The Pure Rate Variance
36 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2004
Date Written: October 8, 2004
The direct material cost variance can be subdivided into a price variance, a quantity variance and a price-quantity interaction variance. The price-quantity interaction variance is rarely mentioned in the literature because the traditional price variance does not acknowledge an interaction variance. For a number of pragmatic reasons, this approach may be justified for the direct material price variance. The direct labor cost variance is conceptually similar to the direct material cost variance. Accordingly, the traditional direct labor rate variance also includes a rate-efficiency interaction variance. However, the justifications for incorporating the interaction variance into the direct material price variance do not apply to the direct labor rate variance. This paper explores the possibility of separating the rate-efficiency interaction variance from the direct labor rate variance. This approach may be more aligned with the concept of responsibility accounting than the traditional method of calculating the direct labor rate variance. Thus, it may provide more reliable information feedback for decision-making purposes.
Keywords: Variance analysis, pure price variance
JEL Classification: M40, M46, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation