Connie’s Candy paid $1.50 per hour more for labor than expected and used 0.10 hours more than expected to make one box of candy. The same calculation is shown as follows using the outcomes of the direct labor rate and time variances. The total direct labor variance is also found by combining the direct labor rate variance and the direct labor time variance. By showing the total direct labor variance as the sum of the two components, management can better analyze the two variances and enhance decision-making.

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- A labor rate variance is a measure between the total amount paid for labor and the standard amount paid.
- In this example, the manufacturer has set the standard labor rate at 15.00 per hour, and the standard quantity of labor needed per item manufactured at 0.50 hours.

Additionally the variance is sometimes referred to as the direct labor usage variance or the direct labor quantity variance. The direct labor efficiency variance may be computed either in hours or in dollars. Suppose, for example, the standard time to manufacture a product is one hour but the product is completed in 1.15 hours, the variance in hours would be 0.15 hours – unfavorable.

## Terms Similar to Labor Efficiency Variance

A labor rate variance is a measure between the total amount paid for labor and the standard amount paid. Labor rate variance is the total difference between the total paid amount for a certain amount of labor and the standard amount that the labor usually commands. free blank invoice templates Managers can better address this situation if they have a breakdown of the variances between quantity and rate. Where,

SH are the standard direct labor hours allowed,

AH are the actual direct labor hours used, and

SR is the standard direct labor rate per hour.

- The posting to wages payable reflects the actual amount (4,140) due to the employees for wages.
- The combination of the two variances can produce one overall total direct labor cost variance.
- Like direct labor rate variance, this variance may be favorable or unfavorable.
- Any positive number is considered good in a labor efficiency variance because that means you have spent less than what was budgeted.
- 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.

The difference in hours is multiplied by the standard price per hour, showing a $1,000 unfavorable direct labor time variance. The net direct labor cost variance is still $1,550 (favorable), but this additional analysis shows how the time and rate differences contributed to the overall variance. In this case, the actual rate per hour is $7.50, the standard rate per hour is $8.00, and the actual hour worked is 0.10 hours per box. This is a favorable outcome because the actual rate of pay was less than the standard rate of pay. In this case, the actual hours worked are 0.05 per box, the standard hours are 0.10 per box, and the standard rate per hour is $8.00. This is a favorable outcome because the actual hours worked were less than the standard hours expected.

In the standard costing system, the labor costs are posted at the standard cost of 3,750 represented by the debit to the work in process inventory account. Direct labor rate variance measures the cost of the difference between the expected labor rate and the actual labor rate. If the variance demonstrates that actual labor rates were higher than expected labor rates, then the variance will be considered unfavorable. If the variance demonstrates that actual labor rates were lower than expected labor rates, then the variance will be considered favorable. A positive DLRV would be unfavorable whereas a negative DLRV would be favorable. Commonly used direct labor variance formulas include the direct labor rate variance and the direct labor efficiency variance.

## Types of Labor Cost Variance

If the direct labor cost is $6.00 per hour, the variance in dollars would be $0.90 (0.15 hours × $6.00). For proper financial measurement, the variance is normally expressed in dollars rather than hours. If the exam takes longer than expected, the doctor is not compensated for that extra time. Doctors know the standard and try to schedule accordingly so a variance does not exist. If anything, they try to produce a favorable variance by seeing more patients in a quicker time frame to maximize their compensation potential. If the outcome is unfavorable, the actual costs related to labor were more than the expected (standard) costs.

For example, if the variance is due to low-quality of materials, then the purchasing department is accountable. 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. This figure can vary considerably, based on assumptions regarding the setup time of a production run, the availability of materials and machine capacity, employee skill levels, the duration of a production run, and other factors. Thus, the multitude of variables involved makes it especially difficult to create a standard that you can meaningfully compare to actual results. Companies prepare budgets that plan how long it should take employees to produce a specific number of products. Therefore, companies must calculate variance to understand why differences exist.

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 direct labour efficiency variance is a critical component of variance analysis within cost accounting. Variance analysis involves comparing actual to expected or standard performance to understand the reasons behind deviations and take appropriate actions.

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If there is no difference between the standard rate and the actual rate, the outcome will be zero, and no variance exists. Actual and standard quantities and rates for direct labor for the production of 1,000 units are given in the following table. Total actual and standard direct labor costs are calculated by multiplying number of hours by rate, and the results are shown in the last row of the first two columns. The standard direct labor hours allowed (SH) in the above formula is the product of standard direct labor hours per unit and number of finished units actually produced.

## What is Variance Analysis? Definition, Explanation, 4 Types of Variances

The direct labour efficiency variance measures the difference between the actual hours of direct labour used in production and the standard hours based on the production level achieved. The direct labor variance measures how efficiently the company uses labor as well as how effective it is at pricing labor. There are two components to a labor variance, the direct labor rate variance and the direct labor time variance.

However, employees actually worked 3,600 hours, for which they were paid an average of $13 per hour. Direct Labor Rate Variance is the measure of difference between the actual cost of direct labor and the standard cost of direct labor utilized during a period. A direct labor variance is caused by differences in either wage rates or hours worked. As with direct materials variances, you can use either formulas or a diagram to compute direct labor variances. To compute the direct labor price variance, subtract the actual hours of direct labor at standard rate ($43,200) from the actual cost of direct labor ($46,800) to get a $3,600 unfavorable variance.

## Total Direct Labor Variance

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. 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. However, during the production of 1,000 units, the actual time taken by the direct labour employees was 2.2 hours per item, and the actual labour rate was $14 per hour. Average acceleration is the object’s change in speed for a specific given time period. Measuring the efficiency of the labor department is as important as any other task.

The standard cost of direct labor and the variances for the February 2022 output is computed next. If the total actual cost incurred is less than the total standard cost, the variance is favorable. Note that both approaches—direct labor rate variance calculation

and the alternative calculation—yield the same result. Reporting the absolute value of the number (without regard to the negative sign) and an Unfavorable label makes this easier for management to read. We can also see that this is an unfavorable variance just based on the fact that we paid $20 per hour instead of the $18 that we used when building our budget.