Recent Question/Assignment

Assignment Background
To provide workplace context to this assignment you are to assume that you have been appointed to a graduate management accounting position within a hypothetical company named Jupiter Australia. Jupiter is an extremely successful multinational company. In Australia and New Zealand Jupiter manufacture a range of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) including several well known pet food brands, confectionery brands, and consumer food brands.
You have been appointed to a Management Accounting role within Jupiter Australia commencing in their Wodonga pet food factory which is based at the firm’s Albury Wodonga head office. As part of your role you will be expected to provide advice around strategic and operational issues to management and production teams across a number of Jupiter divisions.
At the commencement of each question you are referred to the Topic Modules which cover the material in the question.
Question 1 Manufacturing Cost Schedule and Income Statement (10 marks).
This question relates to learning material and objectives from Online Topics 1, 2 and 3.
FoodMasters Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jupiter manufacturing in its Australian factories a range of market-leading consumer food products including cooking sauces, herbs and spices, mustards, relishes, marinades and spreads. FoodMasters use a traditional manufacturing cost flow accounting system.
The Cost Accountant for the FoodMasters factory has just gone on maternity leave and you have been asked to finalise the reporting for the FoodMaster product line. As you are based in Wodonga, Victoria and the FoodMasters factory is based on the NSW mid-North coast near Port Macquarie, you have been emailed the following information about FoodMasters trading for the 2014 calendar year.
Sales Revenue
Sales & Marketing Expenses
Accounting & Audit costs
Interest & other finance charges
Purchases of Raw Materials & Packaging
Factory Direct Labour Cost
Factory Indirect Labour Cost
Factory Manufacturing Overhead
Depreciation of Factory Plant, Equipment & Machinery
Depreciation of Office Equipment & Furniture
Heat Light & Power Costs (75% Factory/25% Admin)
Office Salaries and Costs
Freight Outwards
Freight Inwards
On December 31st, 2014 selected inventory account balances of FoodMasters were as follows (with comparative 1/1/2014 Opening Balance figures):
Inventory Account:
Jan 1, 2014
Dec 31, 2014
Work in Process (WIP) Inventory:
$ Opening
$ Closing
Raw Materials
Direct Labour
Manufacturing Overhead
Raw Material Inventory
Finished Goods Inventory
Using Excel, from the information provided prepare the following financial reports:
Schedule of Cost of Goods Manufactured, Schedule of Cost of Goods Sold, and an after tax income statement for FoodMasters for the 2014 calendar year. (10 marks)
Note: Your Excel model should include a data input section and appropriate formulae. An example of the Manufacturing reports required can be found in the text book (7th edn.) on p. 52 ( on p.58 in the 6th edn.) and an Excel example is available in Resources on the subject Interact site.
Question 2 Strategic Management Accounting Case Study (20 marks)
This question builds on prior studies of Cost Volume Profit (CVP) analysis and relates to learning material and objectives from Online Modules 1 and 2.
(For assistance on this question you are advised to undertake the case study from Mars Petcare which is provided online (with solution) in Topic 2 as the Reflection Task).
‘TeaserMalts’ Chocolate Balls
You have been asked to join the Strategic Management Committee of Jupiter Australia as the management accounting representative. The main task of the Committee is to carry out ongoing reviews of the profitability and viability of various product lines across all of the divisions of Jupiter Australia.
You are very surprised to see that TeaserMalts chocolate confectionery, one of the most iconic Jupiter brands, is under review. The TeaserMalt chocolate balls are sold through major supermarket chains in Australia and New Zealand and has been the clear market leader in its category since the product was introduced to Australian markets more than 40 years ago.
Over the last few years a number of competitor products which are close imitations of the original TeaserMalt chocolate ball have been released on the market, and these competitors have started to have an impact on the market share of TeaserMalts. The major competitor is the brand ChockoBalls which retails at a significantly lower price than the TeaserMalts. Market research indicates that price is a significant factor in why consumers are switching from TeaserMalts to ChockoBalls. Whilst the overall market for Chocolate Ball confectionery continues to grow rapidly, in the last two years TeaserMalts sales have fallen from 80% of the total market to 60% of the market. In the same time competitor ChockoBalls has grown from zero to 25% (see chart below). The total unit sales of chocolate ball confectionery in the Australia and New Zealand market for 2014 was equivalent to 100 million 50 pack units*.
Whilst the TeaserMalt product is still profitable the Strategic Committee is concerned about the downward trend in sales and profitability. Jupiter has a base expected return on investment of 25% (calculated as Gross profit divided by Total Assets).
*Adjusted for different pack sizes on offer estimated 5 billion individual choc balls
The Marketing Department advises you that since their arrival on the market ChockoBalls has been discounting heavily and appear to be given a more favoured position on the major supermarket shelves. Marketing representatives have queried this and been advised by the supermarkets that prime shelf space is given to brands that deliver the highest profit to the supermarket. They advised that until recently, in the Chocolate Ball confectionery category, this had been TeaserMalts, but this was not the case at the moment.
As the Management Accounting representative you have provided the Strategic Management Committee with the following breakdown of revenues and costs for the ‘TeaserMalt’ product line for the just completed 2014 calendar year:
TeaserMalt ChocolateBalls
Total AssetsTeaserMalt Factory - Bendigo, Victoria
Total Sales (Volume)(50 pack units)
Regular Retail Price (per unit) (price sold in supermarket)
Retail Margin (per unit)(Supermarket Gross Profit per unit)(30%)
Gross Sales Value (per unit) (Price received by TeaserMalts)
Supermarket Rebates (unit)(Paid by TeaserMalts to Supermarkets)
Net Sales Value
Prime Costs
Manufacturing Costs
Logistic Costs
Total Costs (per unit)
Gross Profit (per unit)
Total Gross Profit
The Return on Total Assets (calculated by dividing Gross Profit by Total Assets) for TeaserMalts for the 2014 year was 24.81%. This is marginally below the required ROTA of Jupiter which is 25%. If the product continues to lose market share it may not be viable.
The Marketing Department has carried out research into the chocolate ball confectionery market which indicates that by discounting the recommended retail price of TeaserMalts by $0.40 per unit to $4.55 per unit*, unit sales of TeaserMalts will increase by 25% from their current level. In an attempt to simultaneously lower TeaserMalts product costs the research and development (R&D) team have identified that by slightly altering the ingredients quality and mix a saving of 20% of prime costs can be made.
However, the Chair of the Strategic Management Committee advises that even after allowing for the 20% savings in prime costs, discounting the product by $0.40 per unit will mean that the product will no longer achieve the firm’s long term required return on total assets (ROTA) of 25%,. The CEO argues that if this remains the case, the previously successful TeaserMalts product line may have to be discontinued.
You advise the Committee that you are aware that the ‘TeaserMalts’ manufacturing facility in Bendigo is currently running at 69% of its practical capacity and that the warehouse facility (logistics) is running at 54% capacity. You are also aware that whilst the TeaserMalts product’s Prime Costs are 100% Variable, other Manufacturing Costs and Logistic Costs are made up of 90% Fixed costs and 10% Variable costs.
You ask if you can be given time to prepare a report for the Strategic Management Committee on the Management Accounting cost and profit implications of the changes proposed by Marketing and R&D based on the budgeted costs and increases in sales and production.
*Remember that the manufacturer does not receive the retail price. The discounted wholesale price will be $3.0650per unit, down from $3.4650 per unit.
Using Excel prepare a ‘before and after’ budget comparative analysis of the revenues and costs of the TeaserMalts product line. The analysis should incorporate the $0.40 cent drop in price, the 20% predicted savings in prime costs, and include the 25% predicted sales increase. Ensure you include in your analysis any impact of the budgeted production increase on other per unit manufacturing and logistics costs. (10 marks)
It can be assumed that 90% Fixed 10% Variable cost break-down between variable and fixed costs will hold consistently across the industry (including for competitor ChockoBalls). Assume that 75% of the predicted TeaserMalts unit sales increase will be made at the expense of the unit sales of their main competitor ChockoBalls (meaning ChockoBalls unit sales will fall by 75% of the TeaserMalts sales increase). Assume that TeaserMalts and ChockoBalls have identical manufacturing and logistic costs structures at the commencement of the 2015 calendar year.
Allowing for the change in sales volumes use Excel to calculate the expected impact of the drop in sales on the per unit product costs of ChockoBalls. (5 marks)
Prepare a brief report (maximum 300 words) for the Strategic Management Committee outlining the key points of your findings. Include some discussion on:
the likely impact of the changes on the cost and profit structure of TeaserMalts (derived from your answer to (1))
the likely impact of the changes on the cost and profit structure of ChockoBalls (derived from your answer to (2))
Make a recommendation to the Committee on whether to go ahead with the planned changes. Include any other strategic advice that you consider relevant to the Committee’s decision making (for example profitability for supermarkets). (Please ensure that your answer adequately addresses ALL of the points above)
(5 marks)
Question 3 Comprehensive Manufacturing Budget (30 marks)
This question builds on prior studies and relates to learning material and objectives from Online Modules 1, 2 and 3. Links to specific resources provided for this question relating to Manufacturing Budgets and Excel spreadsheets can be found in the Online Topic Modules.
You have been asked to prepare a 5 year budget forecast for the ‘Cat ‘n’Kitty’ Dried Cat Food factory in Wodonga.
The ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ division of the Jupiter Australia company utilises a traditional manufacturing cost flow inventory and accounting system.
The following previous years ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ financial and trading data was provided as at December 31st 2014:
2014 Year data
Sales (Units)
48 million
Price (average 2014 price received)
Prime Costs (per unit)
Ingredients & Packing (including various meats, vegetables, flavour enhancers, packaging costs)
Direct Labour
Variable Manufacturing Costs (per unit)
Factory Management Salaries (per annum)
Factory Plant & Equipment Depreciation (per annum)
Sales and Marketing Costs (per annum)
Finance Costs (per annum)
Non-Factory Administration Costs (per annum)
Inventory on Hand (at valuation):
Ingredients & Packaging (1,000,000 units)
Finished Goods (985,000 units)
‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ maintains a target safety stock of raw materials inventory and finished goods inventory amounting to the equivalent of one (1) week of the current year’s budgeted unit sales. At the end of the 2014 calendar year there were 985,000 completed units of ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ in the warehouse as Finished Goods. There was enough raw materials on hand to manufacture 1,000,000 units of ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’.
The Research and Marketing Department at ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ predict that unit sales of the company’s pet food will continue to grow indefinitely at a rate of 3% above the 2.75% current long term rate of inflation (budgeted 5.75% increase per annum). The company is budgeting to achieve a year on year price increase of 1% over the long term inflation rate (3.75% annual increase). The Wodonga Cat‘n’Kitty plant was built in the year 2000 for a cost of $50 million and is being depreciated straight line over its 20 year expected useful life. All other costs including direct labour, ingredient costs, and other overhead and administration costs are expected to increase annually at the rate of inflation. The company pays tax at the Australian Corporate tax rate which is expected to hold at 30%. The inflation rate of 2.75% is expected to hold over the 5 year budget period.
The ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ factory has been operating at its current site in Wodonga, Victoria since the late 1970s, with the current automated factory commencing operation 15 years ago. However due to the consistent growth in sales of the ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ pet food, the factory is nearing its practical manufacturing capacity of 55 million packets of cat food per annum.
Using Excel develop a Sales, Production and Purchase budget as well as a budgeted Schedule of Cost of Goods Manufactured, Schedule of Cost of Goods Sold, and an Income Statement for each of the 5 years in the budget period (commencing January 1, 2015) (advice on the form of these budgets is linked through the online topic modules and in the Interact Resources folder and is also available in the Appendix to Chapter 9 of the text book). This budget must also take into account the manufacturing facility practical capacity production constraint. Your spreadsheet must include a data section which enables inputs (such as the inflation rate, budgeted cost and sales increases, and the production limit) to be simply altered and ‘what if’ analysis to be undertaken. (Excel resources are provided on your Interact site to guide students on the use of the ‘IF’ formula which can be used for the budget production constraint). (15 marks)
Hint: All 5 years of each budget should be shown side by side (1 column per year) for ease of comparison by management. All of the budgets should be presented on one worksheet together, working down the page commencing with the Sales and then Production budgets.
You should be able to drag the formula across for the whole of the budget if the first years are properly constructed with a data input section and using absolute referencing. This makes the process much quicker and easier. An Excel help file and video which deals with the formula required has been placed in the Resources folder in the subject Interact site to assist students (linked through Online Module 3).
It is apparent that if sales continue to grow as forecast that the ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ factory will reach its practical production capacity of 55 million units in a couple of years. The CEO of ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ has the option of investing in new plant to expand the capacity of the factory or to simply limit costs and maximise profits within the 55 million production and sale limit. A consulting engineering firm has advised that an investment of $20 million dollars in new technology will increase the life of the current factory by 10 years and lift production capacity by 25% to 71,500,000 units per annum. It is expected that the upgrade will be completed by the commencement of the 2016 calendar year and the extra investment will be depreciated on a straight line basis over its 10 year useful life.
Using the excel model developed in part (1) calculate the impact on sales and profit if the option of upgrading the manufacturing facility is exercised and the practical production capacity of the factory is increased by 25% (Include the additional factory depreciation expense as a manufacturing cost. Submit results as a separate worksheet). (5 marks)
Given your findings from part (1) and (2) write a report for the CEO of ‘Cat‘n’Kitty’ recommending whether to take up the option to upgrade the production facility. In your report consider all of the strategic and financial implications to the firm of reaching its production constraint and any implications or opportunities arising from upgrading the facility and having extra productive capacity. Your grade will depend on the accuracy and depth of your analysis, and your capacity to identify strategic issues which management should consider when making their decision (approx. 300 words). (10 marks)
Question 4 Overhead Cost Allocation (15 marks)
This question relates to learning material and objectives from Online Module 6.
You have been seconded to one of Jupiter’s sister companies Mazundai Ltd. Mazundai manufacture the Wouldn’tai range of small to medium cars. The company’s production line is highly automated. For management accounting reporting purposes manufacturing costs are aggregated into two production departments, Manufacturing and Assembly. Mazundai operates two separate service departments, Maintenance and Robotics, which support the main production departments. The company has decided that the most appropriate basis to allocate Maintenance costs is the number of maintenance jobs the department is required to undertake. The allocation of the Robotics department costs is based on the number of computer driven automated and robotic machines in each department.
Costs for the different cost centres were as follows:
No. of Maintenance Jobs
No. of Robotic Machines
Answer the following questions using spreadsheet models:
Using the Direct Method allocate the service centre costs (2 marks)
Using the Step Method allocate the service centre costs (4marks)
Using the Reciprocal Method allocate service centre costs (6 marks)
Discuss the implications of your results and why such an analysis is important (3 marks)
(15 marks)
Question 5 Costing Approaches (10 marks)
This question relates to learning material and objectives from Online Modules 1 - 4.
Describe the difference between actual costing and normal costing.
(10 marks)
Question 6 Activity Based Costing (ABC) (15 marks)
This question relates to learning material and objectives from Online Module 6.
New Moon Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Jupiter Australia, manufactures two models of garden mulching machines, the Standard model and a more expensive Eco-green model. The standard model retails for $300 whilst the Eco-green model sells for 50% more at $450. Currently the cheaper Standard model outsells the environmentally friendly model at a rate of 10 to 1.
Because of your expertise in accounting costing systems you have been asked by the Financial Controller of New Moon to provide advice. The Managing Director and Marketing Manager believe that New Moon receives a higher margin Gross Profit on sales of the Eco-green model than from the Standard model. The Marketing Manager is arguing that a greater focus should therefore be placed on promoting and selling the Eco-green model. The Standard model is superior to others on the market however it has come under price pressure from competitors and is starting to lose market share. Because of its low margin the company does not believe that it is sustainable to discount the Standard model. The Marketing Manager believes it is time for the firm to focus on the more profitable niche market for the Eco-green model.
The Managing Director of New Moon has reviewed the comparative margins earned on the two models using the following data:
2015 Sales and Cost estimates
Standard Model
Eco-Green Model
Forecast Sales (Units)
Selling price per unit($)
Prime Costs per unit
DLH per Unit
*The firm has always applied overhead to product costs based on Direct Labour Hours as a cost driver. For 2015 it is expected that OH will be applied to each product at the rate of $10 per direct labour hour.
You have reviewed the production costing break-downs for New Moon and you are not convinced that the traditional approach to applying overhead is appropriate and you decide to prepare a report utilising Activity Based Costing techniques using the following overhead cost data:
2015 Sales and Cost estimates
Standard Model
Eco-Green Model
Forecast Sales (Units)
Selling price per unit($)
Prime Costs per unit
DLH per Unit
(i) Using New Moon’s current method of applying overhead develop a spreadsheet to calculate for each model the expected:
i. Gross Profit per unit,
ii. Gross Profit margin ($GP/$Sales),
iii. Total Gross Profit per Model, and
iv. Total Firm Gross Profit.
(4 marks)
(ii) Using the overhead activity and cost data provided conduct the same analysis utilising Activity Based costing techniques to again calculate for each model the expected:
i. Gross Profit per unit,
ii. Gross Profit margin ($GP/$Sales),
iii. Total Gross Profit per Model, and
iv. Total Firm Gross Profit.
(6 marks)
(iii) Given your analysis prepare a brief written response to the Managing Director of New Moon regarding the proposal to increase production and marketing of the Eco-green model. Include any factors (evidence) that you believe are appropriate to assist the Managing Director’s decision. You are encouraged to think strategically (competitively).
(5 marks)
This assignment directly addresses some of the key learning outcomes for ACC210 including that on successful completion of the subject students will:
be able to demonstrate technical, computational, and analytical skills associated with the design and operation of product costing and accounting control systems;
be able to discuss issues associated with contemporary performance measurement;
be able to use computer spreadsheets as an aid to product costing, budgeting and performance evaluation; and
be able to communicate effectively in designing reports for management;.
The requirements of this assignment cover up to and including Module 7 of the Online Learning materials. The assignment is designed to develop your problem solving, spreadsheet (Excel) design, and written communication skills. The questions require you to apply the knowledge and tools covered in the subject topics in order to demonstrate your understanding of the subject content and also to illustrate your capacity for strategic thinking. The assignment will also test your ability to communicate and explain the impacts of your findings whether through quantitative or written reports. The ability to communicate effectively has been identified by the accounting professional bodies as being critical to your future role as an accountant.
The development and demonstration of a level of technical proficiency in using spreadsheets to prepare management accounting reports is a key requirement and expectation of this subject and, more particularly, of this assessment. In prior offerings of this subject some students have resisted or not fully engaged with this requirement to effectively use Excel or some compatible spreadsheet application and have received significantly reduced marks.
Several short video tutorials on Excel will be provided through the subject interact site. These include a tutorial specific to this subject and several that were prepared for introductory accounting subjects. Indicative examples of the types of formulae needed and model formats will also be provided, however you are required to develop your own spreadsheets. If you need further help with developing your Excel skills you should contact your lecturer or subject coordinator who will be able to direct you to other resources to assist your learning.
Marking criteria
The assignment is marked out of 100 and is worth 30% of the overall assessment in the subject.
You will be assessed on the following marking criteria:
ability to identify accounting problem(s) or issue(s) and apply the appropriate accounting technique;
ability to use Excel to solve management accounting problems. This includes the ability to use appropriate Excel (or similar) analysis tools and functions, construct appropriate spreadsheet formulae and to effectively and appropriately print and present your material and results;
level of technical proficiency in using spreadsheets to prepare management accounting reports;
ability to correctly interpret the results of your analyses and to clearly convey your understanding of the results to the end user;
demonstrated ability to apply your knowledge of management accounting business situations in a strategic manner;
demonstrated understanding of the theoretical issues underpinning management accounting; and
ability to present your answers effectively, appropriately, and neatly, using computers.
You must submit workings showing how you have obtained your answers, including whether you have applied appropriate techniques to analyse and solve problems. Indicative examples of the types of Excel formulae needed and model formats will also be provided, however you are required to develop your own spreadsheets.

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