Skip to Content
OpenStax Logo
Buy book
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Accounting as a Tool for Managers
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 1.1 Define Managerial Accounting and Identify the Three Primary Responsibilities of Management
    3. 1.2 Distinguish between Financial and Managerial Accounting
    4. 1.3 Explain the Primary Roles and Skills Required of Managerial Accountants
    5. 1.4 Describe the Role of the Institute of Management Accountants and the Use of Ethical Standards
    6. 1.5 Describe Trends in Today’s Business Environment and Analyze Their Impact on Accounting
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Thought Provokers
  3. 2 Building Blocks of Managerial Accounting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 2.1 Distinguish between Merchandising, Manufacturing, and Service Organizations
    3. 2.2 Identify and Apply Basic Cost Behavior Patterns
    4. 2.3 Estimate a Variable and Fixed Cost Equation and Predict Future Costs
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Multiple Choice
    8. Questions
    9. Exercise Set A
    10. Exercise Set B
    11. Problem Set A
    12. Problem Set B
    13. Thought Provokers
  4. 3 Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 3.1 Explain Contribution Margin and Calculate Contribution Margin per Unit, Contribution Margin Ratio, and Total Contribution Margin
    3. 3.2 Calculate a Break-Even Point in Units and Dollars
    4. 3.3 Perform Break-Even Sensitivity Analysis for a Single Product Under Changing Business Situations
    5. 3.4 Perform Break-Even Sensitivity Analysis for a Multi-Product Environment Under Changing Business Situations
    6. 3.5 Calculate and Interpret a Company’s Margin of Safety and Operating Leverage
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  5. 4 Job Order Costing
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 4.1 Distinguish between Job Order Costing and Process Costing
    3. 4.2 Describe and Identify the Three Major Components of Product Costs under Job Order Costing
    4. 4.3 Use the Job Order Costing Method to Trace the Flow of Product Costs through the Inventory Accounts
    5. 4.4 Compute a Predetermined Overhead Rate and Apply Overhead to Production
    6. 4.5 Compute the Cost of a Job Using Job Order Costing
    7. 4.6 Determine and Dispose of Underapplied or Overapplied Overhead
    8. 4.7 Prepare Journal Entries for a Job Order Cost System
    9. 4.8 Explain How a Job Order Cost System Applies to a Nonmanufacturing Environment
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary
    12. Multiple Choice
    13. Questions
    14. Exercise Set A
    15. Exercise Set B
    16. Problem Set A
    17. Problem Set B
    18. Thought Provokers
  6. 5 Process Costing
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 5.1 Compare and Contrast Job Order Costing and Process Costing
    3. 5.2 Explain and Identify Conversion Costs
    4. 5.3 Explain and Compute Equivalent Units and Total Cost of Production in an Initial Processing Stage
    5. 5.4 Explain and Compute Equivalent Units and Total Cost of Production in a Subsequent Processing Stage
    6. 5.5 Prepare Journal Entries for a Process Costing System
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  7. 6 Activity-Based, Variable, and Absorption Costing
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 6.1 Calculate Predetermined Overhead and Total Cost under the Traditional Allocation Method
    3. 6.2 Describe and Identify Cost Drivers
    4. 6.3 Calculate Activity-Based Product Costs
    5. 6.4 Compare and Contrast Traditional and Activity-Based Costing Systems
    6. 6.5 Compare and Contrast Variable and Absorption Costing
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  8. 7 Budgeting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 7.1 Describe How and Why Managers Use Budgets
    3. 7.2 Prepare Operating Budgets
    4. 7.3 Prepare Financial Budgets
    5. 7.4 Prepare Flexible Budgets
    6. 7.5 Explain How Budgets Are Used to Evaluate Goals
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  9. 8 Standard Costs and Variances
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 8.1 Explain How and Why a Standard Cost Is Developed
    3. 8.2 Compute and Evaluate Materials Variances
    4. 8.3 Compute and Evaluate Labor Variances
    5. 8.4 Compute and Evaluate Overhead Variances
    6. 8.5 Describe How Companies Use Variance Analysis
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  10. 9 Responsibility Accounting and Decentralization
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 9.1 Differentiate between Centralized and Decentralized Management
    3. 9.2 Describe How Decision-Making Differs between Centralized and Decentralized Environments
    4. 9.3 Describe the Types of Responsibility Centers
    5. 9.4 Describe the Effects of Various Decisions on Performance Evaluation of Responsibility Centers
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  11. 10 Short-Term Decision Making
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 10.1 Identify Relevant Information for Decision-Making
    3. 10.2 Evaluate and Determine Whether to Accept or Reject a Special Order
    4. 10.3 Evaluate and Determine Whether to Make or Buy a Component
    5. 10.4 Evaluate and Determine Whether to Keep or Discontinue a Segment or Product
    6. 10.5 Evaluate and Determine Whether to Sell or Process Further
    7. 10.6 Evaluate and Determine How to Make Decisions When Resources Are Constrained
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Multiple Choice
    11. Questions
    12. Exercise Set A
    13. Exercise Set B
    14. Problem Set A
    15. Problem Set B
    16. Thought Provokers
  12. 11 Capital Budgeting Decisions
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 11.1 Describe Capital Investment Decisions and How They Are Applied
    3. 11.2 Evaluate the Payback and Accounting Rate of Return in Capital Investment Decisions
    4. 11.3 Explain the Time Value of Money and Calculate Present and Future Values of Lump Sums and Annuities
    5. 11.4 Use Discounted Cash Flow Models to Make Capital Investment Decisions
    6. 11.5 Compare and Contrast Non-Time Value-Based Methods and Time Value-Based Methods in Capital Investment Decisions
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Multiple Choice
    10. Questions
    11. Exercise Set A
    12. Exercise Set B
    13. Problem Set A
    14. Problem Set B
    15. Thought Provokers
  13. 12 Balanced Scorecard and Other Performance Measures
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 12.1 Explain the Importance of Performance Measurement
    3. 12.2 Identify the Characteristics of an Effective Performance Measure
    4. 12.3 Evaluate an Operating Segment or a Project Using Return on Investment, Residual Income, and Economic Value Added
    5. 12.4 Describe the Balanced Scorecard and Explain How It Is Used
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Exercise Set A
    11. Exercise Set B
    12. Problem Set A
    13. Problem Set B
    14. Thought Provokers
  14. 13 Sustainability Reporting
    1. Why It Matters
    2. 13.1 Describe Sustainability and the Way It Creates Business Value
    3. 13.2 Identify User Needs for Information
    4. 13.3 Discuss Examples of Major Sustainability Initiatives
    5. 13.4 Future Issues in Sustainability
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Multiple Choice
    9. Questions
    10. Thought Provokers
  15. Financial Statement Analysis
  16. Time Value of Money
  17. Suggested Resources
  18. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
  19. Index

A company makes a budget for the smallest time period possible so that management can find and adjust problems to minimize their impact on the business. Everything starts with the estimated sales, but what happens if the sales are more or less than expected? How does this affect the budget? What adjustments does a company have to make in order to compare the actual numbers to budgeted numbers when evaluating results? If production is higher than planned and has been increased to meet the increased sales, expenses will be over budget. But is this bad? To account for actual sales and expenses differing from budgeted sales and expenses, companies will often create flexible budgets to allow budgets to fluctuate with future demand.

Flexible Budgets

A flexible budget is one based on different volumes of sales. A flexible budget flexes the static budget for each anticipated level of production. This flexibility allows management to estimate what the budgeted numbers would look like at various levels of sales. Flexible budgets are prepared at each analysis period (usually monthly), rather than in advance, since the idea is to compare the operating income to the expenses deemed appropriate at the actual production level.

Big Bad Bikes is planning to use a flexible budget when they begin making trainers. The company knows its variable costs per unit and knows it is introducing its new product to the marketplace. Its estimations of sales and sales price will likely change as the product takes hold and customers purchase it. Big Bad Bikes developed a flexible budget that shows the change in income and expenses as the number of units changes. It also looked at the effect a change in price would have if the number of units remained the same. The expenses that do not change are the fixed expenses, as shown in Figure 7.23.

A flexible budget for Big Bad Bikes presents three budget scenarios for different quantities of units sold and different sale prices. Per-unit costs are identified: direct material $4, direct labor $15, variable manufacturing overhead $3, and variable sales and admin $3. In the first scenario, 1,000 units are sold at a sales price of $70 for total sales income of $70,000. Budget items for the first scenario are: direct material $4,000, direct labor $15,000, variable manufacturing overhead $3,000, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $51,000, gross profit $19,000, variable sales and admin $2,500, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $21,500, resulting in a net loss of $2,500. In the second scenario, 1,500 units are sold at a sales price of $70 for total sales income of $105,000. Budget items for the second scenario are: direct material $6,000, direct labor $22,500, variable manufacturing overhead $4,500, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $62,000, gross profit $43,000, variable sales and admin $3,750, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $22,750, resulting in a net income gain of $20,250. In the third scenario, 1,500 units are sold at a sales price of $75 for total sales income of $112,500. Budget items for the third scenario are: direct material $6,000, direct labor $22,500, variable manufacturing overhead $4,500, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $62,000, gross profit $50,500, variable sales and admin $3,750, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $22,750, resulting in a net income gain of $27,750.
Figure 7.23 Flexible Budget for Big Bad Bikes. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

Static versus Flexible Budgets

A static budget is one that is prepared based on a single level of output for a given period. The master budget, and all the budgets included in the master budget, are examples of static budgets. Actual results are compared to the static budget numbers as one means to evaluate company performance. However, this comparison may be like comparing apples to oranges because variable costs should follow production, which should follow sales. Thus, if sales differ from what is budgeted, then comparing actual costs to budgeted costs may not provide a clear indicator of how well the company is meeting its targets. A flexible budget created each period allows for a comparison of apples to apples because it will calculate budgeted costs based on the actual sales activity.

For example, Figure 7.24 shows a static quarterly budget for 1,500 trainers sold by Big Bad Bikes. The budget will change if there are more or fewer units sold.

Big Bad Bikes, Static Quarterly Budget for Each Quarter: Units sold 1,500 times Sales price $70 equals Sales $105,000. Budget items are: Direct material $6,000, Direct labor $22,500, Variable manufacturing overhead $4,500, Fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, Total cost of goods sold $62,000, gross profit $43,000, variable sales and admin $3,750, fixed sales and admin $18,000, no interest expense, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $22,750, net income $20,250.
Figure 7.24 Static Budget for Big Bad Bikes. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

Budget with Varying Levels of Production

Companies develop a budget based on their expectations for their most likely level of sales and expenses. Often, a company can expect that their production and sales volume will vary from budget period to budget period. They can use their various expected levels of production to create a flexible budget that includes these different levels of production. Then, they can modify the flexible budget when they have their actual production volume and compare it to the flexible budget for the same production volume. A flexible budget is more complicated, requires a solid understanding of a company’s fixed and variable expenses, and allows for greater control over changes that occur throughout the year. For example, suppose a proposed sale of items does not occur because the expected client opted to go with another supplier. In a static budget situation, this would result in large variances in many accounts due to the static budget being set based on sales that included the potential large client. A flexible budget on the other hand would allow management to adjust their expectations in the budget for both changes in costs and revenue that would occur from the loss of the potential client. The changes made in the flexible budget would then be compared to what actually occurs to result in more realistic and representative variance. This ability to change the budget also makes it easier to pinpoint who is responsible if a revenue or cost target is missed.

Big Bad Bikes used the flexible budget concept to develop a budget based on its expectation that production levels will vary by quarter. By the fourth quarter, sales are expected to be strong enough to pay back the financing from earlier in the year. The budget shown in Figure 7.25 illustrates the payment of interest and contains information helpful to management when determining which items should be produced if production capacity is limited.

A varying production budget for Big Bad Bikes presents budget items for four quarters. Per-unit costs are identified: direct material $4, direct labor $15, variable manufacturing overhead $3, and variable sales and admin $3. In the first quarter, 1,000 units are sold at a sales price of $70 for total sales income of $70,000. Budget items for the first quarter are: direct material $4,000, direct labor $15,000, variable manufacturing overhead $3,000, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $51,000, gross profit $19,000, variable sales and admin $2,500, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $21,500, resulting in a net loss of $2,500. The second quarter is identical to the first quarter. In the third quarter, 1,500 units are sold for a sales price of $75 for total sales income of $112,500. Budget items for the third quarter are: direct material $6,000, direct labor $22,500, variable manufacturing overhead $4,500, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $62,000, gross profit $50,500, variable sales and admin $3,750, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,000, total other expenses $22,750, resulting in a net income gain of $27,750. In the fourth quarter, 2,500 units are sold for a sales price of $75 for total sales income of $187,500. Budget items for the fourth quarter are: direct material $10,000, direct labor $37,500, variable manufacturing overhead $7,500, fixed manufacturing overhead $29,000, total cost of goods sold $84,000, gross profit $103,500, variable sales and admin $6,250, fixed sales and admin $18,000, income taxes $1,653, total other expenses $26,903, resulting in a net income gain of $76,597.
Figure 7.25 Varying Production Levels for Big Bad Bikes. (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license)

Concepts In Practice

Flexible Budgets and Sustainability

The ability to provide flexible budgets can be critical in new or changing businesses where the accuracy of estimating sales or usage my not be strong. For example, organizations are often reporting their sustainability efforts and may have some products that require more electricity than other products. The reporting of the energy per unit of output has sometimes been in error and can mislead management into making changes that may or may not help the company. For example, based on the energy per unit reported, management may decide to change the product mix, the amount that is outsourced, and/or the amount that is produced.1 If the energy output isn’t correct, the decisions may be wrong and create an adverse impact on the budget.

Footnotes

  • 1 Jon Bartley, et al. “Using Flexible Budgeting to Improve Sustainability Measures.: American Institute of CPAs. Jan. 23, 2017. https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/businessindustryandgovernment/resources/sustainability/improvesustainabilitymeasures.html
Citation/Attribution

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book is Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License 4.0 and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/principles-managerial-accounting/pages/1-why-it-matters
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/principles-managerial-accounting/pages/1-why-it-matters
Citation information

© Feb 14, 2019 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License 4.0 license. The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.