Digital Communications, Inc.: Encoder Device Division Reference 9 189 083: Analysis And Comments

1892 words - 8 pages

INTRODUCTIONThe Encoder Device division (EDD) at Digital Communications is a producer of communications devices for Government Agencies in the United States. The company works closely with Government Agencies and due to the nature of the devices they produce, and their application the Company works on a 'need to know' basis and as such production departments are compartmentalised.Production of Voice Ratio Encoding (VRE) devices is on going, however a new microprocessor has been developed, rendering the existing microprocessor obsolete. As a consequence the microprocessor needs be fitted to all existing devices in the 'field' and all new devices in production. EDD wish to win this 'replacement contract'.EDD have vast experience in 'ground up' bids for entire programmes but not on single sub-assemblies for resale. EDD are confident that they understand their business well, however they fear they lack the detailed information about the costs associated with sub assemblies.They wish to make an attractive but profitable bid for the contract.STRUCTURE OF EDD.EDD has four separate production departments: Data Encoding (DE), Video Encoding (VE), Voice Ratio Encoding (VRE) and Variable Wire Encoding. This specific contract is exclusive to VRE.EDD therefore need to ensure that they have the correct division of costs between each production department and that the cost for each department is then split correctly between the underlying manufacturing processes within the department.EDD AND ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING.EDD has already completed a great deal of work for "Activity Based Costing" (ABC), however their actual costing system needs to be capable of allocating the costs of multiple support departments in a refined and appropriate manner. As EDD has good product diversity, broad allocation of costs has becoming increasingly inaccurate and has probably already lead to either product 'overcosting' or 'undercosting' or both. A refined costing system will reduce the use of broad averages for assigning the cost of resources to cost objects and provide better measurement of the costs of indirect resources used by different objects, no matter how differently the individual cost objects use the different resources. ABC systems focus on the long term and identify all costs used by products, whether costs are variable or fixed in the short term. They also use 'Cost Hierarchy' to allocate total costs to product. Most importantly ABC systems;1. Trace more costs as 'Direct Costs'.2. Create homogenous cost pools linked to different activities.3. For each activity cost pool, seek a cost allocation basis that has a 'cause-and-effect' relationship with costs in the cost pool.Don Bryant, the controller of EDD must now manage the company and the forthcoming bid using 'Activity-based management', and as a result he needs activity based costing information that is accurate and appropriate.ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSALS.The finance department's proposal on sheet one of the attached...

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