Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance

Definition of 'Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance'


The difference between actual variable overhead based on the true time taken to manufacture a product, and standard variable overhead based on the time budgeted for it. It arises from variance in productive efficiency. For example, the number of labor hours taken to manufacture a certain amount of product may differ significantly from the standard or budgeted number of hours. Variable overhead efficiency variance is one of the two components of total variable overhead variance, the other being variable overhead spending variance.

In numerical terms, it is defined as (actual labor hours less budgeted labor hours) x hourly rate for standard variable overhead, which includes such indirect labor costs as shop foreman and security. If actual labor hours are less than the budgeted or standard amount, the variable overhead efficiency variance is favorable; if actual labor hours are more than the budgeted or standard amount, the variance is unfavorable.

Investopedia explains 'Variable Overhead Efficiency Variance'


Consider an example of a widget-manufacturing plant, where the rate for standard variable overhead to account for indirect labor costs is estimated at $20 per hour. Assume that the standard number of hours required to manufacture 1,000 widgets is 2,000 hours. However, the company actually took 2,200 hours to manufacture 1,000 widgets. In this case, the unfavorable variable overhead efficiency variance is (2,200 – 2,000) x $20 = $4,000; the variance is unfavorable because the company took more time than budgeted to produce the 1,000 widgets. If the company had instead taken 1,900 hours to manufacture 1,000 widgets, the variance would be favorable $2,000.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  2. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  3. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  4. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  5. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  6. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
Trading Center