Is there a relationship between direct materials variances and direct labor variances?

Material variance

Favourable rate variances arise whenever actual rates are less than standard rates; unfavourable variances occur when actual Material variance rates exceed standard rates. The total of materials usage variance and price variance is equal to materials cost variance.

  • Below are the formulas for calculating each of these variances.
  • Manufacturing or completing a job requires different types or grades of workers and production will be complete if labour is mixed according to standard proportion.
  • This also might have a positive impact on direct labor, as less time will be spent dealing with materials waste.
  • This amounts to assuming that all the stock at the end pertains to stock that has been purchased/acquired during the current period.
  • The method adopted for valuation of closing stock would be consistent with the one adopted for the valuation of opening stock.
  • The reason for this assumption is that cost variances are calculated separately to analyse the difference between actual cost and standard cost of production.

Find the materials quantity variance by multiplying the standard cost by the difference between the standard and actual quantities. Abnormal spoilage increases the amount of raw material consumed in manufacturing, creating an unfavorable materials quantity variance. Low-quality raw materials, broken machinery, and inadequately trained workers may be to blame for abnormal spoilage. Note 10.26 “Business in Action 10.2” illustrates just how important it is to track direct materials variances accurately. When the actual cost differs from the standard cost, it is called variance. If the actual cost is less than the standard cost or the actual profit is higher than the standard profit, it is called favorable variance.

How to calculate materials quantity variance

When do variances need to be investigated and who must be responsible for correcting a negative variance? Discuss possible causes of the fixed manufacturing overhead variance. What factors would you consider when deciding whether to investigate a variance? Explain the difference between indirect costs and direct costs. But for the difference in the AP figure that is to be considered in calculating variances, there is no difference in calculating variances compared to a case where there are no stocks.

  • Connie’s Candy paid $2.00 per pound more for materials than expected and used 0.25 pounds more of materials than expected to make one box of candy.
  • Purchase of materials is an earlier event than the use of materials.
  • The budget variance is usually prepared on a departmental basis and the factors that cause the budget variances are, therefore, controllable by departmental managers.

An adverse material usage variance indicates higher consumption of material during the period as compared with the standard usage. Since companies have multiple inventory turnovers each year, small balances in the variance accounts are generally combined with the standard amount of the cost of goods sold. The materials usage variance results from using more or less than the standard quantity of direct materials that should have been used for the actual goods produced.


Ignore how much you actually paid for raw materials; we’re just trying to quantify the actual vs. expected quantity. To evaluate the price difference, you’re looking for a different accounting formula called the direct material price variance. The first approach i.e., sales variance based on turnover, accounts for difference in actual sales and budgeted sales. The sales variances using margin approach accounts for difference in actual profit and budgeted profit. In the margin method, it is assumed that cost of production is constant, i.e., no difference is assumed between actual cost of production and standard cost of production. Using one price for the same materials facilities management control and simplifies accounting work. The total of materials mix variance and materials yield variance equals materials quantity or usage variance.


For full inventory and prices please or call 1-833-HEMP-247