Unfavorable Variance

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Unfavorable Variance'

An accounting term that describes instances where actual costs are greater than the standard or expected costs. An unfavorable variance can alert management that the company's profit will be less than expected. The sooner an unfavorable variance is detected, the sooner attention can be directed towards fixing any problems.


In manufacturing, the standard cost of a finished product is calculated by adding the standard costs of the direct material, direct labor and direct overhead. An unfavorable variance is the opposite of a favorable variance where actual costs are less than standard costs.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Unfavorable Variance'

In finance, unfavorable variance refers to a difference between an actual experience and a budgeted experience in any financial category where the actual outcome is less favorable than the projected outcome. For example, if sales were budgeted to be $200,000 for a period but were actually $180,000, there would be an unfavorable (or negative) variance of $20,000, or 10%. Similarly, if expenses were projected to be $200,000 for a period but were actually $250,000, there would be an unfavorable variance of $50,000, or 25%.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Activity Cost Driver

    A factor that influences or contributes to the expense of certain ...
  2. Budget Variance

    A periodic measure used by governments, corporations or individuals ...
  3. Balanced Budget

    A situation in financial planning or the budgeting process where ...
  4. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's ...
  5. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ...

    The common set of accounting principles, standards and procedures ...
  6. Activity-Based Budgeting - ABB

    A method of budgeting in which the activities that incur costs ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why would you use the TTM (trailing twelve months) rather than the data from the ...

    Public companies report their yearly financial statements along with an annual report. However, financial professionals are ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is it important for an investor to understand business accounting?

    Investors use financial statements to obtain valuable information used in valuation and credit analysis of companies. Therefore, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the business consequences of using FIFO vs. LIFO accounting methods?

    If a company uses a first-in, first-out accounting method (FIFO), it's likely that its reported earnings will be higher than ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do you analyze inventory on the balance sheet?

    In accounting, inventory represents a company's raw materials, work in progress and finished products. Financial professionals ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How are contingent liabilities reflected on a balance sheet

    Contingent liabilities need to pass two thresholds before they can be reported in the financial statements. First, it must ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do businesses determine if an asset may be impaired?

    In the United States, assets are considered impaired when net carrying value (book value) exceeds expected future cash flows. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    How Budgeting Works For Companies

    Learn how to break down and understand a corporate budget.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.
  3. Economics

    Explaining Residual Value

    Residual value is a measurement of how much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Why Last In First Out Is Banned Under IFRS

    We explain why Last-In-First-Out is banned under IFRS
  5. Economics

    Understanding Carrying Value

    Carrying value is the value of an asset as listed on a company’s balance sheet. Carrying value is the same as book value.
  6. Economics

    International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

    International Financial Reporting Standards are accounting rules and guidelines governing the reporting of different types of accounting transactions.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Property, Plant and Equipment

    Property, plant and equipment are company assets that are vital to business operations, but not easily liquidated.
  8. Economics

    How to Calculate Trailing 12 Months Income

    Trailing 12 months refers to the most recently completed one-year period of a company’s financial performance.
  9. Economics

    What is Unearned Revenue?

    Unearned revenue can be thought of as a "pre-payment" for goods or services which a person or company is expected to produce to the purchaser.
  10. Economics

    What is a Capital Lease?

    A lease considered to have the economic characteristics of asset ownership.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fisher Effect

    An economic theory proposed by economist Irving Fisher that describes the relationship between inflation and both real and ...
  2. Fiduciary

    1. A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets ...
  3. Expected Return

    The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. For example, ...
  4. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  5. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
  6. Brand Equity

    The value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to its generic equivalent. ...
Trading Center