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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Chapter 2 addresses the following questions: Q1 What are different ways to describe cost behavior? Q2 What is a learning curve? Q3 What process is used to estimate future costs? Q4 How are the engineered estimate, account analysis, and two-point methods used to estimate cost functions? Q5 How does a scatter plot assist with categorizing a cost? Q6 How is regression analysis used to estimate a mixed cost function? Q7 What are the uses and limitations of future cost estimates? These learning questions (Q1 through Q7) are cross-referenced in the textbook to individual exercises and problems.

COMPLEXITY SYMBOLS

The textbook uses a coding system to identify the complexity of individual requirements in the exercises and problems. Questions Having a Single Correct Answer: No Symbol This question requires students to recall or apply knowledge as shown in the textbook. This question requires students to extend knowledge beyond the applications e shown in the textbook. Open-ended questions are coded according to the skills described in Steps for Better Thinking (Exhibit 1.10): Step 1 skills (Identifying) Step 2 skills (Exploring) Step 3 skills (Prioritizing) Step 4 skills (Envisioning)

2-2

Cost Management

QUESTIONS

2.1 This function has both fixed costs and variable costs. If at least part of the cost is variable; total cost increases as production volumes increase. If at least part of the cost is fixed, the average total per-unit cost decreases because the average fixed cost decreases as volume increases.

Total Cost

Q 2.2 Several years’ worth of data for August would be helpful for estimating the overhead cost function for subsequent Augusts, but the August data should not be used for estimating the overhead cost function for other months during the year. It is highly unlikely that the August data would be representative of the data during normal operations. However, August’s costs are probably a good estimate of the fixed costs for other months. When zero production occurs, only fixed costs are incurred. Since time appears to be of the essence, one of several cost estimation techniques might be employed. First, account analysis will provide a rough estimate. Second, the two most recent income statements could be used to approximate fixed and variable costs using the two-point method, but the president would need to understand that the quality of information could be low using this method. Third, if enough observations of cost data are readily available, regression analysis can be run. However, usually it takes more time to collect the data necessary to use regression analysis. The information leads to a conclusion that fixed costs exist because cost per unit changes between two levels of activity within the relevant range. The information is not sufficient to determine the amount of fixed costs or whether variable costs exist. The opportunities foregone could include spectator or participative sports activities, movies, going out to dinner, the opportunity to work at a part-time job, etc. The relevant cash flows include the cost of transportation, parking, tickets, food and beverages, and so on. There is no way to assign a quantitative value to the social experiences. It is difficult to identify a true opportunity cost because the costs and benefits of the next best alternative must be compared. However, lost wages, less the cost of transportation, can be quantified if the next if the next best alternative is working. Analysis of a scatter plot provided general information about whether a cost appears to be variable, fixed, or mixed. If there is a linear pattern in the scatter plot and the trend appears to go to zero, the cost could be variable. If a scatter plot with a linear trend intersects the vertical axis at a nonzero value, it could be mixed. If the scatter plot has no discernable pattern, the cost could be fixed. And if the pattern is linear with little or no slope, the cost could be fixed.

2.3

2.4

2.5

2.6

Chapter 2: The Cost Function

2-3

2.7

The pattern of a cost over time in the accounting system, together with knowledge of operations, is used to classify costs as variable, fixed, or mixed. Costs such as managers' salaries are usually fixed; they are often directly associated in the general ledger with a particular department or product. Costs for variable materials used in the production process are usually available in the general ledger or in production records. Costs such as manufacturing overhead are often mixed; they tend to include fixed costs such as insurance and property taxes for the plant and variable costs such as indirect supplies used in manufacturing. For costs identified as mixed, another cost estimation technique such as the two-point method or regression analysis must be used to determine the fixed and variable components. Learning curves are nonlinear representations of direct labor cost. The cumulative average time approach can be used to determine an approximation of total cost when labor experiences a learning rate. Economies of scale are a nonlinear function. Information about past experience with economies of scale can be used to help estimate future costs. For example, volume discounts are examples of economies of scale. The required volumes needed to reach discounted prices are generally known, so these can be estimated using several different ranges to reflect the changes in price. The cumulative average learning-time approach is a quantitative approach to calculating the average amount of time it should take to perform a task for people who are just learning to do the task. The director can use this formula to more accurately predict the amount of time it should take to deliver meals to the elderly. With a more accurate prediction, the volunteers’ schedules should also more accurately reflect the amount of time they need to set aside for their work at Meals on Wheels. The trend line developed using regression analysis incorporates all of the cost observations, while the two-point method uses only two observations. Because there is fluctuation in cost over time, better estimates are developed using more observations, because they better reflect the past fluctuations and therefore should better estimate future fluctuations.

2.8

2.9

2.10

2-4

Cost Management

EXERCISES

2.11 Computer Manufacturer A. Production of a large monitor with a thin flat screen B. If all of the parts for the monitor are currently used in the organization, all of the information is likely to be contained in the accounting records. But new parts are most likely needed, since the monitor is large and probably involves different technology to achieve thin size. Thus, estimates of costs from suppliers will be needed. In addition, estimates for the amount of labor time will be needed. Although labor cost per hour can be found in the records, the amount of labor time is likely to be different for this monitor than for other monitors. If machines are used in production, an estimation of machine hours is necessary to determine whether maintenance and repair costs will increase. C. Estimating the cost of parts and the time involved in production is part of the engineered estimate of cost method. D. The opportunity cost of using idle capacity for one product is the contribution of other uses of the capacity. If another product could be manufactured and sold, that product’s contribution margin is the opportunity cost. If the capacity can be rented or leased out, the rent or lease payments are the opportunity cost. If there are no other uses for the capacity, the opportunity cost is zero. 2.12 Frida’s Tax Practice Cost Object Cost Subscription to personal tax law updates publication Ink supplies for tax department photocopy machine Portion of total rent for tax department office space Wages for tax department administrative assistant Tax partner's salary Charges for long distance call to Mr. Gruper about personal tax return questions Tax partner lunch with Mr. Gruper; the tax partner has lunch with each client at least once per year

Tax Department Personal Returns Mr. Gruper’s Personal Tax Return

A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

D D I D D D D

D I I I I D D

I I I I I D D

Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-5 Explanation for Parts D and E: Notice that the wages of the tax department administrative assistant are considered a direct cost when the cost object is the entire tax department but are considered indirect for the other two cost objects. Now notice that the tax partner's salary is considered a direct cost for all three cost objects.000 $8.000 + $8. so a portion of his or her salary is direct only to the tax department and indirect to the two other cost objects. TC = $10. The benefits of tracking the cost at that level do not exceed the benefits of the information that would be obtained. and Piecewise Linear Cost Functions A.000 0 100 200 Number of Units 300 400 The cost function includes the following assumptions: • Operations are within a relevant range of activity • Within the relevant range of activity: o Fixed costs will remain fixed o Variable cost per unit will remain constant . Of course.000 Total Cost $12.000 $13. the CPA's time is the product being sold.000 $11.00*Q Graph of Cost Function $14.13 Linear. 2. In a service business such as this. the tax partner probably spends some time in non-billable activities. Stepwise Linear. CPAs do keep detailed time records. the administrative assistant would have to maintain detailed time records as to time spent working on personal returns versus corporate returns. For the firm to make this cost direct for the personal returns cost object. The time records that the tax partner maintains support this cost as a direct cost.000 $10.000 $9.

$450.000 * $45 = $450. Convert the average costs to total costs for each production level: Total cost at 10.000 Total Cost $50.000 + $39*Q . it is first necessary to estimate the cost function.000 units: $450.000 + $8.000 $40.000 Graph of Cost Function $80.00*Q.00*Q.000 $60.000 $0 0 1.000 Number of Units C.$390. for Q > 2.000 .000 Combining the fixed and variable costs to create the cost function: TC = $60.000 F = $450. for Q ≤ 2.000 $20.2-6 Cost Management B.000 $10.000 Total cost at 12.000 $30.000 + $8.000 units = 10.000 – 10.000 2.000 units = 12.000 .000 4.000/2.000 $70.000) = $78.000 = $60.000 TC = $35. TC = $25.000 = F + $39*10.000 * $44 = $528.000 3. To estimate the costs at another production level.000 Calculate the variable cost per unit using the Two-Point method: Change in cost Change in volume = ($528.000)/(12.000 = $39 per unit Use one data point in the total cost function and solve for F: Using the data for 10.

000/15.000) TC = $50.$9.000 + $9.000 + $39*15.000 TC = $51. Inserting $10.00*Q.000 1. for Q < 1.000 = $645.000 + $585.000 = $60.000 0 500 1.14 Piecewise Linear Cost Function A.000 = $9.00*(Q-1.000 $70.000 in revenues into the cost function.000 $65. total cost is estimated as: TC = $5.000 Number of Units Slope is $10 per unit Slope is $9 per unit Total Cost .000 + 45%*$10.Chapter 2: The Cost Function Estimated total cost at 15.000 + $10.000 Estimated cost per unit = $645.00) + $9.000 + (1.500 2.000 units: TC = $60.000 = $43 D.000 $55.000 $60.000 For Q > 1.000 + $10.000 * $10.00*Q .000 + $9.000: TC = $50. TC = $50.000 $45.000 $50.00*Q 2-7 Graph of Cost Function $75.500 2.

There are three general situations: 1. This cost function would provide reasonable estimates for Q > 1.80/ln2) = −0.000 units.000 units but would overestimate total cost for Q > 1. Hours for two returns would be determined as follows. the cost function mismeasurement depends on the values of Q.3219 Y = 6 hours*2-0.3 and 2A.000 units. 2. If the data estimation points occurred across the two relevant ranges.3219 Y = 4.000 units.000 + $10. If all of the data estimation points occurred when Q was ≤ 1.00*Q.15 Tax Plus A.4. 3.000 units. If the accountant did not detect that there were two different relevant ranges.000 + $9. using the learning curve equation Y = α Xr Learning rate = 80% α = 6 hours X (units produced) = 2 Learning rate = (ln 0.00*Q.2-8 Cost Management B. then the cost function would appear to be: TC = $51. Graph of Learning Curve Cumulative Average Hours Per Return 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 Cumulative Number of Returns Prepared .8 hours (average time for each of the next two returns) B. then the cost function would appear to be: TC = $50. then the cost function would be some mixture of the functions for the two relevant ranges.000 units but would underestimate total cost for Q ≤ 1. This cost function would provide reasonable estimates for Q ≤ 1. This cost function will either overestimate or underestimate costs for almost any level of Q (see Exhibit 2A. 2. If all of the data estimation points occurred when Q was > 1.

this particular cost function assumes that variable costs are driven by sales. The cost probably does not depend on production volume (assuming depreciation is not based on units produced). F . as their performance improves. However. making it a fixed cost. D or I. their productivity increases. or 25% of sales Combining fixed and variable costs.000 on total sales of $32. it is a common cost of production for all of the bowls that are heat-treated in the kiln. Chapter 3 will point out another assumption for this cost function: the sales mix (the proportion of sales of different products) remains constant within the relevant range.17 Glazed Over [Note about problem complexity: Items F and H are coded as “Extend” because judgment is needed for categorization. 2. I. the cost function is: TC = $20. then variable cost per dollar of revenue is calculated as follows: $8. and variable costs remain constant within the relevant range.000/$32.25.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-9 As the accounting graduates become more familiar with the tasks involved in preparing simple tax returns. B.000 + 25%*Total sales B. If total variable costs were $8. V C. Wages are fixed because they remain constant (the employee always works 40 hours). Note: Depreciation using a method such as declining balance is not constant over time. and their productivity rate will remain stable. it improves less quickly for the next return.16 Bison Sandwiches A. then wages would be an indirect cost. Assuming that the cost of clay can be traced to each bowl.000. if time is not traced to individual bowls (for example. 2. it is a direct cost. Eventually their learning will plateau. Total clay cost will vary with the number of bowls made. that is. D. Assumptions: Fixed costs remain fixed within the relevant range. Depreciation on the kilns is indirect because it cannot be directly traced to individual bowls. F Assuming that employee time can be traced to each bowl. In addition.] A. if the employee performs different types of tasks and records are not kept of the types of work performed) or if the employee does not work directly in production.000 = 0. However. wages are a direct cost. but would still be considered fixed because it does not vary with production volume.

500 . because the production area may need more cleaning as volumes increase. It is mostly likely a flat fee or is calculated on a basis unrelated to production volume. Advertising is not directly related to production. F I. this is a direct cost. F or M Electricity is an indirect cost because it cannot be traced to individual bowls. it might not be traced to individual bowls. making it an indirect cost. F. V If the glaze is expensive and therefore a relatively large cost. making it a direct and variable cost. making it an indirect cost.500 ______ $4. if the cost is small it might be grouped with overhead costs (variable). H. part of the cost might vary proportionately with volume. I. If the kiln is electric. depending on what causes the cost to vary. It might be fixed or mixed.18 Yummy Yogurt [Note about problem complexity: Item A is coded as “Extend” because judgment is needed for categorization. I. G. If it is an hourly charge. If the packing materials are not traced (for example. V Assuming that the cost of packing materials is traced to each bowl. E. They might be fixed or variable. Fixed Cost of ingredients Rent Store attendant (salaried) Total Costs at $9. depending on whether they are “used up” after a certain quantity of production. it is most likely traced to individual bowls. This cost is also discretionary.300 $3. so it is treated as fixed. D or I. it is probably a mixed cost. making them a common cost for multiple units and an indirect cost. F or M Pottery studio maintenance is an indirect and fixed cost if it is the same payment every week. F The business license is not related to production. Also.000 in sales $1. D or I. I.] A. if the cost is too small to justify tracing them). I.2-10 Cost Management D. I. Packing costs are most likely variable because they will increase as production increases. then this cost could be indirect. V or F Brushes for the glaze are most likely used for multiple bowls. making it an indirect cost.000 2. If the cost of glaze is very small.300 Variable $4. making it a fixed cost. 2. J.

] A. V. . the cost function is: TC = $3. as well as voluntary items such as health insurance and retirement benefits. Some may be sent home if business is very slow. The cost of rent is irrelevant because it will not change with either alternative. Therefore. or M There would most likely be hourly wages in both types of businesses (assuming employees are hired). F or M Employee benefits occur in any business in which employees are hired. F.300 + 50%*Total revenue C. F There would be no reason to incur fishing equipment costs in a pizza business.000 = 0. B. FB.50. In many organizations.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-11 B. Hourly wages on the fishing boat most likely vary with the number of days or hours the boat is out fishing. B. costs vary with dollars of revenue. because of uncertainty in the success of each fishing expedition. Benefit costs often vary with level of wages or salaries. The opportunity cost is the contribution margin from the products sold with the flavor that has been replaced. D. or 50% of revenue Combining fixed and variable costs. 2. workers’ compensation. this cost would most likely be fixed because the cost would not vary within a relevant range of activity. There most likely would not be any ingredients in a fishing boat business. total revenue (TR) instead of quantity (Q) can be used in the cost function: Total variable cost/Total revenue = $4. While hourly wages may be related to number of fish caught. they are more likely related to time on the boat than pounds of fish. B. Benefits might include mandated items such as social security. D. E. V Ingredients are used in making pizzas. In this type of situation. C. F. In the pizza shop. PS.500/$9. and unemployment insurance. these costs would be mixed with a large proportion of the cost fixed. so they would tend to be fixed or mixed (see Item A above). employees are likely scheduled in advance on a fixed schedule. and the cost would vary with number of pizzas produced. In the fishing boat business. and G are coded as “Extend” because they require substantial business knowledge and/or ability to visualize cost behavior.19 Pizza Shop and Fishing Boat [Note about problem complexity: Items C.

B. F Some type of utility costs (such as water and electricity) would be incurred in both types of business.2414 $0. F or M Any type of business will have insurance costs.0233 7. but it might be mixed if a portion of the cost relates to levels of business activity. Because advertising costs tend to be discretionary.0863 5.0863 0.59/40) 0.6815 A. Cost of plain burger = $0.0198 0.69/7) $0.20 Hamburger Haven Following are calculations for the cost per unit of each ingredient and the cost of plan and cheeseburgers: Cheeseburger Cost per Unit Plain With Everything 1. Hamburger patty ($1.69/8) 0. although the cost would probably be much higher for the pizza business because of the utilities needed to run the pizza shop.15/45) 0.$0.000) * 4] 0.6815 . there might be some utility costs for the fishing operation and for a business office.2414 $0. Hamburger bun ($1. and yellow pages advertisements. PS. they are treated as fixed costs.99/50) 0.59/16) 0.1075 0.29/12) 0. F Most pizza shops incur advertising costs such as flyers. The cost might be fixed or mixed.1075 3. G.2-12 Cost Management E. For the fishing boat business.95/2.56 .1619 10.5196 Suggested selling price: 300% * $0. Cheese ($2.2414 2.1075 0.0053 8. the utility costs for these two businesses would tend to be fixed (would not vary with production). Mustard ($. It will be a fixed cost if it is a flat amount. Tomato ($. depending on how the insurance cost is calculated.0179 0.79/150) 0. Dill pickles [($8.1619 0.5195 = $1.0148 0.0198 9. F. Onions ($. newspaper advertisements. however it would be unusual for a commercial fishing boat business to incur advertising costs because the customers are most likely canneries and distributors with whom the fishermen have an ongoing relationship. Mayonnaise [$1.0179 4. If the fishing boat is for tourists. advertising costs would be incurred.0233 0. In general.49/(16 x 4)] 0. Lettuce ($.1619) = $0. Catsup ($. Cost of burger with everything except cheese = ($0.3489 (calculated above) B.0033 $0. 2.0148 6.3489 $0.0053 0.0033 0. B.

2. Professional subscriptions.6815 = $2. and then mixed C. B.Fixed D. Clerical wages – Fixed unless overtime is regularly scheduled. Professional dues. D. and F) are the ones requiring significant assumptions to generate an answer. FICA taxes (Social Security taxes) – Mixed – mostly fixed because most employee wages would be fixed J. they set prices considering their competitors’ prices." However.Fixed and discretionary I.Fixed . This means that her costs need to be below the competitive price. volumes will drop because customers will go to other fast food restaurants that sell hamburgers. The Step 2 questions (A. that is. Property taxes.$0.Fixed E. there is no moral obligation to maintain a 300% markup on each item. In the current business environment.04 Therefore.21 Spencer and Church [Note about problem complexity: These are difficult questions because students will need to first visualize the costs (with very little information) and then apply chapter concepts. Licenses. Office supplies . Selling price of cheeseburger with everything: 300% * $0. in which case the total cost would be primarily fixed. she foregoes profits and people may believe there could be quality problems with her food. Alternatively. Long’s prices are too high. Long is able to differentiate her hamburgers from others in the market. she needs to know what competitors charge for a similar quality sandwich and price hers competitively.79 Some students will view this higher price as "unfair. Therefore. Rent .25 = $1.] A. if Ms. B. If Ms.04 . if her prices are too low.Mostly fixed and discretionary H. then she may be able to charge a price that is higher than competitors—as long as customers are willing to pay the higher price.Fixed F. It is just a general guideline.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-13 C. If there is part time help. mostly variable G.Mixed. Alternatively. most organizations are price takers. Staff wages – Could be variable or mixed (salary + overtime) for regular staff. Insurance. Market forces will dictate achievable prices. the price of the plain hamburger should be: $2. that cost would be variable. However staff are often salaried.

In this problem. number of advertisements placed. . (Notice that the T-statistics on the fixed costs indicate that it is not likely to be different from zero. Other Potential Cost Drivers A. the analyst could ask the CFO whether the marketing department budgets its costs through a negotiation process with top management. Advertising – Fixed and discretionary 2.] The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.35*units sold.22 Cost Function Using Regression. or profits. The adjusted R-Square indicates how much of the variation in the marketing department cost can be explained by variation in units sold. it is possible that marketing costs are discretionary. TC = $222.com/college/eldenburg).) B.23 Central Industries [Note about problem complexity: Item B is not coded as Step 1 because it is fairly clear which cost driver appears to be best. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www.wiley. the variation in units sold explains about 61% of the variation in marketing department cost. the cost is discretionary and will be set through the negotiating process. C.2-14 Cost Management K. In addition. Therefore.wiley. 2. The cost analyst needs to gather information about how marketing costs are set each year.com/college/eldenburg). the fixed cost is set at zero. For example. Other possible cost drivers for marketing department costs could be revenue. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www. If this is the case.

500 $1.582691 P-value 6.500 Maintenance Costs $2.58E-05 0.4342166 0.119724 15 Coefficient s 884.58824812 182.61765897 0.026826 0.78591283 0.113687834 Intercept Output t Stat 5.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-15 A.52099624 Standard Error 153.000 $500 $0 0 500 1000 Output 1500 2000 Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 0. Potential Cost Driver: Output Maintenance Costs Against Output $2.000514 .000 $1.761602 4.

017601 .717372 P-value 0.7549386 1.500 $1.291084 2.500 Maintenance Costs $2.210849 15 Coefficient s 861.2-16 Cost Management Potential Cost Driver: Direct Labor Hours Maintenance Costs Against Direct Labor Hours $2.02569657 Standard Error 261.31319046 235.457384 3.36224828 0.60187065 0.000 $1.005847 0.000 $500 $0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Direct Labor Hours Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 0.113464425 Intercept Direct Labor Hours t Stat 3.

000 $1.5913391 15 Standard Error 93. or the cost is mostly fixed. However. all three potential cost drivers appear to be positively related to maintenance costs. machine setups appears to be the most likely cost driver and direct labor appears to be the least likely cost driver. the cost driver does not explain the variation in cost and either it is the wrong driver.96E-10 B.94495003 66.000 $500 $0 0 20 40 Machine Set-Ups 60 80 Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations Coefficient s 126.94888217 0. In a scatter plot.357393 15. Sometimes a cost that is mostly variable can be identified from a scatter plot. This indicates that the cost could be totally variable.500 Maintenance Costs $2. a good cost driver would present a linear or football-shaped positive slope or trend. . If the observations are widely scattered.97410583 0.197755 8. For example. In Part A.6778973 0.42597461 1. the trend line for machine setups looks as if the intercept could be zero or very close to zero.910475729 Intercept Machine Setups t Stat 1.815737 29.500 $1.5343 P-value 0.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-17 Potential Cost Driver: Machine Setups Maintenance Costs Against Machine Set-Ups $2.

945 Cost Function TC = $884 + $0. This means that variation in setups explains about 95% of the variation in cost. D.313 0. The regression using machine setups has the highest adjusted R-Square of 0. This provides confidence that the variable cost part of the cost function is not zero. Changes in many factors such as resource prices. E. the cost is likely to be totally variable. In the machine setups regression.025*Direct Labor Hours TC = $29. the economic environment. so it is excluded from the cost function.2-18 Cost Management C.68* Machine Setups The machine setups intercept coefficient is not significant. and technology can cause future costs to be different than estimated. but does not provide confidence that the intercept (fixed cost) part of the cost function is different from zero. The use of past cost data to predict the future assumes that future resource costs and volumes of activities will remain the same as in the past. the t-statistic is significant for the independent variable but not for the intercept. R-Square 0. business processes.588 0. . Therefore.945. The regression results and cost function for the three potential cost drivers are: Potential Cost Driver Output Direct labor hours Machine setups Adj.521*Output TC = $861 +$3.

728 Thus.333)/($1. which could be outliers.$56.132. that is. The high low method uses the most extreme cost driver values.000 = 0.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-19 PROBLEMS 2. Total revenue (TR) instead of quantity (Q) in the cost function because sales is a potential cost driver.000/$500.24 Big Jack Burgers A. . the total cost function is: TC = $11. Therefore.605 = $11.333 – $43.333 .05. this cost function might provide poor estimates of future costs.132. Under the high-low method. not represent the cost most of the time.100) = $25. or 5% of sales The fixed cost is determined by substituting the variable cost into one of the high-low data points: $68. First. the variable cost is calculated: ($68.728 + 5%*Sales B.333 = F + 5%*$1.100 F = $68. on average. the cost function is calculated using the highest and lowest values of the cost driver. That means that the cost function might not represent the actual cost.100 – $632.

000 $1.5% x sales . Then.000 Administrative Costs $60. the cost function would be TC = $16. Additional judgment is required to decide whether it is appropriate to include a fixed cost in the cost function. the cost function would be: TC = 4. A t-statistic greater than 2 is often interpreted as meaning that the coefficient is significantly different from zero. D. There is a general downward slope (variable cost) that appears to meet the intercept enough above zero to suggest a fixed cost. trend line extended to Y-axis (dashed line) using Word: Scatter Plot With Trend Line $80. there is a 16% probability that the intercept (fixed cost) is not different from zero. the regression intercept can be used as an estimate of the fixed costs. Notice that the t-statistic for the intercept coefficient is 2.000 Sales It appears that the cost is most likely mixed.000 $600.000 $0 $0 $300. If this cost pool includes items such as salaries and other fixed costs (insurance. Alternatively. Following is the regression output.200. analysis at the account level might indicate that there are few fixed costs. but the p-value is greater than 10% at 0. Then. Analysis at the account level can be used to increase the understanding of this cost. Because this regression has few observations. fixed costs are likely to be zero and would be excluded from the cost function. the p-value result for the tstatistic is atypical. Based on the p-value.2-20 Cost Management C. Chart of data with trend line added by Excel.162.000 $20.000 $900. In that case.000 $40.5% x sales. The upward slope of the line indicates that there are variable costs.800 + 4.172. etc).

then both methods may be unsuitable for estimating future costs. In addition.0319523 Intercept X Variable 1 E. and possible changes in costs such as those described in Part E are ignored. Unusual cost items are assumed to continue in the future.04466925 0.365 + 0.25 Scatter Plot. a cost function may not provide a good estimate for the next month’s costs. the results rely on more complete information and provide a better estimate. The plot shows costs that are widely scattered.82%*Sales C. This method can be used in cases where there is not enough data to perform regression. The past costs used for estimation might not be representative. Because of unforeseen changes in cost behavior. Sales might not be the activity that drives administrative costs. The adjusted R-Square statistic is very low at 0. there does appear to be a general upward trend. especially because so few observations were used in the estimation. Therefore. Using the regression results. If there are only two or three data points.17205158 5. There might be a change in business operations or in the economy that would cause future costs to be different than in the past.4038 4 Coefficients Standard Error 16800.93711636 0. and it can be further improved by adopting more representative data points than the highest and lowest values of the cost driver. B. the cost function is: TC = $50. 2. There might be a large discretionary component in administrative costs. causing fluctuations in cost that are unrelated to any cost driver. both of these methods assume that the data points are representative of future costs. on average. regression analysis incorporates all of the observations into the analysis.2444 7734.00818212 t Stat 2. The cons of the high-low method as an estimation technique were discussed in Part B above. Both methods assume that the cost function is linear and that all data points come from a single relevant range.9680477 0.16197623 0.186. the high-low method may be the best option available. Cost Function Using Regression A. However. Future costs are not likely to be estimated accurately if the cost driver explains only a small part of the variation in the cost.73545 0.45937486 P-value 0. This means that variation in sales explains only about 18% of the variation in research and development cost. F. . however. Sales does not appear to explain much of the variation in research and development costs. If these assumptions do not hold.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-21 Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 0. If there are more data points.90567454 3293.

26 Susan’s Telephone Service A. Yes. Since she probably can cut back on calls when her consulting work is not providing enough income. In this problem. 2. It is likely that Susan has to call people to conduct business. a portion of the cost is likely to be discretionary. In addition. the amount of traveling she will be doing since she cannot call from home when she is traveling. the cost is assumed to be linear within the relevant range.2-22 Cost Management D. The classification as direct or indirect depends on whether Susan’s calls are directly related to specific projects she works on or are indirect activities such as business promotion. that is. The cost driver for long distance calls is the number of minutes on the telephone. Additional information could include the location of Susan’s future consulting work. When regression analysis is used to specify a cost function. so she does not need to estimate the cost function using regression or any other estimation technique. as she has in the past. In this problem. First. It also depends on whether she can trace telephone calls to individual . E. the number of calls and whether they are long distance or local calls will vary. C. to make a decision she needs to compare her costs under the old plan to what costs would be under the new plan. on average. H. fixed costs would remain fixed and variable costs would remain constant within that range. research and development cost is often discretionary. part of the cost is committed and cannot be reduced. although she could use email. The scatter plot shows little evidence of linearity. assuming that the cost function is linear may not be appropriate. The fixed cost is the $20 flat fee. G. D. the underlying cost function is assumed to be linear and that the cost driver is assumed to be economically plausible as a cost driver. Since her consulting work varies. Regression is useful for estimating a cost function when fixed and variable costs are unknown. usually annually. the cost of alternatives such as cellular service or any other types of telephone or communication service. She cannot be certain that she will use the same amount of time. Several very general assumptions apply to a linear cost function. These costs are set by decision. Better cost estimates for discretionary costs can be obtained by gathering information about planned expenditures from the department head or from the managers who are responsible for costs. The variable cost is 10 cents per minute for those minutes over 500 per month. Susan already knows the cost function. B. the relation makes sense from an economic standpoint. Therefore. Since she has to have telephone service to stay in business. Managers set the costs depending on the organization’s strategies and funds available for research and development. F.

she will pay a very high rate of 10 cents per minute 2. so Susan may need to maintain her own records if she wishes to trace telephone usage. Here are some of the reasons. If her calls are over 400 minutes or under 600 minutes.05 $0.152 Y = 10 hours*4-0.00 + (600-500)*$0. There are many different reasons that the time could be different from the amount determined above. her phone bill will be less than it would be at a rate 5 cents per minute. In most businesses.00 + (700-500)*$0.27 Fancy Furniture A.05 $0.90/ln2) = −0. especially if she usually calls less than 500 minutes a month • Below is Susan’s average cost per minute at different levels of calls per month.00 $20.10 = $30.057 The average cost is lowest at exactly 500 minutes per month. using the learning curve equation Y = α Xr α = 10 hours X (units produced) = 4 Learning rate = (ln 0. Minutes 300 400 500 600 700 Total Cost $20. which appears to be the other alternative (although the 5 cents per minute rate might not be available for daytime week day calls). Hours per batch would be determined as follows. In this case the learning rate would be wrong and so the time would also be wrong.00 $20. I.00 $20.00 $20. Pros: • Susan might prefer the convenience of not switching telephone companies • If Susan is happy with her current quality of service she might prefer to stay with the same company and not investigate other companies’ plans • Susan may be able to predict her cost better.00 Average Cost $0.152 Y = 8.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-23 consulting jobs.or overestimated the amount of hand work performed. It is possible that the managers under. In . Many cellular telephone bills do not list the calls made.10 = $40. Cons • If Susan has a number of projects in her local area or will be traveling a lot. students may think of others.067 $0.04 $0. she may be paying for 500 minutes of service that she does not use • If Susan’s calling volume exceeds 500 minutes per month.1 hours (average time for the first four batches) B. telephone costs are viewed as an indirect cost.

The chart suggests that a 90% learning curve is likely to occur if 25% of the work is hand assembly and 75% of the work is done by machine. If a worker is absent one day.000 = $79.000 7.000 .500 $47. and the University surcharge is specifically based on sales.000 + 40%*Total revenue D. Wildcat Lair costs: Purchases of prepared food Serving personnel Cashier Administration University surcharge Utilities Totals Fixed $ 30. The estimate of total costs given revenues of $80.000 5. The observations of labor costs over the first few weeks would not be representative of the labor costs once productivity has stabilized.000/$70. Food costs are likely to vary proportionately with sales.500 10.000 using the cost function is: TC = $47. the rate will change if the replacement employee has never worked on this machine. D. 2.$79.40. Because revenue is the cost driver for both variable costs.000 Total revenue is the most likely cost driver for both variable costs.2-24 Cost Management addition. it is possible that different types of wood affect the rate at which chairs can be produced.000 .28 Wildcat Lair A. if managers believe that 25% of the work is done by hand. Thus. they would be higher than the labor costs in later periods. If these values are used in a regression to estimate a cost function.000 Variable $21. then the cost would be overestimated. then the chart suggests that the learning rate estimate is reasonable.000 + 40%*80. or 40% or revenue Combining fixed and variable costs. However.000 1.000 = $1.000 _______ $28. or has a great deal of experience on the machine. if managers believe that more than 25% of the work is done by hand. then this chart suggests that the learning curve will be slower than the 90% estimate.000 = 0.000 Profit = Revenues – Total costs = $80. C. C. the cost function is: TC = $47. and B. total revenue (TR) instead of quantity (Q) can be used in the cost function: Variable cost = $28.

000+$6. If the university were to close the Lair.000) Net 2. The shop is most likely a seasonal business. However. During the spring and summer months.000)+the university surcharge of $7. the variable cost part of the cost function can be adjusted. So.000 . A shop located near a ski area is likely to incur high heating costs during the winter.000) $ 9.000 increase in revenues. the additional profit from a $10. total variable costs are expected to increase by $4. C. Electricity costs also vary with changes in electricity rates. so the trend would be the opposite of this plot. so the estimated profit in August is $1. Lair’s fixed costs are assumed to be unchanged with the $10. but this is not considered a cost driver (a business activity that causes variations in total variable cost). generating most its sales around the ski season (fall and winter). To estimate the opportunity cost for August.29 Polar Bear Ski Wear [Notes about problem complexity: Item A is not coded as Step 2 because this is explicitly discussed in the chapter. if the bathing suit shop is located in a geographic region $80.000 + 30%*Total revenue During August. Thus.000 increase in revenues is expected to be $6. it might even close when the ski area shuts down.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-25 E. this surcharge should be ignored when computing the university’s opportunity cost (assuming that the charge does not relate to any variable costs for the university that arise because of the Lair).] A. costs would be higher when there were fewer sales.000.000 ($10.000 (-$5. for July the opportunity cost would have been $2. electricity usually varies with hours of operation and possibly with the season (because of heating and air conditioning). Item D will be VERY difficult for most students. Variable food costs are estimated to be 30% ($21. and the increase is estimated to be 40% of the increase in revenues. Because the university surcharge is an allocation within the university. the opportunity cost is estimated to be: Revenue Fixed costs Variable costs (30%*$80.000 .$4.000) of revenues.000).000— the operating loss of $(5. (This is the same as the previous 40% variable cost rate less the university surcharge of 10% of revenues. F. B. Only total variable costs are expected to increase.000 ($10.000) (24. In July there was a loss of $5. the shop might experience very little business activity.) The adjusted cost function is: TC = $47. it would lose the revenues.000/$70.000. Assuming the highest electricity cost is during the winter when fewest bathing suits are sold.000 (47.000*40%). So. less the fixed costs and the variable food costs. In a retail business.000).

028. and new office furniture or equipment.45 $ 514.542.45 x 1.69 x 5 = $1.2345 Y = $300*5-0. 2.84 .2-26 Cost Management where the highest electricity costs occur during the summer because of air conditioning.69 (average cost for each of the 5 units) Total cost = $205.89 x 1. D. generally mean there is more money available to spend on administrative travel. they are discretionary expenditures and not caused by the level of activity.028.2345 Y = $205.5 = $152. firm B's selling price is: $101. However.50 = $1.89 (average cost for each of the 100 units produced) Given a 50% markup on cost. special promotions. A correlation may appear in a scatter plot or regression analysis. correlation does not necessarily mean causation.22 Firm B set its selling price based on the average cost.85/ln2) = 0.542. Higher profits. given a 100 unit production level: Y = α Xr Y = $300*100-0. Many costs can be related to volume of activity.67 1. in turn.45 Although each customer paid a different price.028. higher profits generally occur during periods when activity is high.67 Firm A's income for last year was: Sales Costs Income $1. using the learning curve equation Y = α Xr α = $300 instead of hours X (units produced) = 5 Learning rate = (ln 0. a 50% markup on total cost will cause sales to be: $1. For example. Although these expenditures are made because more money is available. employee training.2345 Y = $101. then the highest sales might coincide with the highest electricity costs.30 Firm A and Firm B Costs for Firm A in the first year would be determined as follows.

65 (average cost for each of the 150 units produced) Firm B's income statement for last year was: Sales (150 x $152.028.00 13.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-27 Firm B's costs.97) Less costs from last year’s income statement for first five units Cost to produce the 10 units for this year Thus Firm A's income statement for this year is Sales Costs Income $1.40 1.85 Thus Firm B's selling price this year was $64. assuming an 85% learning effect would be: Y = $300*150-0.00 13.528.727.897.65) Income Firm A's revenues for this year are: (10 x $152.75 (average cost for each of the 300 units) Note that the cumulative production for Firm B through this year is 300 units.30 $2.40 Firm A's costs may be computed as follows: Y = $300*15-0.356.45 $1. Total cumulative production cost (300 x $78.2345 Y = $92.028.97 (average cost for each of the 15 units produced) Total cost to produce the first 15 units (15 x $158.356.84) Costs (150 x $ 92.384.10 $ 172.75) Total costs to produce the first 150 (from last year’s income statement) Total costs of this year’s production (150 units) Average cost per unit = $9.10 $22.50 $ 9.50 Firm B's calculation for its selling price is as follows: Y = $300*300-0.2345 (notice that the cumulative units produced is 15) Y = $158.2345 Y= $78.50 $ 9.85 x 1.28 $23.84) = $1.897.926.50/150 units = $64.55 1.625.727.50 .50 = $97.528.

.50 $ 4.28) Costs (150 x $64. Costs $165. A.500.61.500. Scatter Plot of Marketing Costs Against Sales $175.356.727.000 Sales B.000 $7.wiley.31 Belford’s The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.2-28 Cost Management Firm B's income statement for this year is Sales (150 x $97.000 $145.85) Income $14. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www. There is a positive slope.28 is lower than Firm A's average cost per unit: $1.000 $8. Such results often lead to charges of "unfair dumping" but with large differences in cumulative production volumes.500.000 $135.00 9.500.000 Marketing Dept.864.10/10 = $135.com/college/eldenburg). Sales seems to be a potential cost driver because there appears to be a positive correlation between the marketing department costs and sales.000 $5.000 $155. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www.000 $6. such extreme differences in cost can occur.wiley.com/college/eldenburg).50 Note that Firm B's selling price for this year of $97. and most of the observations appear to have a fairly linear trend. 2.592.

00097028 t Stat 9. Therefore.584 + 1. Instead. there would be a positive correlation between marketing department costs and sales. Even if marketing department costs are discretionary. sales may go up.4501E-10 5.86656716 Standard Error 4015. If the variable portion of the marketing cost is sales commissions. the cost function is: TC = $65.7600071 P-value 2. .01335108 Standard Error 6844. using regression or any other technique. they may be positively correlated with sales. E. In addition.34%*Sales D. When more money is spent on marketing. discretionary costs such as marketing are often increased when profits increase.93336396 R Square 0.2608 0.58184484 13. Here is the regression output. Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. the cost estimate should not be based on past costs. the decision maker(s) should be asked what next year’s cost will be. usually annually.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-29 C. F. Assuming that profits are more likely to increase when sales increase.08144 Observations 30 Coefficients 65584.5289E-14 Intercept X Variable 1 Based on the regression results. it is economically plausible for sales to be a cost driver. Discretionary costs are set by decision.87116829 Adjusted R Square 0.63816 0.

000 $0 0 300 600 900 1200 1500 Machine Hours .000 $0 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Labor Hours Manufacturing Overhead Against Machine Hours Manufacturing Overhead Cost $200.com/college/eldenburg).000 $120.2-30 Cost Management 2.000 $40.com/college/eldenburg).000 $80. A.wiley.32 Peer Jets International The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.000 $80. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www.000 $120. Manufacturing Overhead Against Labor Hours Manufacturing Overhead Cost $200.000 $160.000 $40.wiley. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www.000 $160.

000 $160. None of the plots show a definite trend. the cost driver does not explain the variation in cost.682 4. Analysis of the plots involves looking for a linear or football-shaped positive slope or trend.8173 Observations Coefficient s 150410.000 $40.552864 .000 $0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Raw Materials B.000 $120.56597156 30 Standard Error 14812. C. Based only on the cost plots. If the observations are widely scattered.1543 0. but the plot for labor hours appears to have the least trend. labor hours could be deleted as a potential cost driver.02253618 Standard Error 11114.600712 P-value 6. Costs and potential cost driver data are plotted to determine whether further analysis is necessary.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-31 Manufacturing Overhead Against Raw Materials Manufacturing Overhead Cost $200. either the driver is wrong or the cost is mostly fixed.86E-11 0.11279932 R Square 0.01272369 Adjusted R Square -0. Sometimes a cost that is mostly variable.600936029 Intercept Labor Hours t Stat 10. D. Labor Hours Regression: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.50852 7.000 $80. The plots help determine whether regression analysis should be performed using any of the potential drivers.

411 Machine Hours Regression: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.331580777 Intercept Machine Hours t Stat 11.215128 Standard Error 10853.11E-12 0.22* Raw materials .47803 9.095468 P-value 4.2266685 Standard Error 9665.217 + $60.68E-12 0.217192 Standard Error 10291.612063 R Square 0.004579 Both the intercept and slope coefficients are significant.2533351 Adjusted R Square 0.62907 3. so the cost function is estimated as: TC = $126.91 60.9786 Observations 30 Coefficient s 126216.3522862 Standard Error 8846.5033241 R Square 0.599 + $38.67 38.082222 P-value 3.56778 19.1555 Observations 30 Coefficient s 117598. so the cost function is estimated as: TC = $150.3746211 Adjusted R Square 0.53627459 Intercept Raw Materials t Stat 11.000325 Both the intercept and slope coefficients are significant.2-32 Cost Management Only the intercept term is significantly different from zero.4268 4.22*Machine hours Raw Materials Regression: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. so the cost function is estimated as: TC = $117.

05878 9.352 0.5558 Observations 30 Coefficient s 60988.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-33 E.8266982 Adjusted R Square 0.226 Based on the simple regression results.com/college/eldenburg).9092294 R Square 0. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www.wiley.com/college/eldenburg).3E-06 0.8067018 Standard Error 4832. and the adjusted R-Squares from the regressions are: Machine Hours Raw Materials 0.953575 1. Yes.886218 -0.218173 8.210187 P-value 3.12E-09 1.489 -0.1959303 48. The coefficients for each of the other potential cost drivers are significantly different from zero. Labor hours can be eliminated as a potential driver because its coefficient is not significantly different from zero (see Part D). Multiple regression with all three potential cost drivers: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. the direct labor hours was not significantly related to manufacturing overhead costs using simple regression. machine hours appears to do the best job of explaining manufacturing overhead costs. this driver explains only 35% of the variation in cost.wiley. F.2349 3.333162437 5.778501 82. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www.291558412 10. 2.08E-08 .33 Peer Jets International (continued) The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.10654585 Intercept Labor Hours Machine Hours Raw Materials t Stat 5.976635 Standard Error 10361. however. A.

93*Raw materials D.22 (<0.411 (<0. labor hours can be eliminated as a potential cost driver.82667515 Adjusted R Square 0. Costs for these activities are likely related to specific cost drivers.226) for these two cost drivers. Labor hours does not appear to be a cost driver when using either simple regression or multiple regression.98 (<0. Also. In this example. The adjusted RSquare is far higher in the multiple regression (0. A combination of cost drivers does a much better job of explaining the variation in manufacturing overhead costs than either cost driver alone. its coefficient is not significantly different from zero in either regression.20 (0.5348 Observations Coefficient s 60677.001) $-0.391636 P-value 1.001) $60.81383627 Standard Error 4742.001) B.954) $48.74*Machine hours + $82.939606 9. Manufacturing can be a complex activity requiring a number of different tasks.86E-07 4.005) $82.217 (<0. R2 Simple Regressions: Labor Hours Machine Hours Raw Materials Multiple Regression 0.450561 8.988 (<0.2-34 Cost Management Comparison of simple and multiple regression results: Intercept t-stat (p-value) Independent Variables t-stat (p-value) Labor Machine Raw Hours Hours Materials Adj. C. Each task includes different activities.5902 48.29E-09 The cost function is: TC = $60.664851 5.925842 30 Standard Error 8743.022 0.352 and 0.71E-10 5.881964042 Intercept Machine Hours Raw Materials t Stat 6. Multiple regression using machine hours and raw materials as cost drivers: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.22 (0. Both machine hours and raw materials are positive and significantly different from zero when using simple regression and also when using multiple regression. Thus. its coefficient is negative rather than positive in the multiple regression.226 0.001) $126.352 0.157604083 9.806) than in either of the simple regressions (0.7422519 82.678 + $48.001) $117. machine hours and raw materials explain different activity .001) $60.001) $4.806 $150.599 (<0.57 (0.78 (<0.55) $38.90921678 R Square 0.

the department amounts and total budget may be quite inaccurate. The relationship between the CEO and the board should be one of trust and confidence. They may either praise or criticize top management when the situation may not warrant it. with a flag indicating that the information quality is low for the budgets in those departments and an explanation that the budget is currently based on last year’s information. the board may begin to lose trust in the CEO’s ability to manage operations. If Regina submits unrealistically low budgets this month and then more accurate budgets next month. such as machining work on units. She may believe that her reputation as a diligent employee would suffer if she cannot produce something. Regina should submit the most current information she has. . and use last year’s budgets for departments that have not turned theirs in.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-35 costs. She can tell the Director of Finance that she cannot produce a very accurate budget within two days or she can pull together something that may not be very accurate. they need the most current information available and explanations for information that is not available. but with large increases in department costs. If they have outdated information and inaccurate information. They may also use the inaccurate information to help them approve decisions. her reputation would also suffer. A better understanding of the manufacturing process improves the ability to determine the types and number of cost drivers that can be used in a more complete cost function. 2. If Regina uses last period’s budget. they will draw erroneous conclusions about the performance of the organization and the top management. if she submits a budget based on last year’s budget and she knows that this is likely to be inaccurate. More importantly. such as a business expansion. B. When the budget is complete the board will likely see it again and notice the discrepancies between the preliminary and actual budgets and wonder why the first budget was so inaccurate.34 Software Solutions A. the board may make inappropriate decisions based on faulty data. Although the board is not directly involved in day-to-day operations. This is a potential ethical dilemma for Regina because the Direct of Finance believes that he can rely on Regina’s work when he presents the budget to the board. C. Regina has at least two choices in this situation. in their role of oversight. and materials handling for the units. and that could reflect negatively on the Finance Director. The board of directors monitors the performance of the CEO and top management. and the Director of Finance will present the board with information that is unreliable. However.

000 $5. number of hours the building is open. I would eliminate number of students because there does not seem to be a positive linear relationship between maintenance cost and number of students. A. Scatter Plot of Maintenance Costs Against Number of Maintenance Hours Worked Maint. Costs $25. square feet cleaned.wiley. Dept. Costs $25.000 $15. B.000 $20. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www.000 $0 528 530 532 534 536 538 540 542 Number of Students C.000 $20.000 $5.com/college/eldenburg). A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www. or number of classes and activities per period.wiley.35 Brush Prairie High School The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.com/college/eldenburg). Dept. number of hours students attend school. .000 $10.000 $15.000 $0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 Maintenance Hours Worked Scatter Plot of Maintenance Costs Against Number of Students Maint. Students may have thought of other drivers that could be logically related to cleaning maintenance costs.2-36 Cost Management 2. Other cost drivers for total maintenance cost could be number of rooms cleaned.000 $10.

it is logical to expect a strong relation between hours worked and cost.807201 P-value 0. maintenance hours is a reasonable cost driver.061172 Adjusted R Square -0.06772 Observations 12 Standard Error 965. providing high confidence that both the intercept and slope are different from zero.0261 Standard Error 130954.847440356 Adjusted R Square 0. and rent for this type of facility is usually fixed.9 244. An unidentified cost driver could have a higher R-Square.18E-05 Regression output for maintenance cost and number of students: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. it is considered fixed.0857 Intercept X Variable 1 t Stat -0.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-37 D.135 + $35. changes in maintenance hours worked explains more than 80% of the changes in maintenance cost while number of students explains none.68624 0.63E-06 2. it is rational to conclude that hours worked will provide a reasonable estimate of future costs.03271 Standard Error 3019. The p-values on the Tstatistics are very small.36 The Elder Clinic A and B Salaries are always fixed.832184392 Standard Error 1217.920565237 R Square 0.461245 7. E. From the analyses performed. The total cost function is: TC = $9. Utilities cost varies with season not visits.438328 According to the R Square statistics.74733262 t Stat 9. The most current value is used to . It cannot be known for certain whether the number of maintenance hours is the best cost driver because every single possible cost driver cannot be identified.875134 35. Regression results for maintenance cost and number of maintenance hours worked: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. However.5045837 4.247329 R Square 0.508157 0. 2.796328319 Intercept X Variable 1 Coefficients 9134. Therefore.173 Observations 12 Coefficient s -89867 197.74*maintenance hours worked.453062 P-value 2.

49*849. E. the cost function is: TC = $19. such as snake anti-venom. variable cost is $3.115 219 3. Sample solutions and a discussion of typical student responses will be included in assessment guidance on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www. Use March.49 ($3.182 = F + $3. to find fixed: $3. Category Medical staff salaries* Medical supplies used** Administrative salaries Rent Utilities Other expenses Total Expenses Fixed $14.2-38 Cost Management predict next period’s utilities. and so on. There are many possible reasons that could be listed. must be kept on hand whether or not they are used.736 + $6.com/college/eldenburg). Some supplies. Other expenses appear to increase and decrease with number of patientvisits. • Treatments and related costs may change as new drugs are available. • Prices of all inputs could change (usually increase). affecting the number of visits at this clinic. These would be fixed.58 $6. **Using high-low.934)/(849 – 778). new equipment is acquired. This analysis suggests that there are some of the other expenses are variable costs and some fixed.736 + $6. so this cost is classified as a mixed cost. There is no one answer to this part.412 1. Medical supplies vary with number of patient-visits. These would be variable. Use the same method for other expenses.49 Cost Driver Patient-visits Mixed X 2. other facilities may open or close.07 Patient-visits X * The value in June is used for fixed costs because the increase in salaries will hold into the future. July expenses are estimated to be: TC = $19.07*940 = $25. At 940 patient-visits. gloves. Visits are affected by season.100 226 664 $19. Given the preceding computations and cost summary. Also. high point of medical supplies cost and patient data.736 Variable $3.wiley. such as tongue depressors.$2.182 .07*patient-visits C. medical supplies is a mixed cost. each patient requires a certain number of supplies. but not proportionately. Here are some of the reasons: • The managers will not know how many visits they will receive.441. weather. Therefore.80 D. and so on. current illnesses that are circulating in the area. . or there are changes in treatment procedures for certain illnesses. and costs go up as patient-visits increase.

Number of work stations might come from the department head. a two point method might be best. could be used to identify costs for building and occupancy costs. B. Vendors. with representative points selected from a scatter plot. Some costs are discretionary. C. The answers to these questions depend on the individual student’s data and cost behavior. . department heads.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-39 2. prepaid insurance schedules. The cost object is the help line.g. E. and others could be interviewed to identify any potential cost increases or other expected changes in cost behavior from prior periods. If enough data points are available. D. Regression analysis makes use of all data points and is more accurate than twopoint methods. It would be useful to obtain several years of monthly data from which to prepare scatter plots and run regression analysis. number of employees. supplies. number of hours worked. and D. a personal budget estimation problem is similar to the cost estimation problem for a business. regression analysis would probably be the best choice. B. If not. number of work stations. Accounting records could be accessed to determine the wage rates and time worked for help support staff and supervisors. C. This data could be found in the accounting system.38 Personal Cost Function A. assuming a linear cost function. analysis at the account level could be used to develop a cost function using information from the general ledger.37 Cost function Judgment and Method A. or it might need to be estimated if it has not been tracked in the past. The choice of information sources depends on how the past cost information is to be used. rent). depreciation schedules. Analysis of general ledger entries could be used to determine past costs for phone service. Some future costs can be estimated with high accuracy based on prior commitments (e. cost allocation records could be used to identify past costs. If the service is housed in a common building.. Information about number of employees and hours worked is found in the payroll accounting system. Other costs are highly uncertain and subject to external factors that cannot be controlled. or total number of Internet customers. Alternatively. etc. Number of calls might have to be tracked by employees or by the telephone system. Possible cost drivers include number of calls handled. and other miscellaneous costs. If the help line is housed in its own building. Number of customers is part of the revenue accounting records. 2. In some ways.

800 .850 2 .300/10 x 12 = 35.39 Smeyer Industries The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2.596 73.000 + 500 + 500 + 500 + 500 + 500 Depreciation(b) +$36 1 + 36 -4.10.150 73. Similarly.com/college/eldenburg).wiley. The miscellaneous supplies account also looks suspicious. but there is insufficient information to make an adjustment. . If these observations are included in the regression analysis.286 68.250 May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov 1 Property Tax(a) +$500 + 500 + 500 + 500 -3. 1/2 of August 5 payroll goes to July: 5. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www.800.200 Apr 71.83/mo. (rounded to $36) 2 Note IB-4's power added to Dept. the trend line is likely to distort costs. Because of the large difference between these values and the values in other months.686 71. the first month is adjusted even though it is not an actual cost: 4. B.200 +$2.com/college/eldenburg). July’s result is an outlier and should be removed from the data.750. 80% of September 2 payroll to August: . A. as shown in the scatter plot below.236 69.750 .736 67.350 68. No adjustments are needed for items (c) and (d).8 x 6.2.500 38.300 + 36 + 36 + 36 + 36 + 36 + 36 + 36 Other Payroll3 Adjusted Cost $68.2-40 Cost Management 2.wiley.036 68. Adjustments to more accurately reflect overhead costs incurred: Unadjusted Overhead Mar $68.486 68.000 = 4.800 41.750 68. IP-14 3 Payroll paid every two weeks.310 70. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www. Operations in the month of July are not typical of the rest of the time period.750 + 4.790 80.736 To predict future overhead.500 x 1/2 = 2. these are correctly handled.4.376 65.

310484 Intercept X Variable 1 Coefficient s 8777.26 3.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-41 Scatter Plot of Adjusted Overhead Costs Against Direct Labor Hours $75.818 6. Here are the regression results: Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 0.47 8 Standard Error 29406.500 8. D.000 Overhead Costs $70. Therefore.000 $50. Based on the variation in dates at which supplies are recorded. supplies were a large proportion of overhead cost.000 $45. Monthly overhead costs for supplies may be significantly overstated or understated .000 3.000 $55.314163 1980. Thus. the cost function is estimated as: Overhead cost = $6.789722 t Stat 0.000 6.500 5. the fixed cost does not appear to be different from zero.298502 2.050976 P-value 0.641981 0.000 9. they are most likely recorded at the time of purchase rather than at the time of use.000 $40.000 $65.500 Outlier Direct Labor Hours C.000 2.775388 0.79 * direct labor hours This cost function might not provide a very accurate estimate for future costs because the direct labor hours explain only about 31% of the variation in overhead costs (based on the adjusted R-square).086126 Based on the t-statistic and p-value for the intercept. considerable future variation in overhead costs is likely to occur due to factors other than changes in direct labor hours.000 $60. According to the details provided for August and September.412139 0.

However. Additional adjustments include any expected changes in costs from prior periods. Prior cost data should be adjusted for these changes before the data are used to estimate future costs. small adjustments that may be material when estimating a cost might not be sufficiently material to the financial statements for adjustments in the accounting records. Second. this may not be a problem. these variations would need to be considered. there could be seasonal variation in costs such as overtime pay and utilities. but if the company would like information about predicted monthly costs. Following are three reasons for making adjustments when estimating cost functions. . E. If the cost function is for annual costs. adjustments could be made to adjust the balance in supplies inventory each month.2-42 Cost Management if the amount of supplies inventory varies significantly from month to month. power costs could be adjusted upward if utility rates in the future are expected to be higher than in the past. sometimes known changes have occurred in prices or cost behavior. First. The process of preparing financial statements often includes adjustments so that costs are recorded in the correct time period. For example. Thus. Third. the accounting records might not accurately reflect the costs incurred during each time period. financial statements may be prepared less frequently than data is collected for cost estimation. In addition.

Fixed costs are often irrelevant to decisions. See Exhibit 2. For example. It is also necessary to evaluate the quality of measurement results when using accounting information. A measurement is relevant if the resulting cost function information helps decision makers choose between alternative courses of action. It is often difficult to identify an appropriate. the main focus was on measuring costs for a cost object. . which factors drive variable costs. Thus. whereas variable costs are often relevant. If the cost is believed to be nonlinear. it is necessary to use judgment when choosing and applying measurement methods. then simple regression is inappropriate. The costs and benefits of alternative measures should also be considered. high-low method. sometimes the cost of obtaining a better measure exceeds the benefits. 4. Chapter 2 introduced the following measurement methods for estimating a cost function: Engineered estimate of cost. A measurement is reliable if it if it is reasonably free from error and bias. variable or mixed.40 Focus on Professional Competency: Measurement A. the best choice of estimation technique.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-43 BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES 2. in Chapter 2 pointed out that a cost function is estimated within a relevant range of activity. and reliable measure for estimating a cost function because of uncertainties about: data availability. analysis at the account level. a cost function should distinguish between fixed and variable costs. A cost function estimated from past cost data may be unreliable if future operating activities are expected to occur in a different relevant range. B. simple regression. When estimating a cost function: a. and multiple regression (Appendix 2A). C. b. and how to interpret computational results. 2. 1.17 for the pros and cons of each method. Suppose a cost function is measured for the purpose of estimating future costs. For example. Uncertainties prevent identification of single “correct” measurement methods. and they prevent complete accuracy in making accounting measurements. c. how to categorize costs as fixed. A measurement method such as simple regression is appropriate if past cost patterns are expected to continue in the future and i the cost is linearly related to the cost driver. 3. whether past cost behaviors will continue in the future. which typically involved creating a cost function for one or more individual costs. In Chapter 2. two-point method. relevant. for example. A measurement is appropriate if it is suitable for the purpose.

Changing circumstances can change the patterns of cost behavior and cause an estimated cost function to be inappropriate. students might think of others. • The desired quality of the report should be weighed against the timeliness of information for the user. However. the user should be informed about the priorities used in creating the report. D. irrelevant. then it may be more important to provide the cost function information rapidly than to prepare a high quality report. It is important to present the cost function information objectively to improve its relevance and reliability for the user. Here are some desirable characteristics of a report about an estimated cost function. People who lack objectivity are likely to present biased information that impairs high quality decision making. If the report will be presented to a superior within the accounting department.2-44 Cost Management 5. taking into account the knowledge and interests of the user. then it should probably describe all of the major decisions involved in developing the cost function. . the manager should be informed about key uncertainties or risks associated with using the cost function. clear. It is typically appropriate to use more technical language in reports written for other accountants than in reports written for non-accounting audiences. • The use of technical language should depend on the audience. However. and easy to understand. If the report will be used by a manager who needs to estimate future costs. If the user needs to make a decision quickly. and/or unreliable. then the details of the estimation process may be irrelevant. • The format should be concise. • The report should focus on information that will be relevant to the user.9). Note: Some of these ideas were adapted from the Path to Higher-Quality Management Decisions presented in Chapter 1 (Exhibit 1.

7995 Observations 48 Coefficient s 133194.678620854 Intercept X Variable 1 t Stat 19.96 x number of chairs produced However.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-45 2.04 13. Also. Considerable variation in labor costs is not explained by changes in the volume of production. available on both the Instructor and Student web sites for the textbook (available at www. In prior years. the prior labor costs are biased downward—future labor costs are expected to be higher than past labor costs.wiley. The cost function is estimated as: Labor cost = $133.7748991 R Square 0.] The data for this problem can be found on the datasets file for chapter 2. the fixed cost and the variable cost per unit are each positive and statistically different from zero. the regression explains only about 59% of the variation in labor costs.848277 8.5917832 Standard Error 6216. using monthly data for the prior 4 years. the cost function was estimated by regressing actual labor costs on number of chairs produced.com/college/eldenburg).194 + $13. A spreadsheet showing the solutions for this problem is available on the Instructor’s web site for the textbook (available at www.wiley.6004687 Adjusted R Square 0. . Because of the annual pay increases.437E-24 1.609693 1.com/college/eldenburg). A. the degree of downward bias is higher for older data than for more recent data. students are likely to struggle interpreting and choosing a method (Parts E and F).957296 Standard Error 6710. Here are the simple regression results: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0. B.3147402 P-value 3.02E-10 Based on the regression results.41 Integrating Across the Curriculum: Statistics [Note about problem complexity: This homework problem was written with adequate instructions so that students should be able to perform the various regression analyses that are called for. However.

54295 Standard Error 5689.23 per chair. Also. D. the fixed cost and the variable cost per unit are each positive and statistically different from zero.905 Observations 48 Coefficient s 133736 16.347 Calculation $203.311 200. but the variable cost increased from $13. The fixed cost is nearly the same. The cost function is estimated as: Labor cost = $133.492 1.26499 6.67711 P-value 1.864722 R Square 0.35E-15 Based on the regression results.533 Dec 20X4 196.347 x 1.390275 Intercept X Variable 1 t Stat 24.274 Using the adjusted labor cost data. Here are a couple of months’ data for double-checking the calculation of adjusted labor costs: Month Original Labor Cost Jan 20X1 $203.747745 Adjusted R Square 0.93821 16.742261 Standard Error 5148.00872 Intercept X Variable 1 X Variable 2 t Stat 18. here are the regression results: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.06236 11.73E-20 5.23439 Standard Error 5557. approximately 26% of the variation in labor costs is still unexplained.23 x number of chairs produced This regression provides a more reasonable cost function than the previous version because it explains a higher proportion of the variation in labor costs (adjusted R-square of 0.02 Adjusted Labor Cost $220.863839 Standard Error 3742.486389 P-value 4.736 + $16.02)4 $196.869633 Adjusted R Square 0. this cost function would result in a higher estimate for future costs.96 to $16. which is reasonable given the increase in wage rates over time.74).010513 1.05E-27 2.2-46 Cost Management C. Nevertheless.891 1. Here are the multiple regression results: Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.91E-08 .932541 R Square 0.411 Observations 48 Coefficient s 107748.533 x (1.8 16.09577 6.57E-23 2.

and the managers often delay laying off employees when volumes decline. then this month’s labor costs will reflect the higher level of labor cost. it appears that both independent variables should be included in the cost function because they both have a logical cause-and-effect relationship with labor costs.749 + $16. and to decrease the number of workers when production volumes decrease. The cost function is estimated as: Labor cost = $107. The second slope coefficient requires more thought. On one hand. it often takes time for the company to hire qualified new workers. However. As explained in the problem. .26) is interpreted in a straight-forward way. and they both have positive and statistically significant coefficients. each month’s labor costs are expected to increase by $6. the company’s policy is to increase the number of workers when production volumes increase. the fixed cost and the variable cost per unit for each cost driver are all positive and statistically different from zero. E. The first slope coefficient ($16. then this month’s labor costs will reflect a lower level of labor cost. each month’s labor costs are expected to increase by $16.26 x current month number of chairs produced + $6. the two cost drivers together explain a very high proportion (86%) of the variation in past labor costs. Thus. If the prior month’s production was higher than this month’s production. F. In addition. there may be some lag between the time that production volumes change and labor costs change. According to the multiple regression results.54 x prior month number of chairs produced The statistics suggest that this is a more reasonable cost function than the previous version because all coefficients are positive statistically different from zero. it could be argued that some other cost driver might do a better job of predicting future labor costs. and this regression explains more of the variation in labor costs (86%).l6 for each chair produced during the month.54 for each chair produced during the prior month. Conversely.Chapter 2: The Cost Function 2-47 Based on the regression results. if the prior month’s production was lower than this month’s production. On the other hand. There is no one single answer to this question.

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