Cost Variance in Budget Management
University of Phoenix
Cost variance is a way of showing the financial performance of a project. It is the mathematical difference between budgeted cost of work performed, and the actual cost of work performed. Both budgeting and forecasting are financial projections. Looking at the differences between forecasting and budgeting, forecasting is broad in scope and part of strategic planning whereas a budget is more specific and detailed, with expenditure heads specifically matched to sources of income. Cost variances may be either positive or negative figures. Negative figures happen if you spend more on a project than you allowed in your budget.
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The overtime may have been caused by bad time management, late arrival of the next shift, or working past shift hours due to not enough staff. The increase in the registry hours may have been due to not enough regular staff due to hiring freeze or staff being off for personal or illness reasons. The hours per patient day (HPPD) licensed productive hours was .13 over budget, the direct product hours was within budget, and the total productive hours was within budget. The hours per patient day over budget may have been caused by the unit being over staffed or also due to the overtime and registry hours. The average daily census (ADC) per unit varied from being within budget to 7.50 over the budget. The daily census is very unpredictable and depends on the time of year, the admissions from ER or the clinic, and transfers from other hospitals or facilities. Strategies to keep the results aligned with expectations may be done by performance budgeting, which will analyze key areas such as staffing, cost control, increased productivity, and indirect and direct patient care. The activities affected by analyzing these performance areas would be daily staffing calculations, reduced cost to the unit, working more efficiently and better time management, patient care planning, and time spent on patient charting. Offering incentives could also be a good way to involve the staff by informing them of the budget goals.
Benchmarking helps to identify performance