As with direct materials, the price and quantity variances add up to the total direct labor variance. The utilization of the labor resources depends on two factors the time taken and the rate per hour paid to the labor. The efficiency of labor is the optimum how to make an invoice of labor hours available to the best use of the profit-making products in a product mix. In any manufacturing process, the management may decide to use temporary or hour-based labor in case of direct labor shortage or for the production increment purpose.

If workers manufacture a certain number of units in an amount of time that is less than the amount of time allowed by standards for that number of units, the variance is known as favorable direct labor efficiency variance. On the other hand, if workers take an amount of time that is more than the amount of time allowed by standards, the variance is known as unfavorable direct labor efficiency variance. Connie’s Candy paid $1.50 per hour more for labor than expected and used 0.10 hours more than expected to make one box of candy. The same calculation is shown as follows using the outcomes of the direct labor rate and time variances. Figure 10.43 shows the connection between the direct labor rate variance and direct labor time variance to total direct labor variance. In this case, the actual hours worked are 0.05 per box, the standard hours are 0.10 per box, and the standard rate per hour is $8.00.

Important of Calculating Direct Labor Efficiency Variance

He has served in various leadership roles in the American Bar Association and as Great Lakes Area liaison with the IRS. Mark P. Holtzman, PhD, CPA, is Chair of the Department of Accounting and Taxation at Seton Hall University. He has taught accounting at the college level for 17 years and runs the Accountinator website at , which gives practical accounting advice to entrepreneurs. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs.

Review this figure carefully before moving on to the
next section where these calculations are explained in detail. According to the total direct labor variance, direct labor costs were $1,200 lower than expected, a favorable variance. Throughout our explanation of standard costing we showed you how to calculate the variances. In the case of direct materials and direct labor, the variances were recorded in specific general ledger accounts. The manufacturing overhead variances were the differences between the accounts containing the actual costs and the accounts containing the applied costs. Labor efficiency variance Usually, the company’s engineering department sets the standard amount of direct labor-hours needed to complete a product.

Actual costs may differ from standard costs for materials because the price paid for the materials and/or the quantity of materials used varied from the standard amounts management had set. These two factors are accounted for by isolating two variances for materials—a price variance and a usage variance. When a company makes a product and compares the actual labor cost to the standard labor cost, the result is the total direct labor variance. The total direct labor variance is also found by combining the direct labor rate variance and the direct labor time variance. By showing the total direct labor variance as the sum of the two components, management can better analyze the two variances and enhance decision-making. When a company makes a product and compares the actual labor cost to the standard labor cost, the result is the total direct labor variance.

For this reason, labor efficiency variances are generally watched more closely than labor rate variances. It is necessary to analyze direct labor efficiency variance in the context of relevant factors, for example, direct labor rate variance and direct material price variance. It is quite possible that unfavorable direct labor efficiency variance is simply the result of, for example, low quality material being procured or low skilled workers being hired. In case of low quality direct material, the direct material price variance will likely be favorable and in the later case, the direct labor rate variance will probably be favorable; both at the expense of direct labor efficiency variance.

How to Calculate the Labor Efficiency Variance

The actual hours used can differ from the standard hours because of improved efficiencies in production, carelessness or inefficiencies in production, or poor estimation when creating the standard usage. Another element this company and others must consider is a direct labor time variance. If $2,000 is an insignificant amount relative to a company’s net income, the entire $2,000 unfavorable variance can be added to the cost of goods sold.

How do you calculate labor yield variances?

Direct labor efficiency variance pertain to the difference arising from employing more labor hours than planned. An unfavorable variance means that labor efficiency has worsened, and a favorable variance means that labor efficiency has increased. Let’s assume further that instead of the actual hours per unit of 0.4, Techno Blue manufactures was able to produce at 0.25 actual hours per unit.

Engineers may base the direct labor-hours standard on time and motion studies or on bargaining with the employees’ union. The labor efficiency variance occurs when employees use more or less than the standard amount of direct labor-hours to produce a product or complete a process. Labor rate variance The labor rate variance occurs when the average rate of pay is higher or lower than the standard cost to produce a product or complete a process. ABC Company has an annual production budget of 120,000 units and an annual DL budget of $3,840,000. Four hours are needed to complete a finished product and the company has established a standard rate of $8 per hour. The actual rate can differ from the standard or expected rate because of supply and demand of the workers, increased labor costs due to economic changes or union contracts, or the ability to hire employees at a different skill level.

Lynn was surprised to
learn that direct labor and direct materials costs were so high,
particularly since actual materials used and actual direct labor
hours worked were below budget. This means that the actual direct materials used were less than the standard quantity of materials called for by the good output. We should allocate this $2,000 to wherever those direct materials are physically located.

Employing diagrams to work out direct labor variances

In such situations, a better idea may be to dispense with direct labor efficiency variance – at least for the sake of workers’ motivation at factory floor. The Purple Fly has experienced a favorable direct labor efficiency variance of $219 during the second quarter of operations because its workers were able to finish 1,200 units in fewer hours (3,780) than the hours allowed by standards (3,840). For Jerry’s Ice Cream, the standard allows for 0.10
labor hours per unit of production. Thus the 21,000 standard hours
(SH) is 0.10 hours per unit × 210,000 units produced. From the payroll records of Boulevard Blanks, we find that line workers (production employees) put in 2,325 hours to make 1,620 bodies, and we see that the total cost of direct labor was $46,500. Based on the time standard of 1.5 hours of labor per body, we expected labor hours to be 2,430 (1,620 bodies x 1.5 hours).

Kenneth W. Boyd has 30 years of experience in accounting and financial services. He is a four-time Dummies book author, a blogger, and a video host on accounting and finance topics. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Tracking this variance is only useful for operations that are conducted on a repetitive basis; there is little point in tracking it in situations where goods are only being produced a small number of times, or at long intervals. Chartered accountant Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of Double Entry Bookkeeping. He has worked as an accountant and consultant for more than 25 years and has built financial models for all types of industries.

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SH are the standard direct labor hours allowed,
AH are the actual direct labor hours used, and
SR is the standard direct labor rate per hour. Figure 8.4 shows the connection between the direct labor rate variance and direct labor time variance to total direct labor variance. Like direct labor rate variance, this variance may be favorable or unfavorable.

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