Direct Materials Variance Analysis

Standard cost is the amount the company expect to pay to get the same quantity of material. The difference of actual and standard cost raise due to the price change, while the material quantity remains the same. It is one of the variances which company need to monitor beside direct material usage variance. One must consider the circumstances under which the variances resulted and the materiality of amounts involved. One should also understand that not all unfavorable variances are bad. For example, buying raw materials of superior quality (at higher than anticipated prices) may be offset by reduction in waste and spoilage.

  • Factory workers who receive insufficient training won’t work at maximum efficiency, wasting more material than is necessary for production.
  • This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible.
  • It could be that the expectation you created in the product development process is askew.
  • In a manufacturing environment, variance analysis may be performed separately for the different components of costs, i.e. direct materials, direct labor, and factory overhead.
  • Note that both approaches—the direct materials quantity variance
    calculation and the alternative calculation—yield the same

SQ is the standard quantity allowed,
AQ is the actual quantity of direct material used, and
SP is the standard price per unit of direct material. The same calculation is shown using the outcomes of the direct materials price and quantity variances. An adverse or unfavorable material quantity variance occurs when the actual volume of materials used in production exceeds the standard quantity that is expected for the level of output in a period.

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Whatever the cause of this unfavorable variance, Jerry’s Ice
Cream will likely take action to improve the cost problem
identified in the materials price variance analysis. This is why we
use the term control phase of budgeting to describe
variance analysis. Through variance analysis, companies are able to
identify problem areas (material costs for Jerry’s) and consider
alternatives to controlling costs in the future.

  • Managers can better address this situation if they have a breakdown of the variances between quantity and price.
  • It means that following the standard quantity, the company should have used 19,200 kgs.
  • There are two components to a direct materials variance, the direct materials price variance and the direct materials quantity variance, which both compare the actual price or amount used to the standard amount.
  • Variance analysis should also be performed to evaluate spending and utilization for factory overhead.

The direct materials quantity variance of Blue Sky Company, as calculated above, is favorable because the actual quantity of materials used is less than the standard quantity allowed. The direct materials price variance of Hampton Appliance Company is unfavorable for the month of January. This is because the actual price paid to buy 5,000 units of direct material exceeds the standard price. As you calculate variances, you
should think through the variance to confirm whether it is
favorable or unfavorable. For example, the materials price variance
calculation presented previously shows the actual price paid for
materials was $1.20 per pound and the standard price was $1.


Even though the answer is a positive number, the variance is unfavorable because more materials were used than the standard quantity allowed to complete the job. If the standard quantity allowed had exceeded the quantity actually used, the materials usage variance would have been favorable. A material quantity variance points to a lack of efficiency during the manufacturing process.

Managerial Accounting

In this case, the actual quantity of materials used is 0.20 pounds, the standard price per unit of materials is $7.00, and the standard quantity used is 0.25 pounds. This is a favorable outcome because the actual quantity of materials used was less than the standard quantity expected at the actual production output level. As a result of this favorable outcome information, the company may consider continuing operations as they exist, or could change future budget projections to reflect higher profit margins, among other things.

Inaccurate standard material quantity

To compute the direct materials price variance, subtract the actual cost of direct materials ($297,000) from the actual quantity of direct materials at standard price ($310,500). This difference comes to a $13,500 favorable variance, meaning that the company saves $13,500 by buying direct materials for $9.90 rather than the original standard price of $10.35. The direct materials variances measure how efficient the company is at using materials as well as how effective it is at using materials. There are two components to a direct materials variance, the direct materials specialized tax services sts accounting method: pwc price variance and the direct materials quantity variance, which both compare the actual price or amount used to the standard amount. There are two components to a direct materials variance, the direct materials price variance and the direct materials quantity variance, which both compare the actual price or amount used to the standard amount. Materials price variance (or direct materials price variance) is the part of materials cost variance that is attributable to the difference between the actual price paid and the standard price specified for direct materials.

Watch this video featuring a professor of accounting walking through the steps involved in calculating a material price variance and a material quantity variance to learn more. The material quantity variance in this example is favorable because the company manufactured the output using a lesser quantity of materials than what was planned in the budget. By so doing, the full $719,000 actually spent is fully accounted for in the records of Blue Rail. Following is an illustration showing the flow of fixed costs into the Factory Overhead account, and on to Work in Process and the related variances.

Notice that this differs from the budgeted fixed overhead by $10,800, representing an unfavorable Fixed Overhead Volume Variance. The total direct labor variance was favorable $8,600 ($183,600 vs. $175,000). However, detailed variance analysis is necessary to fully assess the nature of the labor variance. As will be shown, Blue Rail experienced a very favorable labor rate variance, but this was offset by significant unfavorable labor efficiency. This pipe is custom cut and welded into rails like that shown in the accompanying picture.

The first step in the calculation is to figure out how much stuffing material should be used to manufacture 9000 teddy bears (standard quantity). During a period, the Teddy Bear Company used 15,000 kilograms of stuffing material to produce 9000 teddy bears. The company had paid an average price of $1.5 per kilogram of stuffing material. But, a closer look reveals that overhead spending was quite favorable, while overhead efficiency was not so good.

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