Holly Manufacturing Company produces two cello models. One is a standard acoustic cello that sells for $600 and is constructed from medium-grade materials. The other model is a custom-made amplified cello with pearl inlays and a body constructed from special woods.
The custom cello sells for $900. Both cellos require 10 hours of direct labor to produce, but the custom cello is manufactured by more experienced workers who are paid at a higher rate.
Most of Holly’s sales come from the standard cello, but sales of the custom model have been growing. Following is the company’s sales, production, and cost information for last year:
Sales and production volume in units
Unit Selling Price
Total unit costs
Unit Gross Profit
Direct Labor Hours
Direct Labor Rate Per Hour
* Manufacturing overhead costs:
Total manufacturing overhead costs
Selling and Administrative expenses:
Commission to sales person 3 % of Sales Revenue
Advertising, CEO salary, etc. $ 30,000 per year.
* These manufacturing overhead costs are company-wide, fixed in nature: they do not vary with the volume of manufacturing activity.
The company allocates overhead costs using the traditional method. Its activity base is direct labor hours. The predetermined overhead rate, based on 10,000 direct labor hours, is $13.50 ($135,000 ÷ 10,000 direct labor hours).
Johann Brahms, president of Holly, is concerned that the traditional cost-allocation system the company is using may not be generating accurate information and that the selling price of the custom cello may not be covering its true cost.
President Brahms has hired your consulting team to help him understand cost allocation and provide more accurate information and advice. Here are some questions to guide your work.
The cost-allocation system Holly has been using allocates 90% of overhead costs to the standard cello because 90% of direct labor hours were spent on the standard model.
How much overhead was allocated to each of the two models last year?
Discuss why this might not be an accurate way to assign overhead costs to products.
How would the use of more than one cost pool improve Holly’s cost allocation?
Holly’s controller developed the following data for use in activity-based costing:
Direct labor hours
# of purchase orders
# of inspections
# of units manufactured
# of inspections
# of units manufactured
Use activity-based costing to allocate the costs of overhead per unit and in total to each model of cello. Show all supporting calculations. It is appropriate to use an excel document to do your computations in Excel
Calculate the cost of a custom cello using activity-based costing.
Why is the cost different from the cost calculated using the traditional allocation method?
At the current selling price, is the company covering its true cost of production? Briefly explain
What price could Holly Manufacturing set that would give about the same profit margin (% ) as the standard cello? Show all calculations.
What should Holly Manufacturing do if the quantity of custom cellos sold at the new price falls to 50 per year?
What should Holly Manufacturing do about the situation if market conditions are such that the price of the custom cello cannot exceed $900?
At a selling price of $600 for the standard cello and $1,000 for the custom cello, and assuming the same product mix, what is the breakeven unit volume for each cello (remember it is difficult to sell a fraction of a cello, so round-up. You need to consider the product mix when selling 2 products).
Please show President Brahms a contribution Income Statement reflecting the sales at breakeven.
Write a brief report to President Brahms explaining your conclusions and the benefits of your suggestions. What are the lessons learned from this case that can help him understand cost allocation.
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