Cost Volume Profit Analysis(CVP): Applying Contribution Margin in Decision-Making, 5 Scenarios

“Explore the world of Cost Volume Profit (CVP) analysis focusing on contribution margin and ratio. Learn how this financial tool dissects costs into variable and fixed elements to reveal a company’s financial performance. In our example, we analyze Adam Electronics, a tablet retailer, with selling prices and variable costs in mind. Dive into ‘what if’ scenarios to understand how adjustments affect profit.

Cost Volume Profit (CVP) Analysis: Uncovering Profit with Contribution Margin”

Scenario 1: Increasing Unit Sales with a Higher Advertising Budget

Suppose we want to evaluate the profit impact of increasing unit sales from 500 to 540. One suggestion is to increase the monthly advertising budget by $10,000. By doing so, we aim to boost sales by 40 units. However, we need to assess whether this option is financially viable.

Increasing sales by 40 units, with each unit contributing $200, would result in an $8,000 increase in the contribution margin. Simultaneously, the fixed cost (advertising expense) would increase by $10,000. Accounting for these changes, we find that the net operating income would decrease by $2,000. Based solely on the numbers, this is not a favorable outcome. Thus, we would likely reject this option and seek alternative advertising strategies to increase sales further.

Scenario 2: Enhancing Product Quality to Increase Sales

Now, let’s consider the impact of using higher-quality materials in the tablets, which would increase the variable expense by $10 per unit. This enhancement is expected to result in an additional 80 units in sales.

By increasing sales by 80 units, the contribution margin would rise by $10,200. Meanwhile, the variable expense would increase by $29,800. Considering the net difference between the contribution margin and the variable expense, we find a net increase in profit of $10,200. This change proves to be a beneficial decision, resulting in an improved net operating income.

Scenario 3: Decreasing Selling Price with Increased Advertising

In this scenario, we examine the potential profit impact of reducing the selling price by $20 while increasing the monthly advertising budget by $15,000. The goal is to evaluate the effect on profit if sales increase from 500 units to 650 units.

Reducing the selling price by $20 would require increasing sales by 62 units to maintain the desired profit level. This change would lead to an increase in sales of $40,000. However, the variable expense would also rise by $28,900. Overall, the contribution margin would increase by $17,100. Simultaneously, the fixed cost (advertising expense) would increase by $15,000. As a result, the net operating income would rise by $2,100, indicating a positive outcome.

Scenario 4: Introducing Sales Commissions to Motivate Employees

In this scenario, we explore the impact of replacing flat salaries with sales commissions to motivate employees. Instead of the current monthly salary of $6,000, Adam Electronics plans to pay a commission of $15 per unit sold. The objective is to increase sales from 500 units to 750 units.

By implementing this commission structure, the contribution margin would increase by $6,375, assuming all 750 units are sold. The fixed cost (employee compensation) would also decrease by $6,000. Consequently, the net operating income would rise by $12,375. This demonstrates the effectiveness of motivating employees through commissions, resulting in increased profitability.

Scenario 5: Pricing Strategy for Wholesale Opportunity

Finally, let’s consider a scenario where Adam Electronics can sell 150 tablets to a wholesaler without affecting sales to other customers or changing fixed expenses. The goal is to determine the price Adam should quote to the wholesaler to increase monthly profit by $3,000.

To achieve this profit goal, Adam needs to make a profit of $20 per unit sold. Since the variable expense per unit is $300, the wholesaler’s quoted price should be $320. This deep discount enables Adam Electronics to secure the deal and achieve the desired increase in profit.

In summary, cost volume profit (CVP) analysis, when used with contribution margin, offers valuable insights into a company’s financial performance and aids decision-making. By analyzing “what if” scenarios, businesses can assess the impact of potential changes and make informed choices to optimize profitability.

Remember, whether you’re a student or a CPA/CMA candidate, understanding CVP analysis and contribution margin is essential for success. If you’re looking for additional support, visit my website at for a range of resources, including lectures, multiple-choice questions, and more. Invest in yourself and your career by expanding your knowledge and enhancing your exam preparation.

Good luck, and study hard!

Note: This blog post is based on the content of a YouTube video by a reputable source. For a more comprehensive understanding, please refer to the original video.

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