The Wilmont Chemical Corporation produces a variety of industrial products, including a specialty chemical called SC. The company uses an actual costing system and the LIFO inventory method. At the beginning of each year, the company’s controller estimates the total direct cost (omitting any manufacturing overhead allocation) per unit of producing SC. Unfortunately, the market demand and selling price are difficult to predict, as are the raw material and direct labor costs. Monthly budgets are prepared in advance, and are subsequently compared with actual results. The controller is wondering if the company’s financial statements would be more “managerially relevant” if the company changed to an estimated costing system, where raw material inventory is kept at estimated costs and finished goods inventory is kept at estimated production costs. The case provides information for comparing the actual operating results for a month with the budgeted amounts. Students are asked to prepare three monthly income statements: one using the company’s actual costing system; one using an estimated costing system; and, one using a hybrid costing system that incorporates both actual and estimated costs. They are then asked to take a position as to which of the three income statements presents the most managerially relevant information.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia