# Question: Northcoast Manufacturing Company a small manufacturer of parts used in

Northcoast Manufacturing Company, a small manufacturer of parts used in appliances, just completed its first year of operations. The company’s controller, Vic Trainor, has been reviewing the actual results for the year and is concerned about the allocation of production overhead. Trainor uses the following information to assess operations.
● Northcoast’s equipment consists of several machines with a combined cost of \$2,200,000 and no residual value. Each machine has an output of five units of product per hour and a useful life of 20,000 hours.
● Selected actual data of Northcoast’s operations for the year just ended is presented here.
Product manufactured .......... 500,000 units
Machine utilization ........ 130,000 hours
Direct labor usage .......... 35,000 hours
Labor rate .............. \$15 per hour
Cost of goods sold ........... \$1,720,960
Finished goods inventory (at year-end) .. \$430,240
Work in process inventory (at year-end) .. \$0
● Total production overhead is allocated to each unit using an estimated plantwide rate for direct labor dollars.
● The budgeted activity for the year included 20 employees, each working 1,800 productive hours per year to produce 540,000 units of product. The machines are highly automated, and each employee can operate two to four machines simultaneously. Normal activity is for each employee to operate three machines. Machine operators are paid \$15 per hour.
● Budgeted production overhead costs for the past year for various levels of activity are shown here.
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REQUIRED
You may want to use a spreadsheet to perform calculations.
A. Choose the budgeted level of activity (in units) closest to actual activity for the period and determine the dollar amount of total over- or under-applied production overhead. Explain why this amount is material.
B. Vic Trainor believes that Northcoast Manufacturing Company should be using machine hours to allocate production overhead. Using the data given, determine the amount of total over/ under-applied production overhead if machine hours had been used as the allocation base.
C. Explain why machine hours might be a more appropriate allocation base than number of units.
D. Explain why allocating production overhead to units might cause managers to build up inventories under absorption costing in periods when sales wereslumping.

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