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MGT402 GDB Solution Fall 2012

Star company – a partnership firm of Mr. “A” and Mr. “B”, deals in ball points manufacturing business. Despite of using the traditional approach of costing, the company is earning handsome profits. One day Mr. C (son of partner A) visited the firm and got a chance to check some of the organization’s reports incidentally. He found that due to the lack of knowledge about costing techniques, the plant capacity is being incorrectly estimated and this has resulted in underutilization of the plant. He discussed this issue with his father on the dinner and suggested Mr. A to adopt some modern costing techniques so that the plant capacity can be fully utilized. Mr. A discussed this issue with his partner, Mr. B on the next day. But, both the partners were hesitant to adopt the suggestion because they thought that due to this, their cost of goods produced might gone up and hence their profit could be reduced. Later, Mr. C tried to convince them that the profit could not be reduced. He strongly recommended the proposal by saying that “Variable cost varies on per unit of output produced, whereas fixed cost remains constant on per unit of output produced”.

Required:
As a student of cost accounting, will you be agree with the statement given by Mr. C? Support your answer with logical reasons.

Solution:

Variable cost

A periodic cost is cost that varies in step with the output or the sales revenue of a company.

Variable costs include raw material, energy usage, labor, distribution costs, etc. Companies with high variable costs are significantly different from those with high fixed costs. This difference affects the financial structure of the company as well as its pricing and profits. The breakeven point in such companies (in comparison with high fixed cost companies) is typically at a much lower level of output, but their marginal profit (rate of contribution) is also much lower.

Fixed cost

A periodic cost that remains more or less unchanged irrespective of the output level or sales revenue, such as depreciation, insurance, interest, rent, salaries, and wages.

While in practice, all costs vary over time and no cost is a purely fixed cost, the concept of fixed costs is necessary in short term cost accounting. Organizations with high fixed costs are significantly different from those with high variable costs. This difference affects the financial structure of the organization as well as its pricing and profits. The breakeven point in such organizations (in comparison with high variable cost organizations) is typically at a much higher level of output, and their marginal profit (rate of contribution) is also much higher.

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