Standard Costing

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Chapter 4

Standard Cost

Learning Objectives
* To understand the meaning of standard costing, its meaning and definition * To learn its advantages and limitations
* To learn how to set of standards and determinations
* To learn how to revise standards
Introduction
You know that management accounting is managing a business through accounting information. In this process, management accounting is facilitating managerial control. It can also be applied to your own daily/monthly expenses, if necessary. These measures should be applied correctly so that performance takes place according to plans. Planning is the first tool for making the control effective. The vital aspect of managerial control is cost control. Hence, it is very important to plan and control costs. Standard costing is a technique which helps you to control costs and business operations. It aims at eliminating wastes and increasing efficiency in performance through setting up standards or formulating cost plans. Meaning of Standard

When you want to measure some thing, you must take some parameter or yardstick for measuring. We can call this as standard. What are your daily expenses? An average of $50! If you have been spending this much for so many days, then this is your daily standard expense. The word standard means a benchmark or yardstick. The standard cost is a predetermined cost which determines in advance what each product or service should cost under given circumstances. In the words of Backer and Jacobsen, “Standard cost is the amount the firm thinks a product or the operation of the process for a period of time should cost, based upon certain assumed conditions of efficiency, economic conditions and other factors.” Definition

The CIMA, London has defined standard cost as “a predetermined cost which is calculated from managements standards of efficient operations and the relevant necessary expenditure.” They are the predetermined costs on technical estimate of material labor and overhead for a selected period of time and for a prescribed set of working conditions. In other words, a standard cost is a planned cost for a unit of product or service rendered. The technique of using standard costs for the purposes of cost control is known as standard costing. It is a system of cost accounting which is designed to find out how much should be the cost of a product under the existing conditions. The actual cost can be ascertained only when production is undertaken. The predetermined cost is compared to the actual cost and a variance between the two enables the management to take necessary corrective measures. Advantages

Standard costing is a management control technique for every activity. It is not only useful for cost control purposes but is also helpful in production planning and policy formulation. It allows management by exception. In the light of various objectives of this system, some of the advantages of this tool are given below: 1. Efficiency measurement-- The comparison of actual costs with standard costs enables the management to evaluate performance of various cost centers. In the absence of standard costing system, actual costs of different period may be compared to measure efficiency. It is not proper to compare costs of different period because circumstance of both the periods may be different. Still, a decision about base period can be made with which actual performance can be compared. 2. Finding of variance-- The performance variances are determined by comparing actual costs with standard costs. Management is able to spot out the place of inefficiencies. It can fix responsibility for deviation in performance. It is possible to take corrective measures at the earliest. A regular check on various expenditures is also ensured by standard cost system. 3. Management by exception-- The targets of different individuals are fixed if the performance is...
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