This is an unfavorable outcome because the actual hours worked were more than the standard hours expected per box. As a result of this unfavorable outcome information, the company may consider retraining its workers, changing the production process to be more efficient, or increasing prices to cover labor costs. In this case, the actual hours worked per box are \(0.20\), the standard hours per box are \(0.10\), and the standard rate per hour is \(\$8.00\). In this case, the actual rate per hour is $9.50, the standard rate per hour is $8.00, and the actual hours worked per box are 0.10 hours. This is an unfavorable outcome because the actual rate per hour was more than the standard rate per hour. As a result of this unfavorable outcome information, the company may consider using cheaper labor, changing the production process to be more efficient, or increasing prices to cover labor costs.

Even though budget and actual numbers may differ little in the aggregate, the underlying fixed overhead variances are nevertheless worthy of close inspection. In this illustration, AH is the actual hours worked, AR is the actual labor rate per hour, SR is the standard labor rate per hour, and SH is the standard hours for the output achieved. Now, the rate variance is $4,000, though because the value is negative, it indicates that the company is spending $4,000 under what they expected to pay for labor. This also means that it is likely that the employees will receive a wage increase up to the standard rate, which can improve morale.

- In this case, the actual rate per hour is $7.50, the standard rate per hour is $8.00, and the actual hour worked is 0.10 hours per box.
- An adverse labor rate variance indicates higher labor costs incurred during a period compared with the standard.
- For example, a company is looking to hire more staff to meet the expected cost of labor in a production facility.

If the actual hours worked are less than the standard hours at the actual production output level, the variance will be a favorable variance. A favorable outcome means you used fewer hours than anticipated to make the actual number of production units. If, however, the actual hours worked are greater than the standard hours at the actual production output level, the variance will be unfavorable. An unfavorable outcome means you used more hours than anticipated to make the actual number of production units. If the actual rate of pay per hour is less than the standard rate of pay per hour, the variance will be a favorable variance.

## Accounting for Managers

However, employees actually worked 3,600 hours, for which they were paid an average of $13 per hour. The labor efficiency variance calculation presented previously

shows that 18,900 in actual hours worked is lower than the 21,000

budgeted hours. Clearly, this is favorable since the

actual hours worked was lower than the expected (budgeted)

hours. The 21,000 standard hours are the hours allowed given actual

production. For Jerry’s Ice Cream, the standard allows for 0.10

labor hours per unit of production.

## Problems with Labor Variances

This reflects the standard cost allocation of fixed overhead (i.e., 10,200 hours should be used to produce 3,400 units). Notice that this differs from the budgeted fixed overhead by $10,800, representing an unfavorable Fixed Overhead Volume Variance. Each bottle has a standard labor cost of \(1.5\) hours at \(\$35.00\) qbse android per hour. United Airlines asked a

bankruptcy court to allow a one-time 4 percent pay cut for pilots,

flight attendants, mechanics, flight controllers, and ticket

agents. The pay cut was proposed to last as long as the company

remained in bankruptcy and was expected to provide savings of

approximately $620,000,000.

SQ and SP refer to the “standard” quantity and price that was anticipated. Variance analysis can be conducted for material, labor, and overhead. In this case, the actual hours worked are 0.05 per box, the standard hours are 0.10 per box, and the standard rate per hour is $8.00. This is a favorable outcome because the actual hours worked were less than the standard hours expected. To estimate how the combination of wages and hours affects total costs, compute the total direct labor variance.

Mary hopes it will better as the team works together, but right now, she needs to reevaluate her labor budget and get the information to her boss. And those fears that rising wages would lead to long-term inflation? The slowdown in labor costs shows that didn’t pan out, said Aaron Terrazas, chief economist at Glassdoor. After collecting the necessary information described above, you are ready to substitute the numbers into the formula to compute the rate and hours (quantity) variances. Learning how to calculate labor rate variance is as simple as gathering the necessary data and plugging the values into the formula. In closing this discussion of standards and variances, be mindful that care should be taken in examining variances.

## Direct Labor Variances

A direct labor variance is caused by differences in either wage rates or hours worked. As with direct materials variances, you can use either formulas or a diagram to compute direct labor variances. As with direct materials variances, all positive variances are

unfavorable, and all negative variances are favorable. The labor

rate variance calculation presented previously shows the actual

rate paid for labor was $15 per hour and the standard rate was $13.

The labor rate variance focuses on the wages

paid for labor and is defined as the difference between actual

costs for direct labor and budgeted costs based on the standards. The labor efficiency variance focuses on the quantity of

labor hours used in production. It is defined as the difference

between the actual number of direct labor hours worked and budgeted

direct labor hours that should have been worked based on the

standards. To compute the direct labor quantity variance, subtract the standard cost of direct labor ($48,000) from the actual hours of direct labor at standard rate ($43,200). This math results in a favorable variance of $4,800, indicating that the company saves $4,800 in expenses because its employees work 400 fewer hours than expected.

## Formula

One must consider the circumstances under which the variances resulted and the materiality of amounts involved. One should also understand that not all unfavorable variances are bad. For example, buying raw materials of superior quality (at higher than anticipated prices) may be offset by reduction in waste and spoilage. Blue Rail’s very favorable labor rate variance resulted from using inexperienced, less expensive labor. Was this the reason for the unfavorable outcomes in efficiency and volume? The challenge for a good manager is to take the variance information, examine the root causes, and take necessary corrective measures to fine tune business operations.

To compute the direct labor price variance, subtract the actual hours of direct labor at standard rate ($43,200) from the actual cost of direct labor ($46,800) to get a $3,600 unfavorable variance. This result means the company incurs an additional $3,600 in expense by paying its employees an average of $13 per hour rather than $12. The difference between the standard cost of direct labor and the actual hours of direct labor at standard rate equals the direct labor quantity variance. Variance analysis should also be performed to evaluate spending and utilization for factory overhead. Overhead variances are a bit more challenging to calculate and evaluate. As a result, the techniques for factory overhead evaluation vary considerably from company to company.

At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. Our Spending Variance is the sum of those two numbers, so $6,560 unfavorable ($27,060 − $20,500). But since the unemployment rate is historically low right now, the economy can probably handle it. Now, more people are back in the job market, so businesses don’t have to court them as aggressively, and fewer workers are quitting. In such an environment, “employers probably have higher search costs, in which there is more of a need to increase wages to protect against turnover,” Amarnath said. Mark P. Holtzman, PhD, CPA, is Chair of the Department of Accounting and Taxation at Seton Hall University.

There are many possible reasons for this, such as increase in morale due to a pay raise or a different type of incentive program. As such, the company saved more money in the end even though they paid more per hour. The https://intuit-payroll.org/ is $1,000 unfavorable, meaning that the company is spending $1,000 more on labor than expected. Note that both approaches—direct labor rate variance calculation

and the alternative calculation—yield the same result. The human resources manager of Hodgson Industrial Design estimates that the average labor rate for the coming year for Hodgson’s production staff will be $25/hour. This estimate is based on a standard mix of personnel at different pay rates, as well as a reasonable proportion of overtime hours worked.

This results in an unfavorable variance since the actual

rate was higher than the expected (budgeted) rate. Direct labor rate variance determines the performance of human resource department in negotiating lower wage rates with employees and labor unions. A positive value of direct labor rate variance is achieved when standard direct labor rate exceeds actual direct labor rate.

For example, the standard may not reflect the changes imposed by a new union contract. An overview of these two types of labor efficiency variance is given below. As mentioned earlier, the cause of one variance might influence

another variance. For example, many of the explanations shown in

Figure 10.7 might also apply to the favorable materials quantity

variance. A labor standard may assume that a certain job classification will perform a designated task, when in fact a different position with a different pay rate may be performing the work.