Price Variance: What It Means, How It Works, How To Calculate It

In this instance, you work for a company that sells subscriptions to an online music streaming service. The founder of your company has a background in entertainment law and was able to secure the widest selection of music available—featuring numerous artists and albums that are unavailable on any other streaming platform. Sales variance can either be favorable, which is when the company receives more money from the sale of a product than expected, or unfavorable when the company receives less money from the sale of a product than expected. Uneven variances between samples result in biased and skewed test results.

In turn, unfavorable price variance occurs when an actual price is lower than a selling price. In such a case, a company failed to sell a product for an anticipated price. Different from sales price variance, price variance is the true unit cost of a purchased item, minus its standard cost, multiplied by the number of actual units purchased. It’s used in budget preparation and to determine whether certain costs and inventory levels need to be adjusted. Purchase Price Variance or PPV is a metric used by procurement teams to measure the effectiveness of the organisation’s or individual’s ability to deliver cost savings. This concept is vital in cost accounting for evaluating the effectiveness of the company’s annual budget exercise.

  1. You need the actual price, standard price, and actual quantity of units purchased to calculate the notion.
  2. If a product sells extremely well at its standard price, a company may even consider slightly raising the price, especially if other sellers are charging a higher unit price.
  3. In cost accounting, price variance comes into play when a company is planning its annual budget for the following year.

This tool helps organizations see how changing raw material prices affect future Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) and Gross Margin. Using that information, they can make better decisions about pricing and finance functions, so as to provide better estimates of future profitability. Price variances can be a result of numerous factors, so PPV can help measure product spending effectiveness. When calculating the phenomenon, one should consider several crucial elements. Price variance allows a business to determine which product or service offers the most revenue and profits. It is important to use details like unit cost, actual price, and standard price to calculate the notion.

The important aspect of purchase price variance depends on the baseline price. The concept shows that purchase price variance assumes that the product quality is the same and the quantity of the units purchased does not affect the purchase price. On the other hand, when unfavorable sales variance occurs it is because a company charges less for their product compared to what was budgeted. This scenario is more common in competitive markets where companies lower their prices in an effort to appeal to customers. Sales volume variance measures the difference between expected units sold and actual units sold. The store ends up selling all 50 shirts at the $15 price, bringing in a gross sales total of $750.

Reclassifying Purchase Price Variance

However, the variance is more informative about variability than the standard deviation, and it’s used in making statistical inferences. The company incurred excessive shipping charges to obtain materials on short notice from suppliers. In this situation, the company raised the price of their product to temporarily reduce demand, and they still brought in more revenue than they originally planned. If there’s higher between-group variance relative to within-group variance, then the groups are likely to be different as a result of your treatment.

How to Forecast Purchase Price Variance

Essentially, suppose the market faces a decrease in the number of competitors. In that case, there is improved product differentiation and market segmentation, and the company uses an aggressive sales strategy, a favorable sales emerges. Let’s take a look at how price variance can be used for both revenues and costs. A revenue price variance occurs when the actual revenues received are different from the budgeted revenues expected because a change in selling price occurred during the period. Assume a manufacturer creates a budget at the end of year one to forecast the next year’s revenues. In this budget, management assumes that specific amount of units will be produced and sold at a specific price.

From this calculation, we can see we there was a favorable variance of $500 from the sale of the potted pothos plants. This means the company brought in $500 more than anticipated from the sale of the plants. Sales variance is the overarching term that explains the difference between rejection letter for grant request​ actual and budgeted sales. Sales variance allows companies to understand how their sales are performing against market conditions. Based on the formula above, a company can find the price differentiation regarding the price of materials purchased and the further price for a product.

Understanding the difference between a positive and negative price variance illustrates whether a business made the right prediction on the selling price. In addition, it demonstrates whether a company miscalculated and underestimated the market or consumers’ purchasing behaviors. After the sales results come in for a month, the business will enter the actual sales figures next to the budgeted sales figures and line up results for each product or service.

To summarise, an E-Procurement tool can move a your business years ahead when you take operational efficiency into consideration and purchasing commodities and services. Some E-Procurement tools also integrate with your own financial ERP systems which allow for seamless data exchange and also leaves room for good accounting – your budget will not be compromised. Overall, your procurement method becomes a part of your day-to-day business and no longer causes issues to your organisation when it comes to variance in purchase price. Based on the formula above, one can tell whether a company’s actual costs have risen and a business needs to pay more to buy materials and other elements. The formula can also illustrate that the actual cost has decreased, and a company can spend less. It is unlikely that a business will have sales results that exactly match budgeted sales, so either favorable or unfavorable variances will appear in another column.


To allow time for your manufacturing team to restock, you raise prices to $35. In this post, I’ll show you how to calculate sales variance, which formula to use, and how to use the data to make informed business decisions. Even if you hit your sales target in terms of volume, there is still a possibility that you‘ll miss your revenue target. If you’re not calculating sales variance, your revenue target will be at risk, and you won’t have the information you need to pivot your sales strategy. The standard selling price is the price that management has estimated during the production process. It is the basic which help to support their decision in producing units and profitability.

It is calculated with different formulas and shows whether a purchasing department properly planned the standard price and evaluated the product itself. Essentially, the concept grants a vision of how pricing should work based on knowledge of quality, quantity, and materials. Calculating the purchase price variance depends on the same elements as other concept variants. One should consider the selling price, the actual price, the units purchased, and the unit cost. In such a case, the phenomenon offers a distinct perspective on how companies anticipate purchasing power and how it happens in a real setting. At this point, favorable price variance occurs when a company puts an actual price higher than a standard price.

If not, then the results may come from individual differences of sample members instead. The main idea behind an ANOVA is to compare the variances between groups and variances within groups to see whether the results are best explained by the group differences or by individual differences. The variance is usually calculated automatically by whichever software you use for your statistical analysis. But you can also calculate it by hand to better understand how the formula works.

Understanding Sales Variance [Formula + Examples]

In fact, it may be an advantageous sales strategy to strive for one type of variance if you’re changing the positioning of a product, entering a new market, or if you’ll have a better chance at achieving a high-impact goal. Sales price variance is a measure of the gap between the price point a product was expected to sell at and the price point at which the product was actually sold. The variance can be favorable, meaning the price was higher than anticipated, or unfavorable, meaning the price failed to meet expectations. Companies can use the information to adjust prices or shift their inventory to better reflect what customers most want to purchase. The sales price variance is useful in demonstrating which products are contributing the most to total sales revenue and whether the pricing of certain products is effective. Based on the equation above, a positive price variance means the actual costs have increased over the standard price, and a negative price variance means the actual costs have decreased over the standard price.

Formación Psicotécnica para oposiciones en Sevilla

Avenida del Alcalde Luis Uruñuela 6, Mod 401 (41020, Sevilla)

Para más información...

¿Estás buscando ayuda para la preparación psicológica de tu oposición? Contacta con nosotros.


Responsable:, propiedad de  ISABEL MARIA VALERA CARACUEL. Edificio Congreso, Av. Alcalde Luis Uruñuela, 6, módulo 401- Sevilla - 41020 Finalidad: Acuerdos comerciales y laborales, así como la prestación de servicio de atención al cliente. Tratamiento: No se comunicarán a terceros salvo empresas afines al grupo. Derechos: Acceso, rectificación, portabilidad, olvido. Información adicional: Más información en nuestra Política de privacidad.

Gracias por contactar

Nos pondremos en contacto contigo lo antes posible

¿Necesitas ayuda?