A1 – Prepare a summary report in which you do the following: 1.Discuss specific budgetary items raise concern in the budget planning (Spreadsheet Tab: Task 2_Budgets_and_Proformas).
Competition Bikes has prepared a budget for year nine of operations. In reviewing the budget presented several technical areas of concern have been noted. For ease of review, budgetary issues that raise concerns are presented in a bullet format. ·The first issue of concern is in the direct materials budget, it appears to be missing the total direct materials budget. There is a raw materials budget and a components budget present, but the two are never combined to complete the direct materials budget. On the surface this omission does not appear to be particularly egregious. However, omitting a total for direct materials can confuse the evaluation of how much money is going just to materials.
·The second issue of concern can be found in the Manufacturing Overhead Budget. The budget lists quality control under Unit Level Costs, however, quality control is a Batch Level Cost. Unit Level Costs are costs relating to activities performed on each unit. These costs are incurred in a more or less linear pattern which varies directly with the number of units produced. Examples include the electricity used to run production machines and the indirect material such as nuts and bolts used in production.
oBatch Level Costs are costs related to production batches. They change in a more or less linear way, varying with the number of batches run. Batch level costs include costs such as machine set up costs, purchasing and material handling costs, and of course quality control and inspection.
·The third area of concern has to do with utility costs. Included in the manufacturing overhead budget under facility in general operations level costs $55,747 is budgeted for utilities and services. This figure appears again on the budgeted schedule of cost of goods manufactured and sold under manufacturing overhead and is again listed as utilities and services. It is unclear what this costs is for since it appears on the facilities and general operation level expenses simply as utilities and is $150,000. There is the possibility that these are two different costs, however this question leads into the fourth area of concern. Also on the facility and general operation level expenses is listed and expense for “other utility services” for $54,000. This additional budgeted expense serves to seriously confound the review of the budget and the determination of budgeted utility expenses.
·As troubling as all of the above concerns are, the final and most troubling technical aspect of the year 9 budget is the total of operating expenses. When total selling expense is added to total general admin expenses, the total is $54,000 short of the total operating expenses listed on the budget. The most likely explanation for this difference in sums is the exclusion of $54,000 for “other utility services” from the budgeted income statement. Examination of previous year’s income statements did not result in unbalanced totals only the year 9 budgeted income statement had this problem. In addition to the technical issues, the year nine budget also has several budgetary items that raise concern as well. ·
The first issue of concern is the Other General and Administrative Expenses. oThese are expenditures related to the day-to-day operations of Competition Bikes. These expenses are operations expenses rather than expenses which can be directly related to the production of goods or services. General and administrative expenses generally include rent, utilities, insurance, and managerial salaries. Since insurance is not specifically mentioned in the budget, it is likely captured by this expense as well as any other expenses such as office supplies, computer equipment for office personnel, and cleaning products for the break room.
oHistorically this budget item has increased from year to year. In year six this item was $120,500, in year seven was $158,000, and in year eight it was $170,000. The increase from year six to year seven was 31%, and while the 8% increase from year seven to year eight is small by comparison, there is no reason to believe that this budgetary expense would remain static from year eight to year nine. Even a minor increase in this figure would be plausible, but zero change is highly unlikely.
·The second issue of concern is Administrative Salaries.
oAt first glance this budget item doesn’t seem to be of concern, however review of years six, seven and eight show that this will be the third year in a row with no budgeted raises for the administrative staff. In year six $140,000 was budgeted for this item, in year seven it was increased to $170,000, where it remains it remains. Management has made a point of noting the retention of high-level production staff, so it stands to reason that competition bikes management would want to retain high-level administrative staff as well. High-level cannot be retained without compensation.
·The third area of concern is Cash and Cash Equivalents.
oCash and Cash Equivalents’ is an asset that includes currency (coins and bank notes) held by a business (in hand and in bank accounts) and cash equivalents which are assets that are readily convertible into cash, such as money market[->0] holdings, short-term government bonds[->1] or Treasury bills[->2], marketable securities[->3] and commercial paper[->4]. (Cash and cash equivalents are the most liquid assets[->5].) Cash equivalents are distinguished from other investments through their short-term existence; they mature within 3 months whereas short-term investments are 12 months or less, and long-term investments are any investments that mature in excess of 12 months.
oHaving a higher cash ratio (ratio of cash and cash equivalents to current liabilities) suggests that the business is liquid ( it should not have any difficulty in paying very short-term liabilities). oThe concerning aspect of this budget item is its growth. In year six this item was $261,000. In year seven it fell to just $92,376. In year eight it jumped to $414,038, and in year nine, it is projected to be $523,492. Having cash on hand is a good thing, but holding too much cash at the expense of other investments is not such a good thing. Having this much cash sitting around, not working for Competition Bikes is irresponsible.
·The fourth area of concern is Utilities Expense.
oUtilities expense reports the cost of the electricity, heat, sewer, and water used during the period. oThis budget item has grown year-over-year since year six, the first year of data provided. In year six this expense was $130,000. In year seven and grew to $135,000, and in year eight to $150,000. oGiven the yearly increase in this expense. It is not reasonable to budget the same amount in year nine as in year eight. At least a nominal increase in this budget item is mandated by the historical increase.
A2a – Evaluate the flexible budget and its variances
A flexible budget is a budget that can be prepared for any level of activity by flexing to reflect an updated activity level. It adjusts the static budget for the actual level of output. The activity that Competition Bikes uses to modify the flexible budget is units sold. Difference between the budgeted amount of expense, or revenue is known as a budget variance. The budget variance is unfavorable when the actual revenue is lower than the budgeted item or when the actual expense is higher than the budgeted item. In essence, the flexible budget is equal to what would have been budgeted had the actual output been known. There are two types of variances considered on Competition Bikes Flexible Budget Performance Report. The first type of variance is an activity variance, which is the difference between a revenue or cost item static planning budget, and the same item in the flexible budget due to the level of activity assumed in the planning budget and the actual activity level.
The second type of variance is either a revenue or a spending variance, which describes the difference between how much the revenue or spending on a specific budget item should have been given the actual activity level and the actual revenue or spending for the period. Competition Bikes Flexible Budget Performance Report for year 9 shows that 3510 bikes were plan to be sold, but the actual unit sold was only 3423. Below I will list the activity variance resulting between each budgeted item’s plans. Revenue or expense and extended cost adjustment on the flexible budget. Next, I will highlight the difference between the flexible budget and the actual output.
·Net sales was budgeted to be $5,247,450, at the expected activity level, whereas the flexible budget predicted net sales would equal $5,117,385. ·Actual net sales were $5,096,847. This is an unfavorable revenue variance of $20,538 resulting most likely from a higher than expected level ofnspoilage and greater than expected expenses. ·Management should investigate the production process to confirm that the raw materials consumption calculations remain accurate.
·Direct materials were budgeted to cost $2,292,028. The flexible budget calculated that the actual level of output direct materials would cost $2,235,219. ·The actual cost of direct materials was $2,035,219, which is a favorable variance of $200,000 and do most likely to purchasing obtaining materials at a lower than anticipated cost.
·The Direct Materials Efficiency Variance was $100,000 and unfavorable. oAn unfavorable Direct Materials Efficiency Variance indicates that more materials were used than needed or budgeted for the job. oFavorable direct materials efficiency variance results when fewer materials are used than planned.
oThere are several possible reasons for this variance
§A miscalculation in the accounting for materials may result in a one-time or temporarily unfavorable direct material efficiency variance. This could also be a systemic issue wherein Management has failed to include scrap or waste required for production into the calculations. oAnother possibility is inferior materials. Lower-quality materials may require the use of more units of a particular material, resulting in an unfavorable direct materials efficiency variance. oWorkers and equipment can also factor into a Direct Materials Efficiency Variance. Spoilage and damage to materials caused by workers, insufficiently trained workers on the production line, and/ or poor supervision can lead to an unfavorable direct material efficiency variance.
Additionally, if equipment breaks down or there is a glitch in the operation of a vital machine that results in spoilage or destroyed materials an unfavorable direct material efficiency variance may result. ·The Direct Materials Price Variance was -$300,000 which indicates that direct material was purchased for a lesser amount than the standard price and is therefore favorable. oA favorable direct material price variance is not always good, however. It is possible that the purchasing department may have purchased lower quality raw materials to generate a favorable direct material price variance. Such a favorable material price variance will be offset by an unfavorable direct material quantity variance due to wastage of low quality direct material.
·In Competition Bikes Case, given the Favorable Price Variance and Unfavorable Efficiency Variance the likely cause of this is the purchase of lower quality materials that resulted in greater than planned spoilage. ·Management should adopt standardized supply chain practices so as to control the quality of materials used in production. This will reduce the amount of spoilage and wasted materials. Additional actions that management may take to more accurately address the forecast of net sales
·Direct labor was budgeted at $1,053,000. It is calculated $1,026,900 on the flexible budget. ·The actual cost for direct labor was $1,126,900. This is an unfavorable cost variance of $100,000 and most likely due to a higher than expected mix of less experienced production workers who required more time than the standard to complete the manufacturing process. ·The Direct Labor Price Variance was $150,000 and unfavorable. oAn unfavorable variance means that the cost of labor was more expensive than anticipated, while a favorable variance indicates that the cost of labor was less expensive than planned. oNewly hired workers will likely get paid less which creates a favorable labor rate variance. oHigher skilled workers who are paid more can create an unfavorable labor rate variance.
·The Direct Labor Efficiency Variance was -$50,000 and favorable. oThis variance measures the productivity of labor time. oThe possible causes of an unfavorable efficiency variance include poorly trained workers, poor quality materials, faulty equipment, poor supervision, or insufficient demand for company’s products. oA favorable labor efficiency variance indicates better productivity of direct labor direct labor during the period. Possible causes of the favorable labor efficiency variance include the hiring of more high skilled labor, training of the workforce, and the use of better quality raw materials. ·The easiest way for Competition Bikes to more accurately forecast direct labor cost is to maintain a seasoned production force. Additionally, providing production staff with additional training may decrease production times.
·Variable manufacturing overhead was predicted cost $331,798. The flexible budget calculated this to be $323,574 at this activity level. ·Actual variable manufacturing overhead was $350,000, which is an unfavorable cost variance of $26,426 and which was likely due to greater than expected facilities and machinery maintenance. ·The variable manufacturing overhead price variance was $24,000 and unfavorable. oThe company’s actual variable manufacturing overhead costs were more than the amount expected for the actual machine hours used. ·The variable manufacturing overhead efficiency variance was $2426 and also unfavorable. oThis number illustrates the difference between what was spent and what was expected to be spent in terms of the manufacturing cost per unit. ·It may be necessary for management to increase their estimations for facility and machinery repair, maintenance.
Variable selling expenses:
·The static budget expected variable selling expenses to be $157,424, whereas the flexible budget calculated to be $153,522 at the lower level of activity. ·The actual cost of variable selling expenses was equal to the flexible budgets calculation of $153,522.
·Advertising expenses were calculated to be $28,412 on the static budget. The flexible budget predicted this cost to be $27,708. ·The actual cost of advertising expenses was $31,462, which is an unfavorable cost variance of $3754. This is most likely the result of an increase in fees for the production of advertising materials. ·The advertising expense price variance was $5000 and unfavorable. ·The advertising expense efficiency variance is $-1264 and favorable. ·Advertising expenses can be tricky to curtail, but one way to keep these expenses down, and is close to the budgeted amount as possible is to require detailed weekly expense reports be completed. This metric would allow management to more closely monitor expenses and hold purchasers accountable for their purchases.