Management Accounting-- Wilkerson Company Case

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The purpose of this report is discussing the case of Wilkerson Company that confronting tough competition in price cutting in pumps which caused to a big drop of pre-tax operating income from 10% to 3%. After observing the existing costing allocation, we found out there is an issue on the existing costing report that the manager could not be able to see the real situation. In light of this, there will be brought to the discussion on the feasibility of using an alternative costing method – Activity based costing (ABC) in the latter paragraphs.

The issue of misallocation cost
With the use of Traditional Absorption Costing (TAC) which means Wilkerson Company is now only put the costing of direct labor and material in place. As we can see the table 1 below, the percentage of total direct cost allocation in Valves, Pumps and Flow Controllers are 46%, 46% and 52% respectively, and so for the manufacturing overhead are 54%, 54% and 48%. Table 1: Traditional Absorption Costing

Valves ($) Pumps ($) Flow Controllers ($) 
Direct Labor 75,000 18%156,250 18%40,000 16%
Direct Material 120,000 29%250,000 29%88,000 35%
Total Direct Costs 195,000 46%406,250 46%128,000 52%

Manufacturing Overheads 225,000 54%468,750 54%120,000 48% Total Cost Allocation420,000 100%875,000 100%248,000 100%

Now if we go for ABC method, the company then requires the following six basic steps according to Ray H. Garrison and Eric W. Noreen to implement an ABC system as below: 1.Identify and define cost pools and cost drivers

2.Directly trace costs to activities (to the extent feasible) 3.Assign costs to activity cost pools
4.Calculate activity rates
5.Assign costs to cost objects using the activity rates and activity measures previously determined 6.Prepare and distribute management reports
With refer to the monthly production and operating statistics in March 2000, we can identify the cost pools and cost drivers which are machine related expenses with machine hours, setup labor with production runs, receiving and production control with production runs, engineering with the hours of engineering work and packaging as well as shipping with numbers of shipments. Then, the activity-based cost rate can be easily generated from plotting the figures from the section of manufacturing overhead below. Now, we can clearly know the rate of each manufacturing activities, for example, the cost rate of machine hour can be calculated from the amount of cost pool divided by the amount of cost driver which is $33,600/112,00 hours =$30 per machine hour for the cost of activity. ]

Table 2: Manufacturing Overhead
Cost PoolAmount ($)Cost DriverAmountActivity-Based Cost Rate Machine Related Expenses 336,000Machine hours 11,200 machine hours$30 per machine hour Setup labor 40,000Production runs160 production runs$250 per production run Receiving and production control 180,000Production runs160 production runs$1,125 per production run Engineering 100,000Hours of engineering work 1,250 engineering hours$80 per engineering hour Packaging and shipping 150,000Number of shipments300 shipments$500 per shipment

Once we have all the costing information as above, we can generate a comprehensive costing report. As we seen from the table 2 below under ABC system, now the total direct costs for Valves, Pumps and Flow Controllers have been changed accordingly which are 56%, 56% and 28% respectively since the number has been calculated in using the actual used of resources rather than supplied. In addition, the figures of manufacturing overheads have also been changed based on the calculation of each manufacturing process in terms of the actual numbers of activities have been taken place for each product lines. With the figures we have from TAC originally and we now generated the figures under ABC system, we can obviously make the comparison between these two methods in the following...
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