Friday, August 15, 2014

Management Accounting - "Marginal Costing is a Valuable Aid to Management"

“Marginal Costing” is a valuable aid to Management:-
Marginal costing technique is frequently used for short-term decision-making. It helps management in the following areas:
a)      Cost control: - Marginal costing divides total cost into fixed and variable cost. Fixed Cost can be controlled by the Top management to a limited extent and Variable costs can be controlled by the lower level of management. Marginal costing by concentrating all efforts on the variable costs can control total cost.
b)      Profit Planning: - It helps in short-term profit planning by making a study of relationship between cost, volume and Profits, both in terms of quantity and graphs. An analysis of contribution made by each product provides a basis for profit-planning in an organisation with wide range of products.
c)       Fixation of selling price: - Generally prices are determined by demand and supply of products and services. But under special market conditions marginal costing is helpful in deciding the prices at which management should sell. When marginal cost is applied to fixation of selling price, it should be remembered that the price cannot be less than marginal cost. But under the following situation , a company shall sell its products below the marginal cost:

1.       To maintain production and to keep employees occupied during a trade depression.
2.       To prevent loss of future orders.
3.       To dispose of perishable goods.
4.       To eliminate competition of weaker rivals.
5.       To introduce a new product.
6.       To help in selling a co-joined product which is making substantial profit?
7.       To explore foreign market
d)      Make or Buy: - Components and spare parts may be made in the factory instead of buying from the market. In such cases, the marginal cost of manufacturing the components or spare parts should be compared with market price while taking decision “to make or buy”. If marginal cost is lower than the market price, it is more profitable to make than purchasing from market.
e)      Evaluation of Performance: - The different products and divisions have different profit earning potentialities. The Performance of each product and division can be brought out by means of Marginal cost analysis, and improvement can be made where necessary.
f)       Limiting Factor: - when a limiting factor restricts the output, a contribution analysis based on the limiting factor can help maximizing profit. For example, if machine availability is the limiting factor, then machine hour utilisation by each product shall be ascertained and contribution shall be expressed as so many rupees per machine hour utilized. Then, emphasis is given on the product which gives highest contribution.
g)      Helpful in taking Key Managerial Decisions:- In addition to above, the following are the important areas where managerial problems are simplified by the use of marginal costing :
1.       Selection of Suitable Product mix.
2.       Analysis of Effect of change in Price.
3.       Maintaining a desired level of profit.
4.       Alternative methods of production.
5.       Diversification of products.

6.       Alternative course of action etc.