Friday, February 12, 2010

Cost-Volume-Profit (C-V-P) Relationship


We have observed that in marginal costing, marginal cost varies directly with the volume of production or output. On the other hand, fixed cost remains unaltered regardless of the volume of output within the scale of production already fixed by management. In case if cost behavior is related to sales income, it shows cost-volume-profit relationship. In net effect, if volume is changed, variable cost varies as per the change in volume. In this case, selling price remains fixed, fixed remains fixed and then there is a change in profit.


Being a manager, you constantly strive to relate these elements in order to achieve the maximum profit. Apart from profit projection, the concept of Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) is relevant to virtually all decision-making areas, particularly in the short run. 


The relationship among cost, revenue and profit at different levels may be expressed in graphs such as breakeven charts, profit volume graphs, or in various statement forms.


Profit depends on a large number of factors, most important of which are the cost of manufacturing and the volume of sales. Both these factors are interdependent. Volume of sales depends upon the volume of production and market forces which in turn is related to costs. Management has no control over market. In order to achieve certain level of profitability, it has to exercise control and management of costs, mainly variable cost. This is because fixed cost is a non-controllable cost. But then, cost is based on the following factors:

  • Volume of production
  • Product mix
  • Internal efficiency and the productivity of the factors of production
  • Methods of production and technology
  • Size of batches
  • Size of plant


Thus, one can say that cost-volume-profit analysis furnishes the complete picture of the profit structure. This enables management to distinguish among the effect of sales, fluctuations in volume and the results of changes in price of product/services.


In other words, CVP is a management accounting tool that expresses relationship among sale volume, cost and profit. CVP can be used in the form of a graph or an equation. Cost-volume- profit analysis can answer a number of analytical questions. Some of the questions are as follows:

  1. What is the breakeven revenue of an organization?
  2. How much revenue does an organization need to achieve a budgeted profit?
  3. What level of price change affects the achievement of budgeted profit?
  4. What is the effect of cost changes on the profitability of an operation?


Cost-volume-profit analysis can also answer many other “what if” type of questions. Cost-volume-profit analysis is one of the important techniques of cost and management accounting. Although it is a simple yet a powerful tool for planning of profits and therefore, of commercial operations. It provides an answer to “what if” theme by telling the volume required to produce.

Following are the three approaches to a CVP analysis:

  • Cost and revenue equations
  • Contribution margin
  • Profit graph

1 comment:

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