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Using Variance Analysis In Decision Making

Using Variance Analysis In Decision Making

Having a budget is critical for the financial stability of an organization. Keeping track of how well the organization is actually adhering to the budget, and subsequent identification of why the budget numbers are being missed is equally important. Without this critical “why” piece, it is difficult to make the necessary adjustments to the budget or to organizational behavior that might be promoting overspending.

A good budget is built with thoughtful consideration of future costs and revenue. Though your budget is formulated with expected figures in mind, the actual resulting values may vary considerably. This variance–from projected to actual–can be a pleasant surprise or a fiscal nightmare and can make financial decision making difficult. Fortunately, variance analysis can enable management to determine why variance occurred and what can be done to mitigate its effects.

For those not comfortable with the use of Microsoft Excel, this week’s Optional Resources suggest several tutorials.

To prepare:

Review the information in this week’s Learning Resources dealing with variance analysis, how it is calculated, and how it can be used in decision making.
View the video Week 8 Application Assignment Tutorial: Variance Analysis, provided in this week’s Learning Resources.
Use the Week 8 Application Assignment Template, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, to complete this assignment. Carefully examine the information in each of the scenarios and provide the necessary calculations. Using this information will help you answer the questions.

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