Waverley Welding Company provides welding services for a variety of industrial customers in the manufacturing, aerospace, and electronics industries. The number of jobs completed from one month to the next varies considerably, and jobs differ in terms of the complexity of the welding requirements. More complex jobs can take significantly longer to complete. Management knows that overhead costs have a fixed and a variable component but, until now, has not attempted to determine which measure of activity should be used for planning and forecasting.
The table below shows data for the most recent fiscal year. Management believes that either the number of jobs completed each month or the number of direct labour-hours incurred each month could be used as the activity base. However, they are not sure which is more appropriate:
Overhead includes costs such as the maintenance supervisor’s salary, depreciation on the welding equipment, and indirect materials used on each job. Electricity costs are also included in overhead and are significant since welding equipment consumes a relatively high amount of energy. Waverley Welding also employs a mix of experienced and inexperienced welders. Experienced welders are paid a higher hourly wage but are more efficient and tend to incur less wastage of indirect materials. Inexperienced welders are of course paid less on a per hour basis but work more slowly and use more indirect materials.
1. Prepare a scattergram with overhead costs on the vertical axis and direct labour-hours on the horizontal axis.
2. Prepare a scattergram with overhead costs on the vertical axis and number of jobs on the horizontal axis.
3. Which activity measure should be used as the activity base for predicting overhead costs?
4. For the activity measure you recommended in (3) above, use the high–low method to estimate a cost formula for maintenance.

  • CreatedJuly 08, 2015
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