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Management Accounting: Concepts,
Techniques & Controversial Issues

Chapter 14: Appendix 14-2
Input-Output Accounting
Illustration with Profit Centers and Transfer Pricing

James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida

Chapter 14 | MAAW's Textbook Table of Contents

Citation: Martin, J. R. Not dated. Chapter 14: Appendix 14-2: Input-Output Accounting - Illustration with Profit Centers and Transfer Pricing. Management Accounting: Concepts, Techniques & Controversial Issues. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/Chapter14AppendixInputOutput.htm

Input-output accounting extends Leontief's input-output economic analysis to a variety of problems in accounting. In this brief introduction to the topic the input-output accounting technique involves using matrix algebra to solve a variety of cost allocation and transfer pricing problems that include complicating factors such as reciprocal intersegment transfers, fixed cost allocations and self-service. The segments may be cost centers (including service departments as in Chapter 6), profit centers, or investment centers (See the Responsibility Accounting topic and Chapter 14). The technique is explained and illustrated below using the following simple example.

Assume three affiliated segments each produce a single product. Segment 1 produces product 1, Segment 2 produces product 2, and Segment 3 produces product 3. The standard quantities of variable inputs per output are presented below.

Segment Type of Input Standard Quantity Standard Price Standard Cost
Per Unit
1 D.M
D.L.
V. Ovhd
Product 2
Product 3
4.00 units
.08 hrs
.08 hrs
.80 units
.08 units
$.10
5.00
10.00
?
?
$.40
.40
.80
?
?
2 D.M.
D.L.
V. Ovhd
Product 1
Product 3
.50 units
.05 hrs
.05 hrs
.10 units
.04 units
$.90
3.00
12.00
?
?
$.45
.15
.60
?
?
3 D.M.
D.L.
V. Ovhd
Product 1
Product 2
.50 units
.19 hrs
.19 hrs
.25 units
1.00 units
$2.60
5.00
25.00
?
?
$130.
.95
4.75
?
?

Outside or unaffiliated sales for the three products are budgeted at 25 units of product 1, 70 units of product 2, and 30 units of product 3. Market prices are budgeted at $6.00 for product 1, $3.00 for product 2, and $15 for product 3. Assume that there are no fixed costs, selling and administrative expenses, or self-service, i.e., self-consumption.

Required:

1. Calculate the standard variable cost per unit for each segment's output.
2. Calculate the required total quantities of each segment's output based on the budgeted outside or unaffiliated sales level given?
3. Calculate the transfers required between segments.
4. Prepare segmented and consolidated statements based on transfers at: a. standard variable cost, and b. market prices.

THE INPUT-OUTPUT TECHNIQUE

To solve this problem the user must identify the input-output relationships as indicated in the first set of equations below, and then rearrange them (to preserve vertical symmetry) as indicated in the second set of equations. In these equations C represents the standard variable cost per output for each segment, e.g., C1 is the standard variable cost per hour of service provided by segment 1.

C1 = .80C2 + .08C3 + 1.60
C2 = .10C1 + .04C3 + 1.20
C3 = .25C1 + 1.00C2 + 7.00

1.00C1 - .80C2 - .08C3 = 1.60
-.10C1 + 1.00C2 - .04C3 = 1.20
-.25C1 - 1.00C2 + 1.00C3 = 7.00

When the second set of equations is expressed in the matrix form AC = B, then A represents the matrix of coefficients on the left-hand side, i.e., the input-output coefficients, C represents the matrix of unknown standard variable cost per output for each segment, and B represents the matrix of right-hand side values, i.e., the variable input costs per output that are known before the equations are solved simultaneously. These values represent the segments' direct variable costs.

The solution is generated in the following manner. The standard variable unit costs are found by calculating the inverse of A and multiplying by B, i.e.,

C = A-1 B

where C is the matrix of standard variable costs per output, A-1 is the inverse of the matrix A, and B is the matrix of direct variable cost for each segment. Before fixed costs can be included in the calculations, the total required segment outputs must be calculated. This is accomplished in the following manner:

X = T-1 Y

where X represents the matrix of total outputs required to satisfy the outside or unaffiliated demands, T-1 represents the transpose of A-1 (i.e., the rows of A-1 become the columns of T-1 , and Y represents the matrix of outside demands. Note that X might be considerably larger than Y because of the intersegment requirements.

After the total required outputs have been calculated, the standard total costs per output may be found by adding the unit fixed cost for each segment (i.e., segment fixed costs divided by segment total output) to the right-hand side values, and then resolving for C as follows:

C = A-1 (B+F)

where C becomes the matrix of standard total costs per output, and F represents the matrix of unit fixed costs based on planned sales and production, i.e., X.

The required transfers and self-services (or self-consumption) are calculated in the manner indicated below:

U = I - T

Ri,j = Ui,jXi

where T is the transpose of A, I is an identity matrix ( i.e., it has ones down the main diagonal I(1,1), I(2,2), etc. and zeros everywhere else), and Ri,j represents the quantity transferred from segment i to segment j. For example, the following calculation shows how the transfer from segment 1 to segment 2 would be calculated.

R1,2 = U1,2X1

Solution to the Illustration

Product
or Service
Standard Variable 
Cost Per Unit
Total Outputs
Required
Outside or
Unaffiliated Demand
Cost of Outside Sales at
Standard Cost
1 4.000 50 25 100
2 2.000 150 70 140
3 10.000 40 30 300

From Segment To Segment Self-Service and
Transfers in Units*
Self-Service and
Transfers at Standard
Variable Cost
1
1
1
2
2
2
3
3
3
1
2
3
1
2
3
1
2
3
0
15
10
40
0
40
4
6
0
0
60
40
80
0
80
40
60
0
* The applicable unit of measure of the sending segment.

Transfers Based on Standard Variable Cost
Segment Sales $
Unaffialated
Transfers at Standard
Variable Cost
Variable
Operating Cost*
Operating
Income
1 150 100 200 50
2 210 160 300 70
3 450 100 400 150
Eliminations 360 360
Consolidated 810   540 270
* Operating Cost = Cost transferred into the segment plus the direct variable cost.

Transfers Based on Market Prices
Segment Sales $
Unaffialated
Transfers at
Market Prices
Variable
Operating Cost*
Operating
Income
1 150 150 260 40
2 210 240 360 90
3 450 150 460 140
Eliminations 540 540
Consolidated 810 540 270
* Operating Cost = Cost transferred into the segment plus the direct variable cost.

_______________________________________________________________

For more on Input-Output Accounting see the following:

Feltham, G. A. 1970. Some quantitative approaches to planning for multiproduct production systems. The Accounting Review (January): 11-26. (JSTOR link).

Gambling, T. E. 1968. A technological model for use in input-output analysis and cost accounting. Management Accounting(December): 33-38.

Gambling, T. 1971. Input-output analysis and the cost model: A reply. The Accounting Review (April): 376-379. (JSTOR link).

Ijiri, Y. 1968. An application of input-output analysis to some problems in cost accounting. Management Accounting (April):49-61.

Livingstone, J. L. 1968. Matrix algebra and cost allocation. The Accounting Review (July): 503-508. (JSTOR link).

Livingstone, J. L. 1969. Input-output analysis for cost accounting, planning and control. The Accounting Review (January): 48-64. (JSTOR link).

Livingstone, J. L. 1970. Management Planning and Control: Mathematical Models. McGraw-Hill.

Livingstone, J. L. 1973. Input-output analysis for cost accounting, planning and control: A reply. The Accounting Review (April): 381-382. (JSTOR link).

Manes, R. P. 1965. Comment on matrix theory and cost allocation. The Accounting Review (July): 640-643. (JSTOR link).

Shank, J. K. 1972. Matrix Methods in Accounting. Addison-Wesley.

Staubus, G. J. 1971. Activity Costing And Input-Output Accounting. Irwin. See Chapter 8.

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