Direct Labor Variances

how to calculate labor efficiency variance

As mentioned earlier, the cause of one variance might influence another variance. For example, many of the explanations shown in Figure 10.7 “Possible Causes of Direct Labor Variances for Jerry’s Ice Cream” might also apply to the favorable materials quantity variance. There were no beginning &ending inventories of leather.Actual direct labot was 2500 hrs at $16/hour. To calculate variance, start by calculating the mean, or average, of your sample.

Variance is a measurement term of statistics that tells us the difference between individual numbers in a data set from the mean of that set. It helps us to measure how volatile a data set is by studying the individual participants.

How Do You Know If The Labor Efficiency Variance Is Favorable Or Unfavorable?

In this lesson, you’ll learn what total equity is, how to calculate it, and how it fits into the overall financial picture of a business. Relevant costs include differential, avoidable, and opportunity costs. Adjusting entries are a contra asset account very important part of the accounting cycle because they ensure that you are reporting the company’s financial situation accurately. In this lesson, you will learn which accounts need adjusting and how those adjustments are made.

how to calculate labor efficiency variance

Processing of 150 units required more time than that was allowed by Standards. A favorable efficiency variance occurs when actual processing time is less than that allowed by standards. 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. Direct labor rate variance measures the cost of the difference between the expected labor rate and the actual labor rate.

Analyzing An Unfavorable Dl Efficiency Variance

The direct labor hourly cost is $9 per hour and the standard direct labor time is two hours. The total direct labor hourly cost is two hours multiplied by $9 per hour, or $18, to produce one unit. The direct labor standard price to produce 30 units costing $18 each is $540. It is that part of labour assets = liabilities + equity cost variance which arises due to the difference between standard labour cost of standard time for actual output and standard cost of actual time paid for. There is an inherent risk of arriving at a variance that does not represent an entity’s actual performance due to a margin of error.

  • If you produce goods in batches, you must calculate per unit direct labor hours.
  • The following equation is used to calculate a labor efficiency variance.
  • Your overhead might vary based on changes to electrical or gas use, legal circumstances or tax codes.
  • At the end of the month, the manager calculates the idle time over the month to be 100 hours due to labour inefficiency and an instance of a machine failure.
  • Therefore, the validity of the underlying standard, or lack thereof, must be accounted for in investigating the variable overhead efficiency variance.

If the variance demonstrates that actual labor rates were lower than expected labor rates, then the variance will be considered favorable. It is the difference between the standard cost for actual output and the standard cost of productive labour/labor time. In manufacturing, efficiency variance can help managers analyze the effectiveness of operations, with respect to labor, materials, machine time and other factors. On the other hand, if actual inputs are less than the amounts theoretically required, then there would be a positive efficiency variance. Since the baseline theoretical inputs are often calculated for the optimal conditions, a slightly negative efficiency variance is normally expected. Efficiency variance is the difference between the theoretical amount of inputs required to produce a unit of output and the actual number of inputs used to produce the unit of output. The expected inputs to produce the unit of output are based on models or past experiences.

According to standards, variable overhead rate is applied at $1.70 per direct labor retained earnings hour . Assume that all fixed overhead is applied to work in progress inventory.

In production processes, we usually have a set standard number of hours for each individual activity or phase which is a measure of the efficiency of labor. Labour efficiency variance measures the variance or difference of the actual number of hours taken for completing an activity from the standard number of hours labor should take for that activity. Then this difference we multiply by the standard rate of direct labor. The variance calculation can be done for any particular activity, or for a set number of units of that product.

Labour Rate Variance is the difference between the standard cost and the actual cost paid for the actual number of hours. Like direct material standards, direct labor standards also consist of two components, quantity and price.

Formulae Using Inter

Labour cost variance can be sub-divided into two types – Labour rate variance and Labour efficiency variance. Cost accounting is a form of managerial accounting that aims to capture a company’s total cost of production by assessing its variable and fixed costs. Variable overhead spending variance is the difference between actual variable overheads and standard variable overheads based on the budgeted costs. This variance tells us how efficient the direct labor was in making the actual output that was produced by the direct labor.

how to calculate labor efficiency variance

During planning stages, the management staff might have projected that it will take 50 labor hours to produce one unit of a specific product. However, after the first round of products is completed, records indicate that 65 labor hours were used, to complete the item in question.

We may lose some sales due to hour high prices which raise from high standard costs. The direct labor variance is the difference between the actual labor hours used for actual production and standard labor hours allowed for actual production on standard labor hour rate. For small, insignificant bookkeeping direct labor efficiency variances it is not worth the time and effort apportioning the balance, so it is simply transferred to the cost of goods sold account. The labor cost formula to calculate direct labor cost per unit is the standard cost of one hour of labor multiplied by the number of hours needed to produce one unit. Multiply $22.50 by 0.8 and you have a per-unit, direct labor cost of $18.00. Labor efficiency variance is calculated by comparing the actual hours worked with standard hours allowed, both at the standard labor rate. The standard hours allowed figure is determined by multiplying direct labor hours established or predetermined to produce a single unit by the number of units produced.

Labour mix variance arises only when two or more different types of workers employed and the composition of actual grade of workers differ from the standard composition of how to calculate labor efficiency variance workers. The change in the labour composition may be due to shortage of one grade of labour. Therefore, the company established a variable overhead rate of $10 per hour.

You can find your budgeted quantity by using computer models or previous experience. You can estimate how many hours your employees will work based on how many employees you have and whether they are full-time or part-time. A positive efficiency variance means that you use more inputs than you originally budgeted for to produce the outputs. A negative variance shows that fewer inputs were used to produce the outputs.


Jerry , Tom , Lynn , and Michelle were at the meeting described at the opening of this chapter. Michelle was asked to find out why direct labor and direct materials costs were higher than budgeted, even after factoring in the 5 percent increase in sales over the initial budget.

Efficiency Variance

The labor rate variance calculation presented previously shows the actual rate paid for labor was $15 per hour and the standard rate was $13. This results in an unfavorable variance since the actual rate was higher than the expected rate. The direct labor efficiency variance is the difference between the standard or budget labor hours allocated and the actual labor hours consumed for the production. The standard hours allowed is the result of multiplying 530 units of product by 3 standard hours per unit. The unfavorable labor efficiency variance of $1,740 is due to the use of 290 hours in excess of standard hours allowed. The direct labor efficiency variance may be computed either in hours or in dollars.

How Do You Calculate Ler?

A positive value of direct labor efficiency variance is obtained when the standard direct labor hours allowed exceeds the actual direct labor hours used. 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. Standard material cost per unit of product is 0.5 pounds at $8.40 per pound, and standard direct labor cost is 1.5 hours at $14.00 per hour. The total actual materials cost represents 4,900 pounds purchases at $8.70 per pound. Total actual labor cost represents 14,200 hours at $13.60 per hour.

The labour is efficient and his services are beneficial for the organization. The overhead variance is already in currency units, so you subtract your budgeted overhead from the actual overhead you paid. Many businesses create an overhead budget so they can allocate funds for these costs. You can compare this budget to the actual amount you paid at the end of a fiscal period, which is usually after a month, quarter or year.

The 21,000 standard hours are the hours allowed given actual production. For Jerry’s Ice Cream, the standard allows for 0.10 labor hours per unit of production. Thus the 21,000 standard hours is 0.10 hours per unit × 210,000 units produced. A time variance is the difference between the standard hours and actual hours assigned to a job. The concept is used in standard costing to identify inefficiencies in a production process.

What Do We Mean By Labor Efficiency Variance?

You under-applied overhead if you exceed your budgeted overhead expenses and over-applied overhead if you budgeted more than you paid. Your overhead might vary based on changes to electrical or gas use, legal circumstances or tax codes. A favorable variance means that they worked more hours than were budgeted, which is shown by a negative value when you solve the equation. Many analysts determine the expected outcome based on optimal circumstances, which means they often anticipate a negative efficiency variance.

This is called the labor efficiency variance, and is technically related more to material usage than to efficiency. The sum of Direct Labor Efficiency Variance and Labor Rate Variance help you measure the total direct labor variance. To calculate a country’s labor productivity, you would divide the total output by the total number of labor hours. For example, suppose the real GDP of an economy is $10 trillion and the aggregate hours of labor in the country is 300 billion. If the variance demonstrates that actual labor rates were higher than expected labor rates, then the variance will be considered unfavorable.