuses but them, they quickly figured out why. If the three new people had not been hired, then none of the rewards everyone else received at the expense of Computing Services would have happened. The three new computer people were ostracized and finally quit Birchtree even though they had promising careers. On their way out, they sabotaged the CAS allocation program, which they saw as the real reason for their lost jobs.

5. File Rate: $8,100 in DVOH Administrative Services costs plus an allocation of $1,900 from the Cafeteria, divided by 20,000 budgeted files to be processed by the remaining user departments. Laundry Rate: $38,300 in DVOH costs plus a Cafeteria allocation of $950 and an Administration Services allocation of $750, divided by 10,000 budgeted loads of laundry.

6. A mixed cost is part variable and part fixed, and is usually represented by a linear equation over the relevant range. See Chapter 7 on budgeting VOH and Fort costs for more information.

7. Allocating overhead using a predetermined rate and the actual volume used is a feature of a normal CAS. A standard CAS uses SQA, not the actual volume. These topics were discussed in Chapter 4 (“Cost Measurement Issues”) and Chapter 8 (“Variable Costs Usage Variances,” and “SCAS Journal Entries”).

8. The formula for a variable cost spending variance from Chapter 8 is AQp x (SP - AP). For the cafeteria, 40,000 actual meals eaten x ($1.901meal - $2.001meal) _ <$4,000> unfavorable. An unfavorable variance is a debit to the overhead account, as it represents an extra cost. An unfavorable variance represents underapplied overhead.

9. In Exhibit 9-12, the lines titled “Less: Patient Charges” represent the VOn and FOH applied. In the case of a hospital, rather than applying overhead to individual products (as in a manufacturing firm), overhead is billed to patients.

10. You may he confused because Exhibit 9-13 presents unfavorable cost variances in brackets (i.e., as negative amounts, such as the $6,000 for the Cafeteria). But, Exhibit 9-12 shows the $6,000 ending balance in the Cafeteria's account without brackets. The reason for the different presentation is that unfavorable cost variances are debit balances in the general ledger. Debit balances are normally presented as positive (unbracketed) values. Also remember that ending debit balances in overhead accounts are underapplied overhead.