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faaiz
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Thumbs up Standard Costing - January 4th, 2008

Standard Costing
________________________________________
The first step in the creation of a standard costing system is to create a set of standard costs in a variety of different areas. The industrial engineering staff is assigned the task of creating direct labor standard costs, while the purchasing staff is most typically assigned the chore of creating standard costs for purchased goods, and the cost accountant is called upon to coordinate the development of a set of standard overhead costs. If there are sub-products created during the production process that may be valued at the end of each accounting reporting period, then the industrial engineering staff will calculate these standards. It is also possible to reduce the areas in which standard costs are used, with actual costs being accumulated in other areas. This mix of costing types can arise when there is some concern that reasonably accurate standard costs cannot be constructed, or if existing actual costing systems already produce reasonably accurate results.
Another issue to settle as soon in the standard cost development process as possible is the timing of changes to these standards. This can be done quite infrequently, perhaps once every few years, or as rapidly as once a month (which results in standard costs that are nearly indistinguishable from actual costs). The key determinant influencing the pace of change is the perceived pace at which actual costs are changing. If there are minimal changes to a manufacturing process, then there is certainly no reason to constantly review the process and set new standards. Conversely, a company that has installed an aggressive continuous improvement strategy will find that its standard costs are constantly falling behind changes in actual costs, which requires constant revisions to standards.
The assumptions used to create standard costs must also be addressed. For example, an industrial engineer must make some assumptions about the speed of efficiency improvements being realized by the production staff (known as the learning curve) in order to determine the future standard cost that roughly matches these expected changes in efficiency. Similarly, a standard cost must be matched to the expected production equipment configuration to be used, since this has a considerable impact on the overhead costs that can be assigned to a product. Another key assumption is the volume of production, since a large assumed production run will spread its setup cost over many units, whereas a short production run will result in higher setup costs on a per-unit basis. Yet another factor is the assumed condition of the equipment to be used in the manufacturing process, since poorly maintained or old equipment will be in operation for fewer hours than would otherwise be the case. The production system being used, such as just-in-time or manufacturing resource planning, will also have a significant impact on standard costs, since different systems result in the incurrence of different types of costs in such areas as machine setup time, equipment depreciation, materials handling costs, and inventory investment costs. An issue that is particular to direct labor is the anticipated result of union negotiations, since these directly and immediately impact hourly wage rates. A final issue to consider is the presence and quality of work instructions for the production staff; the absence of detailed and accurate instructions can have a profound and deleterious impact on costs incurred. Given the large number of issues involved in the setting of accurate standard costs, it is no surprise that this task can require the ongoing services of an experienced group of professionals, the cost of which must be considered when making the decision to use a standard costing system.
A final factor to consider when creating standard costs is the level of attainability of the costs. One option is to devise an attainable standard, which is a cost that does not depart very much from the existing actual cost. This results in reasonable cost targets that employees know they can probably meet. Another alternative is to use historical costs as the basis for a standard cost. This is generally not recommended, for the resulting costs are no different from a company’s existing actual cost structure, and so gives employees no incentive to attempt to reduce costs. The diametrically opposite approach is to create a set of theoretical standards, which are based on costs that can only be achieved if the manufacturing process runs absolutely perfectly. Since employees cannot possibly meet these cost goals for anything but very short periods of time, it tends to result in lower employee morale. Thus, of the potential range of standard costs that can be set, the best approach is to set moderate stretch goals that are achievable.
Finally, we are ready to begin using standard costs. But for what purpose do we use them? One common usage is in budgeting. By creating detailed standard costs for all budgeting line items, company managers can be presented with financial statements that compare actual results to standard costs, so that they can see where actual results are falling behind expectations. However, this is a simple approach that requires little real attention to the setting of standards at the product level.
Another reason for using standards is to create benchmarks for inclusion in a manufacturing resources planning (MRP II) production system. This commonly used system multiplies a production forecast by a detailed set of product labor, materials, and capacity requirements to determine how many direct labor personnel, specific materials, and machine capacity will be needed. This system requires extremely detailed and accurate standards to be successful. The standards needed by MRP II are for units of labor, materials, and capacity, rather than their costs. In other words, a direct labor standard for an MRP II system may be 12 minutes of labor, rather than its cost for those 12 minutes of $4.58.
Yet another use for standards is in product pricing. The company sales staff frequently asks the engineering staff to provide it with cost estimates for new product configurations, many of which are only slightly different from existing products. However, the engineering staff may take days or weeks to provide the sales personnel with this information – which may be too long to satisfy an impatient customer. By using standard costs, the sales staff can compile product costs very quickly with only a brief approval review from the engineering staff. Or, if the engineering staff is still in charge of creating new product cost estimates, then they can also use standard costs to more rapidly arrive at their estimates. In either case, customer will receive reliable price quotes much more rapidly than was previously the case.
A very common use for standard costs is for the valuation of inventory. Many companies do not want to be bothered with the time-consuming accumulation of actual inventory costs at the end of each accounting period, and so they create standard costs for valuation purposes, which they occasionally compare to actual costs to ensure that the inventory valuation is accurate. It is not worth the effort to create standard costs for this purpose if a company’s inventory levels are extremely low, or if a just-in-time manufacturing system is in use, since the amount of time that will be saved in valuing inventory is small, given the minor quantities of stock that will be kept in the warehouse. However, manufacturers with large inventory balances will find that this is still an effective way to rapidly determine the value of inventory.
Unfortunately, the use of standard costs for inventory valuation is also subject to control problems, for deliberate manipulation of standards can result in large changes in the value of inventory, which in turn impacts the reported level of company profits. For example, the standard cost for a finished goods item can include an assumption for the amount of production setup costs allocated to each item, which is heavily influenced by the assumed number of units produced in a manufacturing run. By shifting the assumed length of the production run downward, the amount of cost allocated to each unit goes up. This type of interference with standard costs can result in wildly inaccurate reported financial results.
If standard costs are used for inventory valuation, the accounting staff will periodically compare standard to actual costs to ensure that there are not excessively large differences between the two. If a company is audited at year-end, then the auditors will require a comparison to actual costs, and a write-off of the difference to the cost of goods sold (if standard costs are higher than actual costs) or an increase in the inventory balance (if actual costs are higher than standard costs). Since a significant difference between the two types of costs can result in a startling change in the reported level of income during the period when this adjustment is made, it is wise to review some of the large-cost items on a regular basis in order to ensure that there will be no surprises at the time of reconciliation to actual costs.
Consequently, we can see that there are still several areas in which standard costs can still be used to create greater efficiencies in selected areas of activity. However, the number of viable applications has fallen with the advent of new computer systems and production methodologies, so one should carefully review the proposed applications for standard costs before conducting an implementation.
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Re: Standard Costing - February 24th, 2008

thanx 4 dis one also!!!!!!!!!!1111
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Re: Standard Costing - March 7th, 2008

Thanks for this great text on standard costing.
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Re: Standard Costing - April 20th, 2008

your project really helpful for me.thank you very much!!!!
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Re: Standard Costing - February 26th, 2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by faaiz View Post
Standard Costing
________________________________________
The first step in the creation of a standard costing system is to create a set of standard costs in a variety of different areas. The industrial engineering staff is assigned the task of creating direct labor standard costs, while the purchasing staff is most typically assigned the chore of creating standard costs for purchased goods, and the cost accountant is called upon to coordinate the development of a set of standard overhead costs. If there are sub-products created during the production process that may be valued at the end of each accounting reporting period, then the industrial engineering staff will calculate these standards. It is also possible to reduce the areas in which standard costs are used, with actual costs being accumulated in other areas. This mix of costing types can arise when there is some concern that reasonably accurate standard costs cannot be constructed, or if existing actual costing systems already produce reasonably accurate results.
Another issue to settle as soon in the standard cost development process as possible is the timing of changes to these standards. This can be done quite infrequently, perhaps once every few years, or as rapidly as once a month (which results in standard costs that are nearly indistinguishable from actual costs). The key determinant influencing the pace of change is the perceived pace at which actual costs are changing. If there are minimal changes to a manufacturing process, then there is certainly no reason to constantly review the process and set new standards. Conversely, a company that has installed an aggressive continuous improvement strategy will find that its standard costs are constantly falling behind changes in actual costs, which requires constant revisions to standards.
The assumptions used to create standard costs must also be addressed. For example, an industrial engineer must make some assumptions about the speed of efficiency improvements being realized by the production staff (known as the learning curve) in order to determine the future standard cost that roughly matches these expected changes in efficiency. Similarly, a standard cost must be matched to the expected production equipment configuration to be used, since this has a considerable impact on the overhead costs that can be assigned to a product. Another key assumption is the volume of production, since a large assumed production run will spread its setup cost over many units, whereas a short production run will result in higher setup costs on a per-unit basis. Yet another factor is the assumed condition of the equipment to be used in the manufacturing process, since poorly maintained or old equipment will be in operation for fewer hours than would otherwise be the case. The production system being used, such as just-in-time or manufacturing resource planning, will also have a significant impact on standard costs, since different systems result in the incurrence of different types of costs in such areas as machine setup time, equipment depreciation, materials handling costs, and inventory investment costs. An issue that is particular to direct labor is the anticipated result of union negotiations, since these directly and immediately impact hourly wage rates. A final issue to consider is the presence and quality of work instructions for the production staff; the absence of detailed and accurate instructions can have a profound and deleterious impact on costs incurred. Given the large number of issues involved in the setting of accurate standard costs, it is no surprise that this task can require the ongoing services of an experienced group of professionals, the cost of which must be considered when making the decision to use a standard costing system.
A final factor to consider when creating standard costs is the level of attainability of the costs. One option is to devise an attainable standard, which is a cost that does not depart very much from the existing actual cost. This results in reasonable cost targets that employees know they can probably meet. Another alternative is to use historical costs as the basis for a standard cost. This is generally not recommended, for the resulting costs are no different from a company’s existing actual cost structure, and so gives employees no incentive to attempt to reduce costs. The diametrically opposite approach is to create a set of theoretical standards, which are based on costs that can only be achieved if the manufacturing process runs absolutely perfectly. Since employees cannot possibly meet these cost goals for anything but very short periods of time, it tends to result in lower employee morale. Thus, of the potential range of standard costs that can be set, the best approach is to set moderate stretch goals that are achievable.
Finally, we are ready to begin using standard costs. But for what purpose do we use them? One common usage is in budgeting. By creating detailed standard costs for all budgeting line items, company managers can be presented with financial statements that compare actual results to standard costs, so that they can see where actual results are falling behind expectations. However, this is a simple approach that requires little real attention to the setting of standards at the product level.
Another reason for using standards is to create benchmarks for inclusion in a manufacturing resources planning (MRP II) production system. This commonly used system multiplies a production forecast by a detailed set of product labor, materials, and capacity requirements to determine how many direct labor personnel, specific materials, and machine capacity will be needed. This system requires extremely detailed and accurate standards to be successful. The standards needed by MRP II are for units of labor, materials, and capacity, rather than their costs. In other words, a direct labor standard for an MRP II system may be 12 minutes of labor, rather than its cost for those 12 minutes of $4.58.
Yet another use for standards is in product pricing. The company sales staff frequently asks the engineering staff to provide it with cost estimates for new product configurations, many of which are only slightly different from existing products. However, the engineering staff may take days or weeks to provide the sales personnel with this information – which may be too long to satisfy an impatient customer. By using standard costs, the sales staff can compile product costs very quickly with only a brief approval review from the engineering staff. Or, if the engineering staff is still in charge of creating new product cost estimates, then they can also use standard costs to more rapidly arrive at their estimates. In either case, customer will receive reliable price quotes much more rapidly than was previously the case.
A very common use for standard costs is for the valuation of inventory. Many companies do not want to be bothered with the time-consuming accumulation of actual inventory costs at the end of each accounting period, and so they create standard costs for valuation purposes, which they occasionally compare to actual costs to ensure that the inventory valuation is accurate. It is not worth the effort to create standard costs for this purpose if a company’s inventory levels are extremely low, or if a just-in-time manufacturing system is in use, since the amount of time that will be saved in valuing inventory is small, given the minor quantities of stock that will be kept in the warehouse. However, manufacturers with large inventory balances will find that this is still an effective way to rapidly determine the value of inventory.
Unfortunately, the use of standard costs for inventory valuation is also subject to control problems, for deliberate manipulation of standards can result in large changes in the value of inventory, which in turn impacts the reported level of company profits. For example, the standard cost for a finished goods item can include an assumption for the amount of production setup costs allocated to each item, which is heavily influenced by the assumed number of units produced in a manufacturing run. By shifting the assumed length of the production run downward, the amount of cost allocated to each unit goes up. This type of interference with standard costs can result in wildly inaccurate reported financial results.
If standard costs are used for inventory valuation, the accounting staff will periodically compare standard to actual costs to ensure that there are not excessively large differences between the two. If a company is audited at year-end, then the auditors will require a comparison to actual costs, and a write-off of the difference to the cost of goods sold (if standard costs are higher than actual costs) or an increase in the inventory balance (if actual costs are higher than standard costs). Since a significant difference between the two types of costs can result in a startling change in the reported level of income during the period when this adjustment is made, it is wise to review some of the large-cost items on a regular basis in order to ensure that there will be no surprises at the time of reconciliation to actual costs.
Consequently, we can see that there are still several areas in which standard costs can still be used to create greater efficiencies in selected areas of activity. However, the number of viable applications has fallen with the advent of new computer systems and production methodologies, so one should carefully review the proposed applications for standard costs before conducting an implementation.
As we know that standard costs are generally related with a production company's costs of direct content, direct labor, and production overhead. I liked your article and thanks for sharing. Well, i am also uploading a document where you would find more detailed information on standard costing.
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