# Labor Efficiency Variance Formula Cause

When we set the budget too high, it will impact the total cost as well as the selling price. The standard number of hours represents the best estimate of a company’s industrial engineers regarding the optimal speed at which the production staff can manufacture goods. Thus, the multitude of variables involved makes it especially difficult to create a standard that you can meaningfully compare to actual results.

Standard costing plays a very important role in controlling labor costs while maximizing the labor department’s efficiency. The company does not want to see a significant variance even it is favorable or unfavorable. Measuring the efficiency of the labor department is as important as any other task. The management estimate that 2000 hours should be used for packing 1000 kinds of cotton or glass.

## How to Calculate the Labor Efficiency Variance

Favorable variance means that the actual labor hours’ usage is less than the actual labor hour usage for a certain amount of production. Labor efficiency variance compares the actual direct labor and estimated direct labor for units produced during the period. Use the following information to calculate direct labor efficiency variance. Variable overhead efficiency variance refers to the difference between the true time it takes to manufacture a product and the time budgeted for it, as well as the impact of that difference. Consult with the manager in charge of your direct labor employees to determine the underlying cause of your variances and determine what you need to improve for the next period.

• It is the difference between the actual hours spent and the budgeted hour that the company expects to take to produce a certain level of output.
• The hourly rate in this formula includes such indirect labor costs as shop foreman and security.
• To arrive at the total cost per unit, we need to multiply the unit of material and labor with the standard rate.
• The direct labor variance is the difference between the actual labor hours used for production and the standard labor hours allowed for production on the standard labor hour rate.
• If the direct labor cost is \$6.00 per hour, the variance in dollars would be \$0.90 (0.15 hours × \$6.00).

At first glance, the responsibility of any unfavorable direct labor efficiency variance lies with the production supervisors and/or foremen because they are generally the persons in charge of using direct labor force. However, it may also occur due to substandard or low quality direct materials which require more time to handle and process. If direct materials is the cause of adverse variance, then purchase manager should bear the responsibility for his negligence in acquiring the right materials for his factory. If customer orders for a product are not enough to keep the workers busy, the production managers will have to either build up excessive inventories or accept an unfavorable labor efficiency variance. The first option is not in line with just in time (JIT) principle which focuses on minimizing all types of inventories. Excessive inventories, particularly those that are still in process, are considered evil as they generally cause additional storage cost, high defect rates and spoil workers’ efficiency.

## Direct Labor Efficiency Variance

For example, you might use newer workers who receive lower pay than usual, which would create a favorable labor price variance and could increase your expected profit. These workers might have insufficient training and might require more hours to complete a job. More labor hours would create an unfavorable labor efficiency variance, which could decrease your expected profit. Labor efficiency variance equals the number of direct labor hours you budget for a period minus the actual hours your employees worked, times the standard hourly labor rate. However, they spend 5.71 hours per unit (200,000 hours /35,000 units) on the actual production. Due to the unexpected increase in actual cost, the company’s profit will decrease.

• It is a very important tool for management as it provides the management with a very close look at the efficiency of labor work.
• A negative value of direct labor efficiency variance means that excess direct labor hours have been used in production, implying that the labor-force has under-performed.
• An unfavorable variance means that labor efficiency has worsened, and a favorable variance means that labor efficiency has increased.
• For example, assume your small business budgets a standard labor rate of \$20 per hour and pays your employees an actual rate of \$18 per hour.
• Variable overhead efficiency variance is one of the two components of total variable overhead variance, the other being variable overhead spending variance.

In other words, when actual number of hours worked differ from the standard number of hours allowed to manufacture a certain number of units, labor efficiency variance occurs. Like direct labor rate variance, this variance may be favorable or unfavorable. 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. The purpose of calculating the direct labor efficiency variance is to measure the performance of the production department in utilizing the abilities of the workers. A positive value of direct labor efficiency variance is obtained when the standard direct labor hours allowed exceeds the actual direct labor hours used.

## Sales Quantity Variance: Definition, Formula, Explanation, And Example

Due to these reasons, managers need to be cautious in using this variance, particularly when the workers’ team is fixed in short run. 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. We may think that only unfavorable variance is required to solve as it impacts the profit at the end of the year. It is correct that we need to solve the unfavorable variance, however, the favorable variance also required to investigate too. Favorable variance means that the actual time is less than the budget, so we need to reassess our budgeting method.

Comparing labor price variance to labor efficiency variance helps you pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in your small business’s labor management. For example, if your labor price variance is a favorable \$500, but your labor efficiency variance is an unfavorable \$700, the unfavorable amount offsets the favorable amount. The labor efficiency variance is also known as the direct labor efficiency variance, and may sometimes be called (though less accurately) the labor variance.