Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
1.1: Financial Accounting vs. Managerial Accounting URL Characteristics of Managerial Accounting

As you read this section, pay attention to the differences between financial accounting and managerial accounting. These differences are illustrated in Table 1.1. Also, evaluate what types of managerial accounting information you use or produce in your job. Were you surprised to realize that you are already familiar with some parts of managerial accounting?

The subtopics below will discuss how managerial accounting contributes to the planning and controlling functions. The four functions of management – planning, organizing, leading, and controlling – are covered in BUS208: Principles of Management.

Page Comparison of Management and Financial Accounting

This article discusses the differences between financial and managerial accounting.

1.2: Merchandisers and Manufacturers URL Planning and Control Functions Performed by Managers

Good managers are always planning for the future and assessing the present. The functions that enable management to plan for the future and assess implementation continually are planning and control. Planning is the process of establishing goals and communicating these goals to employees of the organization. The control function is the process of evaluating whether the organization's plans were implemented effectively.

Page Managerial Accounting

As you read this chapter, identify the various needs managerial accounting meets and how various participants in the management process would use the many outcomes of managerial accounting.

1.3: Key Finance and Management Accounting Personnel URL Key Finance and Accounting Personnel

Dana Matthews, president of Sportswear Inc., a publicly-traded company, has many responsibilities. Like most managers of large publicly-traded companies, she has delegated much responsibility to her managers and has many questions that need answers.

Although Dana has delegated much responsibility she cannot delegate accountability and she must ensure that her organization is effective and the information she receives is accurate. Best practices require an efficient organization to ensure that management accounting is done in a timely and accurate manner. This section considers what a typical organization may look like.

1.4: Ethical Issues Facing the Accounting Industry URL Ethical Issues Facing the Accounting Industry

Mark Twain told us that there are three types of lies: "lies, damned lies and statistics". Management accountants produce many statistics! How expenses are allocated and how revenue is accounted for is far from set in stone. For example, the owner of a restaurant and bar could choose to take his salary as a dividend and thereby pump up profitability, perhaps to impress or mislead a potential buyer! As a management accountant you need to be aware of ethical issues and studiously avoid practices that mislead and misdirect those who will use your information.

1.5: Computerized Accounting Systems URL Computerized Accounting Systems

Selecting a company's computer system is more than a software or hardware decision – it is a complex problem that usually requires scrupulous research and a full rethinking of the organization's culture and reporting relationships. Today, most companies have a computerized financial system that creates financial and management accounting reports.

1.6: Cost Terminology URL Cost Terminology

Classifying costs and revenue correctly is critical to consistent financial reporting. A consistent report has uniform meaning within the company. In this section, you will learn some of the basic terminology used to classify costs. This section of the textbook is important to your success in this course, so be sure to complete the exercises at the end of the section before you move on.

1.7: How Product Costs Flow through Accounts URL How Product Costs Flow through Accounts

Costs are associated with and accumulated in broad accounts out of necessity. In this section, you will learn how costs are assigned to those accounts and how those costs can "flow" through another cost account. For example, inventory costs will become costs of goods sold, and work in progress (WIP) cost will become inventory costs. Be sure to complete the exercises at the end of this section before you move on.

1.8: Income Statements for Manufacturing Companies URL Income Statements for Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing companies like Ford Motor Company necessarily have different income statements than other types of companies. Service companies like Ernest and Young have a dramatically different income statement from Ford and dramatically different management accounting needs. Merchandisers like Home Depot also require different income statements and management accounting information. In this section, you will consider what the income statements of manufacturers look like – which are probably the most complex type of income statement.

1.9: Basic Math Review Page Math for Accounting

Most of us learned the math skills required to be successful in management accounting in high school. The following video reviews these basic math skills.

2.1: Job Costing URL How Is Job Costing Used to Track Production Costs?

Read chapter 2. In this chapter, you will learn about Custom Furniture Company, which is in a predicament. The company is not doing as well as its owner, Dan, thought it would. Dan prices his unique tables at 70 percent above what he thinks his production costs are, but his income statements do not reflect that markup. Dan may not be estimating his costs correctly and is, as a result, underselling his products.

Job costing systems record revenues and costs for unique products, like Dan's tables; each table can be easily distinguished from other tables.

An alternate costing method that some companies chose is process costing. Process costing systems record revenues and costs for batches of identical units of product. When deciding whether to use a job costing or process costing system, you must understand a company's products and production processes.

Job costing systems can do more than simply track the costs of each job. Companies also use these systems to track revenue and the resulting profit for each job. A job costing system can also be used to identify areas of concern by comparing the cost estimate prepared before starting the job with the information on the completed job cost sheet. This type of analysis often leads to changes in the production process and revised estimates for future jobs.

By the end of this unit, you will know why Custom Furniture Company is experiencing less profit than Dan had planned for. Job cost analysis confirmed that he underestimated his costs and helped Dan focus on what management decisions he needed to make to remedy the issue.

File Job Costing

Read sections 18.7 to 18.13 on pages 555 to 577. After you read, work through the demonstration problems and self-test at the end of the chapter.

Page Job Order Costing

Watch these four videos, which show several good examples of job order costing.

2.2: Activity-Based Costing URL How Does an Organization Use Activity-Based Costing to Allocate Overhead Costs?

Like Custom Furniture Company, SailRite Company, a fine sailboat maker, is earning less profit than expected. Because SailRite makes many boats but only two models, job costing is not an appropriate costing system. Activity-based costing (ABC) is another method to allocate costs.

Allocation of direct labor and direct materials are allocated the same regardless of which system is used. But overhead, an indirect manufacturing cost, can be allocated several ways, each of which results in a different cost for the same product. The goal is to find a system of allocation that best approximates each product's overhead costs.

ABC allocates overhead based on the activities that are driving the costs. The four steps to apply ABC are relatively straightforward. The key is to determine the appropriate cost driver for each activity. Note that job costing, process costing, and ABC use the same pool of costs. They are just three different ways of analyzing and allocating the cost pool.

At the end of the section, be sure to find out what is going wrong at SailRite and what two management actions or decisions could remedy the lower-than-expected profit.

File Using Accounting for Quality and Cost Management

Read sections 20.7 to 20.18 on pages 62 to 77. Work through the demonstration problem and self-test at the end of the chapter.

Page Activity-Based Costing

These videos cover the concepts of activity-based costing. They considerer Zannon Corporation, which, like SailRite, is experiencing sales growth but shrinking profits. You may want to create your own spreadsheets to follow along.

2.3: Process Costing URL How is Process Costing Used to Track Production Costs?

Desk Products Inc. mass-produces wood desks. It maintains an advantage over its competitors by producing one desk in large quantities: 4,000 to 8,000 desks each month. Changes in the market are causing the CEO, Ann Watkins, to be prioritize keeping costs as low as possible. The most efficient method to respond to this concern is to use process costing.

A process costing system is used by companies that produce similar or identical product units in batches and employ a consistent process. A job costing system is used by companies that produce unique products or jobs. Process costing systems track costs by processing department, whereas job costing systems track costs by job.

Process costing is best used in an assembly-line production environment.  As you read this chapter, pay attention to how department costs are allocated based on the concept of equivalent units.

Pay attention to the production cost report and the information it gives Ann Watkins. How does this improve her management decision making?

File Process Cost Systems

Read sections 19.1 to 19.13 on pages 9 to 35. Work through the demonstration problem and self-test at the end of the chapter.

Page Process Costing
These videos use the example of Smith, Inc. to works through how to apply process costing. Take note of how WIP is accounted for in the examples.
3.1: Cost Behavior Patterns URL How Do Organizations Identify Cost Behavior Patterns?

Bikes Unlimited is planning its monthly sales. They have recently concluded a successful advertising campaign and expect that sales will increase 10 to 20 percent. They need to know what happens if they adjust manufacturing to meet the predicted increase in sales and their sales predictions are correct. How will increased sales volumes impact profit? First, you have to identify how costs behave with changes in sales and production – behavior depends upon whether the costs are variable, fixed, or mixed. Once you have classified our costs, you can set up an income statement in a "contribution-margin" format to give management a major tool in their decision making.

Variable Costs

The key to understanding and being able to classify a variable cost is to remember that you are thinking about how costs behave relative to production. Variable costs will fluctuate based on how much product is sold. The cost of purchasing chrome tubing for Bikes Unlimited is an obvious variable cost, some variable costs are not so obvious.

Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are incurred whether Bikes Unlimited sells zero units or a billion units. The payment of the annual lease on Bikes Unlimited's factory/warehouse is a good example of a fixed cost: Even if Bikes Unlimited chose to make no bikes, it would have to continue to pay its lease. There are two kinds of fixed costs: (1) some are "committed", those that must happen, such as the lease payment stated above, and others that are discretionary, such as advertising or research and development. Both of these activities could be suspended in the short term.

Mixed Costs

Bikes Unlimited also has mixed costs that have both fixed and variable components. You can think of your cell phone bill as a mixed cost. You pay a flat fee (fixed cost) for a certain number of minutes. If you exceed the set amount of minutes, you have to pay by the minute (variable cost). Bikes Unlimited pays its sales staff based on a base salary plus a commission based on units sold and, finally, a year-end bonus based on overall profitability, which demonstrates all three cost behavior patterns.

Short/Long Term and the Relevant Range

Both short- and long-term costs are important factors in managerial decision-making. This section covers these variables and discusses them in terms of the "relevant range" (also covered in this unit's final section). The relevant range is the portion of the total cost curve beyond increasing returns to scale and before decreasing returns to scale. A doubling of variable cost inputs should approximately result in a doubling of output within the relevant range.

Page Cost Behavior

These videos supplement and reinforce what you've learned thus far. The first video explores the actual behavior of costs and how you might normalize that behavior and use the costs in developing management decision tools.  The second extends the graphic model to explain cost behavior. Follow along with your spreadsheet program.

URL Cost Classification Flashcards

Work through this exercise to check your understanding of variable, fixed, and mixed costs.

3.2: Cost Estimation Methods URL Cost Estimation Methods

This section continues the story of Bikes Unlimited. Consider the four principle cost estimation methods to estimate fixed and variable costs. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of a method depends on the situation at hand. Experienced employees may be able to effectively estimate fixed and variable costs by using the account analysis approach. If a quick estimate is needed, the high-low method may be appropriate. The scatter-graph method can be used to identify any unusual data points that can be thrown out when estimating costs. Finally, regression analysis can be run using computer software, and its precise results will provide more accurate cost estimates.

This unit makes extensive use of the algebraic equation of a straight line. Remedial help with the form and use of this equation is available here.

Page High-Low Method

This video demonstrates how the high-low method can be applied to Danny Office Supplies to estimate shipping costs next month. Account analysis is a cost analysis method that requires a review of accounts by experienced employees to determine whether the costs in each account are fixed or variable. This approach is perhaps the most common starting point for estimating fixed and variable costs. The high-low method starts with the highest and lowest activity levels and uses four steps to estimate fixed and variable costs.

Page Scattergraph

This video demonstrates how the scattergraph method is applied to Danny Office Supplies to estimate shipping costs next month. The scattergraph method has five steps and starts with plotting all points on a graph and fitting a line through the points. This line represents costs throughout a range of activity levels and estimates fixed and variable costs. The scattergraph is also used to identify any outlying or unusual data points.

Page Least Squares Regression

Regression analysis mathematically determines a line that best fits the data points. Software packages like Excel are available to perform regression analysis. This method is also called the Least Squares Regression.

This video demonstrates how regression analysis can be applied to Danny Office Supplies to estimate the next month's shipping costs. It does this using Microsoft Excel, where regression analysis is a built-in function. See the optional appendix to Unit 3 if you would like to learn how to use this Excel function.

3.3: Contribution Margin Income Statement URL Contribution Margin Income Statement

This section considers the contribution margin income statement, which shows fixed and variable components of cost information. Revenue minus variable costs equals the contribution margin. The contribution margin minus fixed costs equals operating profit. This statement provides a clearer picture of which costs change and which costs remain the same with changes in activity levels.

3.4 The Relevant Range and Nonlinear Costs URL The Relevant Range and Nonlinear Costs

This section continues to discuss the relevant range. Along with the assumption of linearity, the relevant range must be considered when estimating costs using the methods described in this unit. When costs are estimated for a specific level of activity, the assumption is that the activity level is within the relevant range. Costs are estimated assuming that they are linear. Both assumptions are reasonable as long as the relevant range is clearly identified, and the linearity assumption does not significantly distort the resulting cost estimate.

URL Performing Regression Analysis with Excel

This section is optional because it specifically addresses Microsoft Excel, which you are not required to have to take this course. Regression analysis is an important part of managerial accounting. It provides the best fit between independent variables and allows the best estimations to be made through extrapolation. The following section provides students with a guide to performing regression analysis with Microsoft Excel. Most spreadsheet programs provide this function.

4.1: Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis URL Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis for Single-Product Companies

In this unit, Snowboard Company uses CVP analysis to determine its break-even point and what additional volumes it would need to sell to achieve a decent profit. CVP assumes that the selling price per unit is the same throughout the relevant range. Cost-volume-profit analysis involves finding the break-even point and target profit point in units and sales dollars. The key formulas for an organization with a single product are developed and explained in the reading.

Page Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis – Part 1

This video walks through an example of applying CVP analysis.

4.2: Using Cost-Volume-Profit Models for Sensitivity Analysis URL Using Cost-Volume-Profit Models for Sensitivity Analysis

Financial predictions are rarely exactly correct; there is a natural variance in predictions. As a result of this natural variance, managers should always be aware of how sensitive their predictions are to fluctuations in the model's variables. Sensitivity analysis shows how the cost-volume-profit model will change with changes in any of its variables. Although the focus is typically on how changes in variables affect profit, accountants often analyze the effects of uncertainty on the break-even point and target profit.

4.3: Impact of Cost Structure on CVP Analysis URL Impact of Cost Structure on Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis

This section explores the effects that various loads of fixed costs have on CVP analysis. The amount of fixed costs (cost structure) that a company carries is often established by the type of industry it operates in. The cost structure of a firm describes the proportion of fixed and variable costs to total costs. Operating leverage refers to the level of fixed costs within an organization. The term "high operating leverage" is used to describe companies with relatively high fixed costs. Firms with high operating leverage tend to profit more from increasing sales and lose more from decreasing sales than a similar firm with low operating leverage

4.4: Using a Contribution Margin When Faced with Resource Constraints URL Using a Contribution Margin When Faced with Resource Constraints

In this section, you will examine the case of Kayaks-For-Fun, which has limited amounts of labor. How do they manage those constrained units of labor to maximize profits? Many organizations operate with limited resources in labor hours, machine hours, facilities, or materials. The contribution margin per unit of constraint helps determine how constrained resources should be allocated.

Page Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis Continued

These videos continue the series on CVP analysis. Watch parts 2 through 4 to see more real applications of CVP analysis. These videos continue the ABC Company's project from part 1.

5.1: Using Differential Analysis to Make Decisions URL Using Differential Analysis to Make Decisions

Read the introduction to Chapter 7 and section 7.1. The company, Best Boards, uses differential revenues and costs to show the difference in revenues and costs among alternative courses of action. Differential analysis helps make managerial decisions related to making or buying products, keeping or dropping product lines, keeping or dropping customers, and accepting or rejecting special customer orders. Soon, we will examine each of these four scenarios where differential analysis can be used.

Page Sunk and Differential Costs

Watch this video, which lays out the relevant costs for decision-making and defines some of the terms used in the rest of this series. Sunk costs are not relevant to decision-making, but differential costs (different costs between alternatives) are relevant.

Page Terms Used in Differential Analysis

This page outlines some of the important terms used in differential analysis.

URL Product-Line Decisions

Managers often use differential analysis to determine whether to keep or drop a product line. Direct fixed costs are typically eliminated if a product line is eliminated and are therefore considered differential costs. Allocated fixed costs are typically not eliminated if a product line is eliminated and are not differential costs. Managers compare sales revenue and costs for each alternative (keep or drop) and select the alternative with the highest profit.

Page Drop or Retain?

This video goes over the case of Jen's Sweaters, which has been experiencing losses and is considering eliminating a product line.

URL Make-or-Buy Decisions

Best Boards' decision is whether to make its own wakeboards or buy them from a supplier. Differential analysis requires the identification of all revenues and costs that differ from one alternative to another. In general, managers select the alternative with the highest profit. If the only differences between the alternatives are with costs (as in the make-or-buy decision for Best Boards), decision-makers will select the alternative with the lowest cost.

Page Make or Buy?

This video examines a make-or-buy decision that Snazzy Jazzi Footwear is trying to make, and how differential analysis can be used to assist.

URL Customer Decisions

Managers use differential analysis to determine whether to keep or drop a customer. The format is similar to the differential analysis format used for making product line decisions. However, sales revenue, variable costs, and fixed costs are traced directly to customers rather than product lines.

URL Special Order Decisions

Tony's T-shirts makes shirts for local sports teams. Occasionally, Tony will receive special orders that involve additional costs. How does Tony go about deciding whether or not to accept these special orders? Managers often use differential analysis to decide whether to accept a special one-time order made by a customer. Managers compare sales revenue and costs for each alternative (accept or reject the special order) and select the alternative with the highest profit. Organizations must be careful to consider the long-run implications of reducing prices for special orders.

Page Special Order

Kaatz is the only producer of Ting. Kaatz has received a special order for 5000 units. How can Kaatz make a sound financial decision? This video explores these questions.

5.2: Cost-Plus Pricing and Target Costing URL Cost-Plus Pricing and Target Costing

In this section, you will explore other pricing systems and why companies may use them. Cost-plus pricing starts with an estimate of the costs incurred to build a product, and a certain profit percentage is added to establish the price. Companies often use this method when it is difficult to determine a reasonable market price. Target costing integrates the product design, desired price, desired profit, and desired cost into one process beginning at the product development stage.

5.3: Be Aware of Qualitative Factors URL Be Aware of Qualitative Factors

Although accountants are responsible for providing relevant and objective financial information to help managers make decisions, qualitative factors also play a significant role in the decision-making process.

6.1: The Budget Process URL How Are Operating Budgets Created?

Read the introduction and section 9.1.

URL The Budgeting Process

Jerry's Ice Cream knows that a good budget results from consulting with all levels of the company and having a well-rounded budget committee to prepare the master budget. All levels of the company must share in creating the master budget and be prepared to implement it fully. 

Budgeting is vital to the planning and controlling phases of the management cycle. For a company that has ends its fiscal year on December 31, the budgeting process may start as early as August.

6.2: The Master Budget URL The Master Budget

Read from section 9.3 through the rest of chapter 9. The master budget for Jerry's Ice Cream has numerous schedules, including budget schedules for sales, production, direct materials, direct labor, manufacturing overhead, selling and administrative, the income statement, capital expenditures, cash, and the balance sheet. The sales budget is most important because sales projections drive the other budgets.

To get the most out of this unit, you should attempt to recreate your own master budget for Jerry’s Ice Cream. If you are going to use Excel, each schedule should be a separate sheet. Be sure to include all sums and linkages as you prepare your own master budget.

6.3: Budgeting in Nonmanufacturing Organizations URL Budgeting in Nonmanufacturing Organizations

The examples we have used so far to describe a master budget have been limited to manufacturing companies. Manufacturing companies tend to have comprehensive operating budgets and therefore serve as a good starting point in learning how to develop a master budget. However, all types of organizations use operating budgets. This section describes operating budgets for merchandising, service, and not-for-profit organizations.

6.4: Ethical Issues in Creating Operating Budgets URL Ethical Issues in Creating Operating Budgets

This section considers the inherent conflict that can exist between the planning and control phases of budgeting. During the planning phase, organizations are most concerned about getting accurate estimates that lead to positive results. The control phase requires evaluating the performance of CEOs, managers, and employees by comparing actual results to the operating budget. CEOs, managers, and employees often must decide between doing what is best for them and what is best for the organization.

7.1: Flexible Budgets URL Flexible Budgets

Read the introduction and section 10.1. The ssumptions of the master budget will rarely be completely accurate. As a result, organizations use a modified budget called a flexible budget. A flexible budget is a revised master budget based on the actual activity levels. The flexible budget represents what costs should be based on the actual levels of sales/activity. In this unit, the text assumes the beginning and ending finished goods inventory are the same, and therefore units produced and sold will be the same.

As you read, follow along with how Jerry's Ice Cream handles a doubling of expected sales – sweet news! The summer was hotter and longer than usual! As they modify their master budget, follow along with the budget you created in Excel and modify it as well, but keep your mater budget intact. All you have to do is save a copy of the master file with a different name.

Page Examples of Flexible Budgets

These videos give two examples of how flexible budgets may be prepared and used. Work along with them by creating your own Excel file. The first video discusses flexible budgets and their use. The second video solves a typical exam question about flexible budgets.

7.2: Standard Costs URL Standard Costs

In this section, you will see what happens when the master budget plan deviates significantly from the assumptions used to develop it. When a deviation from the master budget becomes apparent, one of the possible causes is that actual costs were not known when the master budget was developed and standard costs were used. Standard costs are those costs that management expects to incur to provide a good or service and are typically stated as a cost per unit. Standard cost is based on the combination of price (or rate) and quantity (or hours). They serve as the "standard" by which performance will be evaluated and are used to produce the master budget.

Follow along and document how Jerry's Ice Cream used standard costs to develop a master budget and how that contributes to variance from the actual results. You should note that a standard cost is a per-unit cost, while a master budget cost is the total cost at a given standard level of activity/standard quantity of units.

7.3: Direct Materials Variance Analysis URL Direct Materials Variance Analysis

Jerry’s Ice Cream is concerned about cost overruns of direct materials. This section examines the "causation" of direct materials variance. The master budget amount allocated to direct materials is made up of two estimated parts, the quantity (Q) of materials included and the price (P) of those materials. Any variance in this cost category from the master budget can be accounted for by an increase or decrease in P and/or Q. Attribution of the variance to its cause(s) is critical to management decisions.

Page Direct Materials Variances

This video gives examples from Steve's Sausages, using a diagrammatic method to calculate direct materials variance. The diagram integrates standard and actual measures of price and quantity. By following this method, you will be able to break down variance into those factors associated with quantity changes and price changes.

7.4: Direct Labor Variance Analysis URL Direct Labor Variance Analysis

Jerry's Ice Cream wants to know why there are cost overruns for direct labor. This section considers another significant factor of variance: direct labor. Like direct material variance, direct labor variance has two possible causes: labor rate variance and labor efficiency variance. As with materials, any variance in this cost category from the master budget can be accounted for. Attribution of the variance to its cause(s) is critical to management decisions.

Page Direct Labor Variances

This video demonstrates a diagrammatic method of separating causes of variance and their attribution using the case of Frank's Bikes. Frank has fixed amounts of labor, which is a slight twist on the case of Jerry's Ice Cream, which had a variable amount of labor. Small and large companies differ in how they manage their labor supply, as do companies with one product compared to companies with many products.

7.5: Variable Manufacturing Overhead Variance Analysis URL Variable Manufacturing Overhead Variance Analysis

The final piece of the puzzle for Jerry's Ice Cream is variable manufacturing overhead variance. Variable manufacturing overhead variance has two distinct variances. When you calculate both variances, one is favorable and the other is not. The two variances are the spending variance and efficiency variance. The variable overhead spending variance is the difference between actual costs for variable overhead and budgeted costs based on the standards.

Page Finding Variances Diagrammatically

This video demonstrates a diagrammatic method of finding the variances. The client, Widgets R Us, has unfavorable variances, and the video explores reasons why this could happen.

7.6: Determine Which Cost Variance to Investigate URL Determining Which Cost Variances to Investigate

At Jerry's Ice Cream or any other company, each budget line item could have an associated variance. The question becomes which variances should be investigated. As a decision-maker, you have limited resources, and you should allocate them to their most productive use. Every investigation consumes resources and has a direct expense associated with it. All managers must be judicious in selecting and investigating variances. Let's return to Jerry's Ice Cream to determine which variance you would track and examine.

7.7: Using Variance Analysis URL Using Variance Analysis with Activity-Based Costing

If a company uses ABC (activity-based costing), like Jerry's Ice Cream, it cannot establish one standard variable overhead rate and standard quantity based on one cost driver. ABC companies must establish several standard variable overhead rates and quantities, each having its own cost driver. Regardless of whether a company uses the traditional costing approach or an activity-based costing approach, the process of performing variance analysis is consistent. Suppose Jerry's Ice Cream identified three significant activities. Let's see how ABC can be used with variance analysis!

7.8: Fixed Manufacturing Overhead Variance Analysis URL Fixed Manufacturing Overhead Variance Analysis

Fixed overhead in the master budget is the same as fixed overhead in the flexible budget because fixed costs do not change with changes in units produced. Fixed manufacturing overhead variance analysis involves two separate variances, the spending variance and the production volume variance. This unit applies this management measure to Jerry's Ice Cream. Calculating the two variances informs management if they are applying enough overhead to the operation.

7.9: Recording Standard Costs and Variances URL Recording Standard Costs and Variances

In this unit, you examined a standard costing system where all inventory accounts reflect standard cost information. The differences between standard and actual data are recorded in variance accounts and the manufacturing overhead account, and are ultimately closed out to cost of goods sold at the end of the accounting period.

7.10: Units 6 and 7 Capstone Project Folder Master Budget Case Exercise

This is a comprehensive exercise in master budgeting. Read the instructions and the budgeting case description, and then complete the Master Budget Template in Excel. The Excel workbook includes cues to indicate if you are completing the template correctly. There is a legend on the "Facts" that identifies cells that are inputted, linked, or calculated. When you have completed the Master Budget Case Template, check your work with the solution file.

8.1: Capital Budgeting and Decision-Making URL Capital Budgeting and Decision-Making

Jackson's Quality Copies, a store that makes photocopies for its customers, has several copy machines. The company wants to evaluate the purchase of an expensive new copier that could reduce expenses, increase productivity, and increase profits. It costs $50,000. The company president, Julie Jackson, has to decide if the new copier is actually a good addition. Managerial accounting methods can give her several tools to evaluate this investment. You use two methods to evaluate long-term investments, both of which consider the time value of money. The first is called the net present value (NPV) method, and the second is called the internal rate of return method. Before you consider these two methods, we will discuss the time value of money (present value).

8.2: Net Present Value and Time Value of Money URL Net Present Value and the Time Value of Money

NPV combines the present value of all cash flows associated with an investment, both positive (for example, from sales) and negative (from expenses), into one suitable figure for management decision-making. The term discounted cash flows is also used to describe the NPV method. One critical factor in determining the NPV is the discount rate: what time value (forgone interest rate) is associated with future receipts of money.

URL Time Value of Money

The time value of money is vital to understanding the net present value. The time value of money basically states that a dollar received today is worth more than a dollar received in the future.

A hundred dollars given up today is not worth $100 upon its return in three years because there is an opportunity cost of forgoing the use of that money for those three years. If I invested $100 this year for three years at an annual rate of 4%, that $100 would be worth about $112.33 at the end of year three (given compounding). So, if I were to forgo that $100 now and receive it in three years, I would want to receive at least $112.33 at term. Similarly, if someone said they would pay me $100 in three years, I would not give them $100 now – the amount they returned to me in three years would be worth less!

For capital budgeting decisions, the issue is how to value future cash flows in today's dollars. The term cash flow refers to the amount of cash received or paid at a specific point in time. The term present value describes the value of future cash flows (both in and out) in today's dollars.

8.3: The Internal Rate of Return URL The Internal Rate of Return

Using the internal rate of return (IRR) to evaluate investments is similar to using the net present value (NPV) in that both methods consider the time value of money. The IRR represents the time-adjusted rate of return for the investment being considered. The IRR decision rule states that if the IRR is greater than or equal to the company's required rate of return (recall that this is often called the hurdle rate), the investment is accepted; otherwise, the investment is rejected. This method ensures that any capital investments the company makes are at least equal to the existing rate of return on capital or exceed it. The hurdle rate will vary from company to company.

File Mathematics and Finance

This is an excellent guide to the present value of money and its many applications.

8.4: Other Factors Affecting NPV and IRR Analysis URL Other Factors Affecting NPV and IRR Analysis

Julie Jackson's life would be easier if all she had to do was find a number and use it to make a decision. It would be easy to agree to buy a new copier if the NPV and IRR say yes. Unfortunately, life is seldom as easy as following a formula. Other factors affect what Julie should do. In this section, we will consider some of those factors.

8.5: The Payback Method URL The Payback Method

You hear people talk about the payback period, as in:

"I live in Nevada, where there are 280 bright and sunny days each year. Yes, I am going solar! My payback period is seven years on a domestic hot water system powered by the sun."

The payback period, typically stated in years, is the time it takes to generate enough cash receipts from an investment to cover the cash outflows from the investment. The method uses a simple sum of future earnings/savings over an arbitrary time period to evaluate capital improvements. It is a quick way to look at an investment and sort potential investments, but the payback method is somewhat lacking in rigor.

8.6: Complexities of Estimating Cash Flows URL Additional Complexities of Estimating Cash Flows and the Effect of Income Taxes on Capital Budgeting Decisions

Read sections 8.6 and 8.7. There are three additional items related to estimating cash flows that must be considered:

  1. Investment cash outflows
  2. Working capital
  3. Effect of income taxes

These two sections will discuss how these considerations affect long-term investment decisions.

9.1: Control Operations in Decentralized Organizations URL Using Decentralized Organizations to Control Operations

Read the introduction and section 11.1. Game Products, Inc. has experienced significant growth in volume, market area, and products. It operates internationally and has three broad product lines that make board games, computer games, and sporting goods. Games Inc. has three distinct marketing areas and three distinct product lines. Management has decided to decentralize its operations and needs to revamp its management information system to provide relevant and timely information about product lines in different locations. Decentralization has pros and cons.

9.2: Establishing Responsibility Centers URL Maintaining Control over Decentralized Organizations

Responsibility centers can be based on attributes such as sales regions, product lines, or services offered. In the case of Game Products Inc., there are three responsibility centers based on three product lines. The purpose of establishing responsibility centers within organizations is to hold managers responsible for only the assets, revenues, and costs they can control. The level of control a manager has will help determine the type of responsibility center used for each manager.

With this approach, responsibility centers are allocated budgets, and their revenues and costs (variable and fixed) are tracked. Each center has a responsibility income statement. Responsibility center expenses are allocated to direct variable costs and direct fixed costs. The responsibility center contribution margin is determined by reducing revenue by variable costs. Subtracting allocated fixed costs from the contribution margin yields the responsibility margin.

9.3: Evaluating Investment Centers URL Comparing Segmented Income for Investment Centers

The starting point for evaluating investment centers for the president of Games Products Inc. is to review segmented income for each investment center (or division). Segmented income is segment revenues minus segment expenses. She is interested in the level of profit that each of the three divisions generates, and segmented income gives her this information. Still, as you will see, there are limitations to using only this method.

URL Using Return on Investment (ROI) to Evaluate Performance

Games Products Inc. will also consider the return on investment (ROI) generated by each division as an evaluative metric. ROI is one of the most common measures of performance for managers responsible for investment centers. ROI is a basic measure, but the way it is calculated can vary between organizations.

URL Using Residual Income (RI) to Evaluate Performance

Residual income is another evaluative metric that Games Products Inc. can use. Residual income (RI) provides a measure of income that is available to the whole organization. A manager's goal is to increase her RI from year to year. Most organizations that use RI also use ROI. Using both measures has the benefit of comparing one division to another by using ROI and minimizes the conflict between company goals and division goals by using RI.

9.4: Wrap-Up URL Wrap-Up of Game Products Inc.

Mandy Dwyer, the president of Games Products Inc., meets with her management accountant and goes over his work. They choose three metrics to control their decentralized divisional operation: net income, profit margin ratio, and ROI. Their final step is to integrate these performance measures with a compensation plan for their operations managers.

10.1: Purpose of the Statement of Cash Flows URL The Purpose of the Statement of Cash Flows

The statement of cash flows gives cash receipts and cash payment information and reconciles the change in cash for a period of time. Cash receipts and cash payments are summarized and categorized as operating, investing, or financing activities. Simply put, the statement of cash flows indicates where cash came from and where it went for a given period of time. Time is the most important part of cash flow: as in life, timing is everything. Without adequate cash flow, suppliers could refuse to deliver essential inputs and choke off production and revenue streams. This section also looks at a typical case, where the CEO of Home Store wants to know where the company's money has gone. Home Store is profitable, but there is no money in the bank. You will soon see why this might be.

Page Cash Flow Statement Background Information

This video provides a rationale for cash flow statements and introduces basic terms.

10.2: The Types of Cash Flows URL Three Types of Cash Flow Activities

Cash flow is essential. Because of this, it takes many forms and can be measured in numerous ways. This section considers the usual methods of describing cash flow.

Operating activities include cash activities related to net income (revenues and expenses are included in net income).

Investing includes cash activities related to noncurrent assets. Noncurrent assets include (1) long-term investments; (2) property, plant, and equipment; and (3) the principal amount of loans made to other entities.

Financing includes cash activities related to noncurrent liabilities and owners' equity. Noncurrent liabilities and owners' equity items include (1) the principal amount of long-term debt, (2) stock sales and repurchases, and (3) dividend payments.

10.3: Preparation of Cash Flow Statements URL Four Key Steps to Preparing the Statement of Cash Flows

The statement of cash flows is based on cash only, and when used for accrual accounting based companies, adjustments must be made to convert accrual basis information to a cash basis. In addition to reconciling the three statement activities (the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of owners' equity), cash flows need to have certain adjustments made to them. One of the main ones is adjusting the statement for non-cash transactions like depreciation. There are four steps to creating a cash flow statement.

URL Using the Indirect Method to Prepare the Statement of Cash Flows

We now look at Home Store and the CEO's question. Where's the money? The information needed to prepare Home Store's statement of cash flows includes the balance sheet, income statement, and other selected data.

Page Cash Flow Statement: Indirect Method

This video walks through the indirect method of preparing a statement of cash flows.

URL Analyzing Cash Flow Information

Investing activities focus on the effect that changes in noncurrent assets have on cash. Noncurrent asset balances found on the balance sheet, coupled with other information (like cash proceeds from the sale of equipment), are used to perform this step. The financing activities section focuses on the effect changes in noncurrent liabilities and owners' equity have on cash. Noncurrent liabilities and owners' equity balances found on the balance sheet, coupled with other information (like cash dividends paid), are used to perform this step.

Page Investing and Financing Sections of Cash Flow Statements

This video explains how to prepare the investing and financing sections of a cash flow statement.

URL Using the Direct Method to Prepare the Statement of Cash Flows

The same four steps apply to preparing a statement of cash flows in both the direct and indirect methods. The only difference is how the operating activities section is presented in step one; all other steps are the same. Although the presentation of the operating activities section differs with each method, the result is the same.

Page The Direct Method

This video uses the direct method to prepare a statement of cash flows for Turner Inc. This method yields the same result as the indirect method.

10.4: Cash Flow Analysis URL Analyzing Cash Flow Information

There are many ways to analyze financial statements. Cash flow has two major ratios (the operating cash flow ratio and the capital expenditure ratio) and a "dollar-number" (the free cash flow). These are used to interpret and communicate information about cash flow within the company and make comparisons among companies.

Page Cash Flow Statement Analysis

This video finishes the cash flow work on Turner Inc. by doing a rudimentary analysis of the company's cash flow statements.

11.1: Introduction URL How Do Managers Use Financial and Nonfinancial Performance Measures?

Financial stability is an important attribute of how customers, suppliers, stakeholders, and competitors perceive your company. Every company except for privately-held corporations publish annual financial information, and even privately-held corporations can are often asked for their financials. The principles of managerial accounting are used to determine trends and ratios to evaluate the strength of each company's income statement and balance sheet. Trends, common size analysis, and ratio analysis are all used to make comparisons of performance. This chapter will give you a better idea of how financial stability is determined and used for any company.

Page Financial Statement Analysis

Financial analysis is an important skill set that integrates everything we have discussed so far in this course. Think about your own skills. Can you do what this video is talking about?

11.2: Trends, Horizontal Analysis URL Trend Analysis of Financial Statements

You have already seen trend analysis in the form of least-squares regression analysis or linear regression analysis in Unit 3. Here, we will look at how relevant variables increase or decrease over time. That movement is used to spot problems like declining profits or decreasing sales. Trend analysis looks for both strengths and weaknesses by separating out one-time events. In doing so, it negates the need for anecdotal evidence and acts as an objective measure of performance over time (measured year-to-year or for multiple years). This method is also known as horizontal analysis.

Page Horizontal Analysis

Watch this horizontal/trend analysis for Elky Co.

11.3: Common-Size, Vertical Analysis URL Common-Size Analysis of Financial Statements

When you deal with large numbers, it can be difficult to distinguish those numbers' important attributes. With common-size analysis, you reduce numbers to percentages and then compare them. For example, if you have a company that has $450,000 in profit on sales of $2,220,000, while another has a profit of only $375,000 on sales of $1,500,000, how do you compare these numbers? This is the strength of common-size analysis, also known as vertical analysis.

Page Vertical Analysis

This video shows how a client can compare his financial statements to another company's statements with vertical analysis.

11.4: Ratio Analysis URL Ratio Analysis of Financial Information

The most robust type of analysis is ratio analysis. A ratio is a comparison of two numbers and normally takes the form of a fraction, decimal, or percentage. A ratio can be specific to a company, to companies within a region, to an industry, or to a stock exchange. Ratios are versatile and powerful. This section will show you how to use ratios to explain and compare companies to other companies or industries as a whole.


Coca Cola

Pepsi Co.

Beverage Industry

Profit margin ratio




There are four basic types of ratios, which are used to measure profitability, short-term liquidity, long-term solvency, and market valuation.

Page Ratio Analysis

These videos examine the financial statements for Squirrel Co. and give several examples of useful ratios.

11.5: Chicken Deluxe's Choice URL Nonfinancial Performance Measures: The Balanced Scorecard

Review the problem Chicken Deluxe had at the beginning of this chapter, and then read sections 13.4 and 13.5. In coming to a management decision, numbers will rarely give an answer on their own. Good CEOs and teams also consider non-financial performance measures when coming to a decision. Notice how similar the process of considering non-financial performance measures is to those of financial performance measures.

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