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**Variance Analysis Formula – Table of Contents**

## What is the Variance Analysis Formula?

Variance analysis refers to the investigation as the reason for deviations in the financial performance from the standards that are set by the company in its budget. This helps the management of the company to keep an eye and a control check on its operational performance.

Variance Analysis can be applied to many variables, but they can generally be broadly categorized into the following different types:

- Material Variance
- Variable Overhead Variance
- Labor Variance
- Sales Variance
- Fixed Overhead Variance

Below are some of the Variance Analysis formulae that one can apply:

**Material Cost Variance Formula = Standard Cost – Actual Cost****= (SQ * SP) – (AQ * AP)****Labor Variance Formula= Standard Wages – Actual Wages****= (SH * SP) – (AH * AP)****Variable Overhead Variance Formula = Standard Variable Overhead – Actual Variable Overhead****= (SR – AR) * AO****Fixed Overhead Variance Formula = (AO * SR) – Actual Fixed Overhead****Sales Variance Formula = (BQ * BP) – (AQ * AP)**

**NOTES:**

Where,

- SQ = Standard Quantity for actual output,
- SP = Standard Price
- AQ = Actual Quantity
- AP = Actual Price
- SH = Standard Hours
- AH = Actual Hours
- SR = Standard Rate
- AR = Actual Rate
- AO = Actual Output
- BQ = Budgeted Quantity
- BP = Budgeted Price

### Explanation of the Variance Analysis Formula

There are various aspects of variance analysis formula as mentioned above. The difference between the direct material’s standard cost and direct material’s actual cost that the firm uses for its production can be termed as Material Variance (Cost Variance). The first term in every formula is associated with a standard that is set and the second term in every formula state in actual and the difference gives us whether that variance is favorable or adverse. When the result is in positive that is favorable versus result that comes in negative is adverse.

**Examples of Variance Analysis Formula (with Excel Template)**

Let’s see some simple to advanced examples of Variance Analysis Formula to understand it better.

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#### Example # 1

**Below is the summary extracted from ABC Ltd. which is engaged in manufacturing steel. You are required to do material and labor variance analysis.**

Below is given data for calculation of variance analysis.

Calculation of Standard Quantity for AO

Calculation of Standard Hours for AO

Calculation of Material Cost Variance

Material Cost Variance Formula = Standard Cost – Actual Cost

= (SQ * SP) – (AQ * AP)

= (320*11) – (300*9)

Material Cost Variance will be –

=**2080 (Favorable)**

Calculation of Labor Variance

Labor Variance Formula = Standard wages – Actual Wages

= (SH * SP) – (AH * AP)

= (240*9) – (350*8)

Labor Variance will be –

=**640 (Adverse)**

**NOTE:**Whenever there is a negative figure in variance analysis then it should be written as Adverse and not in negative.

#### Example # 2

**Prashant industries a well-renowned company in manufacturing of copper cables, is worried about its actual performance due to an increment of overhead expenses and has provided you the below data and asked you to conduct overhead analysis for both fixed and variable.**

Below is given data for calculation of variance analysis.

Calculation of Variable Overhead Variance

Variable Overhead Variance = Standard Variable Overhead – Actual Variable Overhead = (SR – AR) * AO

= (25 – 27) * 80

Variable Overhead Variance will be –

=**160 (Adverse)**

Calculation of Fixed Overhead Variance

Fixed Overhead Variance = (AO * SR) – Actual Fixed Overhead

=(80 * 25) – 2500

Fixed Overhead Variance will be –

**=500 (Adverse)**

#### Example # 3

**Silver ltd has been trying to analyze its issue related to performance as it is not able to analyze why it shortfall with meeting its street estimate profits and upon initial investigation it found out that its operating profit is fluctuating year on year and hence the driver for same was gross profit and hence it decided to review its production related issues if any. You are required to conduct all the variance analysis and advise the management of Silver ltd where the issue lies.**

Below is given data for calculation of variance analysis.

Calculation of Standard Quantity for AO

Calculation of Standard Hours for AO

Calculation of Material Cost Variance

Material Cost Variance Formula =Standard Cost – Actual Cost

=(SQ * SP) – (AQ * AP)

=(1080*3.55) – (2700*4)

Material Cost Variance will be –

=**6966 (Adverse)**

Calculation of Labor Variance Formula

Labor Variance Formula = Standard wages – Actual Wages

= (SH * SP) – (AH * AP)

=(12960*2) – (11000*1.5)

Labor Variance will be –

= **9420 (Favorable)**

Calculation of Variable Overhead Variance

Variable Overhead Variance = Standard Variable Overhead – Actual Variable Overhead = (SR – AR) * AO

=(2 – 1.5) * 2700

Variable Overhead Variance will be –

=**1350 (Favorable)**

Calculation of Fixed Overhead Variance

Fixed Overhead Variance = (AO * SR) – Actual Fixed Overhead

=(2700 * 2) – 7000

Fixed Overhead Variance will be –

=**1600 (Adverse)**

Calculation of Sales Variance

Sales Variance = (BQ * BP) – (AQ * AP)

=(2500*5.6) – (2700*5.5)

Sales Variance will be –

=**850 (Adverse)**

### Relevance and Uses

It can be said that variance analysis involves the isolation of different causes for variation in budgeted when compared with actual outcomes. Variance analysis aids in management by exception concept by depicting all the deviations from standards that are affecting the firm’s financial performance. If variance analysis is not performed, then such exceptions may cause a delay in action from the management which was very much necessary in that particular situation. The performance of each and every responsibility which is assigned to different departments is measured and will be then evaluated against standards with respect to areas that are within its direct control.

### Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Variance Analysis Formula. Here we discuss how to calculate the top 5 variances using its formulas along with examples & excel template. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –

- What is Population Variance Formula?
- Explanation of Standard Deviation Formula in Excel
- Relevance and Uses of Sample Standard Deviation Formula
- Relevance and Uses of Relative Standard Deviation Formula
- Vertical Analysis Formula
- Portfolio Variance Overview
- Correlation vs Covariance – Compare
- Variance vs Standard Deviation – Compare