Case 10-27 /Rigging Standards
1) How did Preston Lansing Probably ‘rig’ the standard costs-are the standards set too high or too low? Explain The standards are set too high. When the products are run at a lower cost than the standard, then this produces a favorable variance. The cost of goods sold and variance should net to the correct cost though and this is the reason the system creates the variance. Lansing set a loose standard which the standard quantities and standard price are high, flowing this situation favorable variances will ordinarily result from operations. When the standard cost set artificially high, the standard cost of goods sold also will be artificially high, and then the division’s net operating income will be depressed until the favorable variances are recognized. If Lansing saves the favorable variances, he can release just enough in the second and third quarters to show some improvement and then he can release all of the rest in the last quarter, by creating the annual Christmas present. The problem is any inventory is to be overvalued because of wrong standards. Finished goods inventory is valued at the standard cost. If there is a lot of inventory at an inflated cost, then the cost of goods sold is being reduced on the income statement too much because of this. If the inventory were to be revalued at its correct standard cost, there would be a large expense to the income statement. It is better to build a inventory each quarter.
2) Should Preston Lansing be permitted to continue his practice of managing reported earning? He should not permit to continue this practice, because it distorts the quarterly earnings for both the division and the company. The distortions of the division’s quarterly earnings are troubling because the manipulations may mask real signs of trouble and it may mislead external users of the financial statements. Lansing should not be rewarded for manipulating earnings because the permissive attitude of top...
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