Goodbye Standard Costing, Hello Average Costing!

Are you tired of using outdated accounting methods that no longer serve your business? Standard costing, once a popular approach for controlling unit costs, is now losing its appeal. However, there are alternative methods available, such as average costing, which can help you regain power and control over your finances.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of replacing standard costing with average costing and the tools available to make the transition.

Average costing is a simple yet effective approach that is gaining popularity due to its ease of implementation and accuracy in managing costs. Unlike standard costing, which relies on predetermined costs, average costing recalculates the cost of goods sold on a regular basis based on the average cost of inventory. This method allows for greater flexibility, as costs can be adjusted in real-time to reflect changes in the market or production processes.

By adopting average costing, you can make informed financial decisions that will help your business thrive. Let’s explore how you can make the transition from standard costing to average costing and reap the benefits of this innovative approach.

Key Takeaways

  • Standard costing is an accounting approach that standardizes costs by applying overhead costs to standard production units.
  • Zero-based budgeting is a standard alternative that ensures that everything costs without exception, making standard costing irrelevant.
  • Average costing is a simple alternative that gives power and control back to the business, and all data must be entered into the ERP system for all transactions.
  • Tools such as Power Query, PowerPivot, Power BI, and ODBC connector or data warehouse can be used to replace standard costing with average costing.

Accounting Approaches

You may be familiar with standard costing, but it’s falling out of favor because it doesn’t work well for most companies. This accounting approach was designed for mass production, and standard cost-based products/services are not as popular anymore.

Additionally, standard costing is at odds with standard times, and it doesn’t work for companies that produce customized products/services or those that have unpredictable costs.

Fortunately, there are newer accounting approaches like zero-based budgeting and average costing to consider. While zero-based budgeting allocates costs everywhere needed, average costing is a simple alternative to replace standard costing.

The key for average costing to work is that all data must be entered into the ERP system for all transactions. Implementation challenges can arise, but the beauty of average costing is its simplicity, as no experts and fancy tools are needed to implement it.

The benefits of average costing are that it gives power and control back to the business, and it can bring cost savings in the long run.

Alternatives to Standard Costing

Revolutionize your costing approach with new and innovative alternatives that’ll leave standard methods in the dust. While standard costing was once a popular accounting approach, it’s no longer effective for most companies due to its limitations in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives available, each with its own set of pros and cons and implementation challenges.

  1. Zero-Based Budgeting: This alternative ensures that every cost is accounted for, making standard costing irrelevant. However, it can be time-consuming and may require significant changes to existing processes and systems.

  2. Average Costing: This simple alternative is easy to implement and gives control back to the business. However, it relies heavily on accurate data input and may not be suitable for companies with complex inventory systems.

  3. Activity-Based Costing: This approach allocates costs based on activities rather than units produced, providing a more accurate picture of costs. However, it can be complex to implement and requires significant resources.

  4. Lean Accounting: This approach focuses on eliminating waste and reducing costs, aligning with the principles of lean manufacturing. However, it may not be suitable for all business models and requires a shift in mindset for both accounting and management teams.

By exploring these alternatives, you can find a costing approach that best fits your business needs. While implementation challenges may exist, the benefits of leaving standard costing behind are worth the effort.

Tools for Implementation

Explore new tools for implementing alternative costing approaches that can help streamline your accounting processes and provide more accurate cost data. One of the most popular alternatives to standard costing is average costing, which is simple and doesn’t require any fancy tools or experts to implement.

The key to making average costing work is to ensure that all data is entered into the ERP system accurately and consistently. To integrate your data into the ERP system, you can use tools like Power Query, PowerPivot, and Power BI. These tools can help you connect to your data warehouse or ERP system, and allow you to analyze your data in a more efficient and effective way.

Additionally, you may need to configure your ERP system to switch from standard to average costing, which can usually be done with the help of your IT department. By using these tools and configuring your ERP system, you can implement average costing and gain more control over your costs and inventory.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the four critical business questions that a costing and inventory system should answer in real-time and with complete accuracy?

Real-time inventory tracking and accurate cost allocation methods are crucial for any costing and inventory system. It should answer four critical questions: What is the current inventory level? How much does it cost? Where is it located? When will it be delivered or shipped?

How does average costing differ from standard costing in terms of allocation of costs?

With average costing, costs are allocated based on the average cost of all units produced. This differs from standard costing where costs are allocated based on predetermined standards. Both are cost accounting methods, but average costing is simpler and more flexible.

Why is standard costing falling out of favor and becoming irrelevant for most companies?

As companies shift towards more personalized and niche products, standard costing’s disadvantages become apparent. Costing method alternatives, such as average costing, provide simplicity and control, reducing the cost and effort of maintaining standard costing.

What are some key benefits of implementing average costing over standard costing?

Implementing average costing over standard costing can provide benefits such as simplicity, control, and accuracy. Key implementation techniques include entering all data into the ERP system and using tools like Power Query and Power BI.

What tools or technologies can be used to replace standard costing with average costing in an organization?

It’s time to bid farewell to standard costing and embrace the alternatives available. Technological solutions like Power Query, PowerPivot, and ODBC connectors can help transition to average costing. This change requires full data input and a cost and inventory system built to answer critical business questions in real-time accurately.

Susan Whitlock
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