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Variable Overhead Spending Variance



Definition

Variable overhead spending variance is a financial metric used to measure the difference between the actual variable overhead costs incurred and the standard variable overhead costs that were budgeted for a specific period. It helps businesses assess their efficiency in managing variable expenses related to production. A favorable variance occurs when actual spending is lower than budgeted, while an unfavorable variance indicates higher spending than anticipated.

Phonetic

The phonetics of the keyword “Variable Overhead Spending Variance” is as follows: – Variable: ˈvɛər.i.ə.bəl- Overhead: ˈəʊ.vər.hed- Spending: ˈspendɪŋ- Variance: ˈvɛər.i.əns

Key Takeaways

  1. Variable Overhead Spending Variance refers to the difference between the actual variable overhead costs incurred and the standard variable overhead costs that should have been incurred based on the actual production level. It is a measure used by management to understand the efficiency of indirect cost control related to production volume.
  2. This variance can be either favorable or unfavorable. A favorable variance occurs when the actual variable overhead costs are lower than the standard costs, indicating efficient cost control. Conversely, an unfavorable variance implies that the actual costs are higher than the standard costs, indicating inefficiency in cost management.
  3. Monitoring and analyzing variable overhead spending variance is vital for organizations, as it can help identify potential cost-saving opportunities, improve budgeting and forecasting accuracy, and provide insights for decision-making related to production efficiency and process improvements.

Importance

The Variable Overhead Spending Variance is an important business/finance term as it measures the difference between the actual variable overhead costs incurred and the expected variable overhead costs based on the standard rate of production during a specific accounting period. The relevance of this term lies in its ability to assist organizations in identifying inefficiencies, discrepancies, and cost control issues in their production process. A favorable variance indicates that the company has successfully controlled its variable overhead costs, leading to greater profitability, while an unfavorable variance suggests a need for further evaluation and improvement in cost management strategies. By analyzing and understanding variable overhead spending variances, management can make more informed decisions, optimize production processes, and ultimately, enhance the financial performance of the company.

Explanation

Variable overhead spending variance is a valuable metric for businesses seeking to analyze their financial performance, specifically in evaluating how efficiently they manage their variable manufacturing overhead expenses. The purpose of this measure is to compare the actual overhead costs incurred for a specific period to the budgeted overhead costs based on the organization’s standard cost for per-unit production. By determining the difference between these costs, business managers can pinpoint areas of inefficiency, take corrective actions to control expenditures, and make informed decisions on budget allocation for future production cycles. The assessment of variable overhead spending variance helps identify whether the company is spending more or fewer resources on its manufacturing overhead, which can include costs such as indirect materials, indirect labor, and factory utilities. This comparison is particularly useful to ensure the organization is in line with its financial goals and can improve cost control in subsequent periods. In cases when the actual variable overhead is found to be higher or lower than budgeted, managers can swiftly investigate the root causes of the discrepancies and take appropriate remedial measures. Consequently, monitoring and managing variable overhead spending variance assists an organization in maintaining a competitive edge by optimizing overall production costs, improving efficiency, and ensuring financial sustainability in the long run.

Examples

Variable Overhead Spending Variance (VOSV) is the difference between the actual variable overhead costs incurred and the standard variable overhead costs that should have been incurred for the actual production levels. Here are three real-world examples that demonstrate Variable Overhead Spending Variance: 1. Manufacturing Company: A company produces widgets and has a standard variable overhead cost of $2 per widget for the production of 10,000 units per month. This includes costs like electricity and supplies. However, in a particular month, they found their actual variable overhead costs to be $21,000 while producing 10,500 widgets. In this case, the VOSV would be ($2 * 10,500) – $21,000 = $20,000 – $21,000 = -$1,000. The negative variance indicates that the company spent $1,000 more on variable overhead than the standard amount for the actual production. 2. Restaurant Business: A fast food restaurant has a standard variable overhead rate of $10 per labor hour for part-time staff. In a specific month, they incurred 350 labor hours but had actual variable overhead costs of $3,800. The VOSV in this situation would be ($10 * 350) – $3,800 = $3,500 – $3,800 = -$300. This means the restaurant spent $300 more on variable overhead than was expected based on the standard rate for the actual labor hours. 3. Digital Marketing Agency: A digital marketing agency has a standard variable overhead rate of $150 per billable hour for its consultants. In a particular month, they had 240 billable hours with actual variable overhead costs of $37,000. The VOSV in this case would be ($150 * 240) – $37,000 = $36,000 – $37,000 = -$1,000. The negative variance of $1,000 signifies that the agency spent more on variable overhead than their standard rate for the actual billable hours worked.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Variable Overhead Spending Variance?
Variable Overhead Spending Variance is a financial metric used to analyze the difference between the actual variable overhead costs incurred and the budgeted variable overhead costs, based on standard costs for a specific period.
How is Variable Overhead Spending Variance calculated?
Variable Overhead Spending Variance is calculated using the following formula:Variable Overhead Spending Variance = (Actual Variable Overhead – Budgeted Variable Overhead)
What is the significance of Variable Overhead Spending Variance in finance and business?
Variable Overhead Spending Variance is crucial in finance and business as it helps management to understand how well the company is controlling its variable overhead costs. A positive variance indicates that the actual costs are lower than the budgeted costs, while a negative variance indicates that the company has incurred higher costs than planned.
What factors can cause a negative Variable Overhead Spending Variance?
A negative Variable Overhead Spending Variance can result from several factors, including increased production, increased labor costs, inefficient resource utilization, or higher costs of input materials.
What actions can a company take to improve its Variable Overhead Spending Variance?
Companies can take actions such as optimizing production processes, renegotiating supplier contracts, controlling labor costs, and seeking more cost-efficient materials to improve their Variable Overhead Spending Variance.
In which financial statements can Variable Overhead Spending Variance be found?
Variable Overhead Spending Variance can be found in a company’s management accounting reports and cost analysis, rather than in the standard financial statements such as the income statement, balance sheet, or cash flow statement.
Why is it important to monitor Variable Overhead Spending Variance regularly?
Regular monitoring of Variable Overhead Spending Variance allows management to take corrective actions, if required, to control costs and achieve desired financial performance. It helps identify areas of cost inefficiency and provides insights for future budgeting and decision-making.

Related Finance Terms

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