Break Even Analysis
Breakeven analysis is a powerful management tool, and one that is critical in planning, decision-making, and expense control. Breakeven analysis can be invaluable in determining whether to buy or lease, expand into a new area, build a new plant, and many other such considerations. Breakeven analysis can also show the impact on your business of changing your price structure. As the price goes down (and so your gross margin goes down), breakeven shoots up - usually very rapidly. Breakeven analysis will not force a decision, of course, but it will provide you with additional insights into the effects of important business decisions on your bottom line. Breakeven refers to the level of sales necessary to cover all of the fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are those costs or expenses that are expected to remain fairly constant over a reasonable period of time. These costs are relatively unaffected by changes in output or sales up to the point where the level of operation reaches the capacity of the existing facilities. At that point, major changes would have to be made, such as the expansion of existing plant and equipment or the construction of new facilities. Such actions would increase the fixed costs. However, under normal operating conditions, the fixed costs (also referred to as indirect costs, overhead, or burden) will remain constant. Some examples of fixed costs include rent or mortgage payments, interest on loans, executive and office salaries, and general office expenses. Variable costs are those costs or expenses that vary or change directly with output. These costs are associated with production and/or selling and are frequently identified as "costs of goods sold." As compared with the fixed costs, which continue whether the firm is doing business or not, variable costs do not exist if the firm is not doing business. Thus, by definition, variable costs are zero when no output is being produced. At that time, fixed costs are...
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