Arrange the data in a Working Table
Making a working table would form the first step for your problem solving effort.
True, your ability to solve problems on this topic is one way judged/decided by your ability to recollect the formulae. But, if you adopt the formulae that are capable of being used in all cases, it won't be difficult at all.
Yes, it would be very easy.
Your problem solving capability is limited by your ability to interpret the problem. If you notice all the examples we have given, the data in all the problems is structured (presented) in a similar manner, in the form of a table.
There lies the trick to make problem solving easy. Whatever may be the way the problem is presented (what we call problem models), get habituated to arranging the information in the form of a table as given below. Once you arrange that information, it would be very easy for you. Recollect the relevant formula and apply it.
If you try to understand the logic behind each formula, recollecting them also would be very easy. That is the reason we recommend the student to use the formula that is capable of being used in all cases.
Working table for arranging your data.

Standard [Production: SO] 
Actual [Production: AO] 

Quantity (kgs) 
Price Rs/kg 
Value/Cost (Rs) 
Quantity (kgs) 
Price Rs/kg 
Value/Cost (Rs) 
Material A 
SQ_{A} 
SP_{A} 
SC_{A} 
AQ_{A} 
AP_{A} 
AC_{A} 
Material B 
SQ_{B} 
SP_{B} 
SC_{B} 
AQ_{B} 
AP_{B} 
AC_{B} 
Material C 
... 
... 
... 
... 
... 
... 
Total
 SQ_{Mix} 
SP_{Mix} 
SC_{Mix} 
AQ_{Mix} 
AP_{Mix} 
AC_{Mix} 
Less: Loss @x%
 SL_{Mix} 


AL_{Mix} 


There are two approaches to solving problems.
Using the given data as it is
If you use the formulae that are capable of being used in all situations, you just need to build the working table from the given data and things from thereon would be involving substituting data and evaluating the result.
This would be the best approach as all the adjustments you need to make with regard to the difference between the AO and SO as well as AQ_{Mix} and SQ_{Mix} would be taken care of within the formulae itself.
By Recalculating Standards where needed
If at all you wish to calculate variances by recalculating the standards, you have to recalculate the standards twice.
 Once based on output (Standards for Actual Output) to ensure the condition SO = AO. The values for SQ and SO for calculating MCV and MUV/MQV should be considered from the working table ensuring this condition is satisfied.
 The Second time based on input (Standards for Actual Input) to ensure the condition AQ_{Mix} = SQ_{Mix}. The values for SQ and SO for calculating MMV and MYV/MSUV should be considered from the working table ensuring this condition is satisfied.
All other values i.e. SP and the actual data (AP, AQ, AO) are not influenced by these conditions i.e., they would be the same in all cases.
Recommended Formulae!!!
The formulae that can be used in all situations should be used so that you would get accustomed to the formulae after doing some problems and would not be worried about not being able to recollect the correct formula.

Formulae that can be used in all cases



 Material Cost Variance
⇒ MCV = ({ 

× SQ} × SP) − (AQ × AP)

 Material Price Variance
 Material Usage/Quantity Variance
 Material Mix Variance
⇒ MMV = ({ 

× SQ } − AQ) × SP 
 Material Yield/SubUsage Variance
⇒ MYV 
= 
(AO − ({ 

× SO } × SP(SO) ) 


Where
 SQ = Standard Quantity of each Material
 SO = Standard Output
 SP = Standard Price of each Material
 SQ_{Mix} = Standard Quantity of Mix
 SC_{Mix} = Standard Cost of Mix
 SP(SO) = Standard Price of Standard Output/Yield
 SL_{Mix} = Standard Loss of Mix
 AQ = Actual Quantity of each Material
 AP = Actual Price of each Material
 AO = Actual Output
 AQ_{Mix} = Actual Quantity of Mix
 AL_{Mix} = Actual Loss of Mix

Note :
If you understand the concept behind the variance, remembering the formula would not poce a problem at all. You may use the following tips to aid your effort (we feel even this should not be necessary for an average student).
 Remember the simple formulae excluding the correction/adjustment factor in which case the formulae for MUV and MMV would be the same.
 The SQ is to corrected/adjusted by a factor:
 AO/SO for calculating the MCV and MUV/MQV
 AQ_{Mix}/SQ_{Mix} for calculating MMV
 The SO is to be corrected/adjusted by a factor
 AQ_{Mix}/SQ_{Mix} for calculating MYV
MYV is dependent on "SO" and not "SQ".
Calculating Total Variances
Where there are two or more materials involved in the production process, total variances can be calculated as the sum of the variances for each material calculated separately using the above formulae.
MYV cannot be calculated for each material separately. Only TMYV/TMSUV can be calculated using the above formula.
TMCV variance can be calculated using a separate formula without requiring to calculate the individual variances.

Three materials X, Y and Z are utilized in the manufacture of a product. The standard usage being 1,500 kgs of X @ Rs. 10/kg, 1,000 kgs of Y @ Rs. 12/kg and 500 kgs of Y @ Rs. 15/kg. The processing would result in a normal loss of materials @10% of total input quantity.
During a particular production period, the organisation has utilised 2,800 kgs of X purchased @ Rs. 11/kg, 2,100 kgs of Y purchased @ Rs. 11/kg and 600 kgs of Z purchased @ Rs. 16/kg for manufacture. The loss incurred was 12% of total input. Calculate all possible variances relating to materials.

Working table incorporating the data in the problem

Standard [Production: 2,700 kgs (SO)] 
Actual [Production: 4,840 kgs (AO)] 

Quantity (kgs) 
Price Rs/kg 
Value/Cost (Rs) 
Quantity (kgs) 
Price Rs/kg 
Value/Cost (Rs) 
Material X 
1,500 
10 
15,000 
2,800 
11 
30,800 
Material Y 
1,000 
12 
12,000 
2,100 
11 
23,100 
Material X 
500 
15 
7,500 
600 
16 
9,600 
Total
 3,000 

34,500 
5,500 

63,500 
Less: Loss @10%
 300 





@12%
 


660 


Output
 2,700 


4,840 


Since the standard output and the actual output are not known, the information relating to losses is used to calculate the standard output and the actual output.
SO 
= 
SQ_{Mix} − SL_{Mix} 
⇒ SO 
= 
3,000 kgs − 300 kgs 
⇒ SO 
= 
2,700 kgs 
AO 
= 
AQ_{Mix} − AL_{Mix} 
⇒ AO 
= 
5,500 kgs − 660 kgs 
⇒ AO 
= 
4,840 kgs 
SP(SO) 
= 

⇒ SP(SO) 
= 

⇒ SP(SO) 
= Rs. 

/kg 

• Material Cost Variance [MCV]
MCV = 
({ 

× SQ } × SP ) − (AQ × AP) 
Using, MCV_{Mat} = 
({ 

× SQ_{Mat} } × SP_{Mat} ) − (AQ_{Mat} × AP_{Mat}) 
Material Cost Variance due to
• Material X 
= 
({ 

× 1,500 kgs } × Rs. 10/kg ) − (2,800 kgs × Rs. 11/kg) 


= 
Rs. 26,888.89 − Rs. 30,800 

= 
− Rs. 3,911.11 
⇒ MCV_{X} 
= 
− Rs. 3,911.11 
[Adv] 
• Material Y 
= 
({ 

× 1,000 kgs } × Rs. 12/kg ) − (2,100 kgs × Rs. 11/kg) 


= 
Rs. 21511.11 − Rs. 23,100 

= 
− Rs. 1,588.89 
⇒ MCV_{B} 
= 
− Rs. 1,588.89 
[Adv] 
• Material Z 
= 
({ 

× 500 kgs } × Rs. 15/kg ) − (600 kgs × Rs. 16/kg) 


= 
Rs. 13,444.44 − Rs. 9,600 

= 
+ Rs. 3,844.44 
⇒ MCV_{C} 
= 
+ Rs. 3,844.44 
[Fav] 


Total Material Cost Variance ⇒ TMCV 
= 
− Rs. 1,655.56 
[Adv] 
• Material Price Variance [MPV]
MPV = (AQ × SP) − (AQ × AP) ⇒ MPV = AQ (SP − AP)
Using MPV_{Mat} = AQ_{Mat} (SP_{Mat} − AP_{Mat})
Material Price Variance due to
• Material X 
= 
2,800 kgs (Rs. 10/kg − Rs. 11/kg) 

= 
2,800 kgs (− Rs. 1/kg) 

= 
− Rs. 2,800 
⇒ MPV_{A} 
= 
− Rs. 2,800 
[Adv] 
• Material B 
= 
2,100 kgs (Rs. 12/kg − Rs. 11/kg) 

= 
2,100 kgs (Rs. 1/kg) 

= 
+ Rs. 2,100 
⇒ MPV_{B} 
= 
+ Rs. 2,100 
[Fav] 
• Material C 
= 
600 kgs (Rs. 15/kg − Rs. 16/kg) 

= 
600 kgs (− Rs. 1/kg) 

= 
− Rs. 60 
⇒ MPV_{C} 
= 
− Rs. 600 
[Adv] 


Total Material Price Variance ⇒ TMPV 
= 
− Rs. 1,300 
[Adv] 
• Material Usage/Quantity Variance [MUV/MQV]
Using, MUV/MQV_{Mat} 
= 
({ 

× SQ_{Mat}} − AQ_{Mat}) × SP_{Mat} 


Material Usage/Quantity Variance due to
• Material X 
= 
({ 

× 1,500 kgs} − 2,800 kgs) × Rs. 10/kg 


= 


= 
− Rs. 1,111.11 
⇒ MUV/MQV_{X} 
= 
− Rs. 1,111.11 
[Adv] 
• Material Y 
= 
({ 

× 1,000 kgs} − 2,100 kgs) × Rs. 12/kg 


= 


= 
− Rs. 3,688.89 
⇒ MUV/MQV_{Y} 
= 
− Rs. 3,688.89 
[Adv] 
• Material Z 
= 
({ 

× 500 kgs} − 600 kgs) × Rs. 15/kg 


= 


= 
− Rs. 4,444.44 
⇒ MUV/MQV_{Z} 
= 
− Rs. 4,444.44 
[Adv] 


Total Material Usage/Quantity Variance ⇒ TMUV/TMQV 
= 
− Rs. 355.56 
[Adv] 
• Material Mix Variance [MMV]
Using,
MMV 
= 
({ 

× SQ_{Mat}} − AQ_{Mat}) × SP_{Mat} 

Material Mix Variance due to
• Material X 
= 
({ 

× 1,500 kgs} − 2,800 kgs) × Rs. 10/kg 


= 
(2,750 kgs − 2,800 kgs) × Rs. 10/kg 

= 
− 50 kgs × Rs. 10/kg 

= 
− Rs. 500 
⇒ MMV_{A} 
= 
− Rs. 500 
[Adv] 
Material Y 
= 
({ 

× 1,000 kgs} − 2,100 kgs) × Rs. 12/kg 


= 


= 
− 3,200 
⇒ MMV_{Y} 
= 
− 3,200 
[Adv] 
Material Z 
= 
({ 

× 500 kgs} − 600 kgs) × Rs. 15/kg 


= 


= 
+ Rs 4,750 
⇒ MMV_{Z} 
= 
+ Rs 4,750 
[Fav] 


Total Material Mix Varaince ⇒ TMMV 
= 
− Rs. 1,050 
[Fav] 
• Material Yield Varaince [MYV]
Using
Therefore, total Material yield Variance,
• TMYV/TMSUV 
= 
(4,840 units − { 

× 2,700 units} ) × Rs. 

/unit 



= 
(4,840 kgs − 4,950 kgs) × Rs. 

/unit 


= 
− Rs. 1,405.56 [Adv] 

TMMV + TMYV/TMSUV 
= 
(+ Rs. 1,050) + (− Rs. 1,405.56) 

= 
(− Rs. 355.56) 

= 
TMUV/TMQV → TRUE 
TMPV + TMMV +TMYV/TMSUV 
= 
(− Rs. 1,300) + (+ Rs. 1,050) + (− Rs. 1,405.56) 

= 
(− Rs. 1,655.56) 

= 
TMCV → TRUE 
Wish to avoid approximation errors!!!
Consider as many places after the decimal as possible. The more places you consider, the lesser would be chance for error. This should not make you go crazily writing down numbers with long digits after the decimal. It would not be needed. One another method is to use fractions without writing them down in their decimal form, till you arrive at the last step. Say use Rs. 115/9 in place of Rs. 12.78 which would reduce the need for approximation to the greatest possible extent.
Caution
How does an amount of Rs. 123.45398723992873623212983439272 (Or) Rs. 143/7 sound......
Please, don't write your final figures as fractions or with more than two digits after the decimal. We are not in the science lab. We are talking of money.


