# Variance Confusion - HELP!

Registered Posts: 595 Epic contributor 🐘
Hi Guys
Started back at college first unit Financial performance - and I am afraid that I am confused already.
I sat down a few weeks before classes started and worked through variances - which I seemed to understand - thinking this would help me grasp the subject quicker.
But the tutor is teaching the variances through formulas like AQ x SP minus whatever the formula is - if you see what I mean.
this has totally thrown me - as in the book I was just reading and making sense of the variance as it was written and working out that way - this has now made it hard work for me - as my brain isnt taking that in and has left me confused.
Many thanks.

• Registered Posts: 65 Regular contributor ⭐
Variances - ugh!!!
anniebabe wrote: »
Hi Guys
Started back at college first unit Financial performance - and I am afraid that I am confused already.
I sat down a few weeks before classes started and worked through variances - which I seemed to understand - thinking this would help me grasp the subject quicker.
But the tutor is teaching the variances through formulas like AQ x SP minus whatever the formula is - if you see what I mean.
this has totally thrown me - as in the book I was just reading and making sense of the variance as it was written and working out that way - this has now made it hard work for me - as my brain isnt taking that in and has left me confused.
Many thanks.

Hi anniebabe

I am taking my Financial Performance exam next week and I know exactly where you are coming from. I was taught the same as you at college SQ for AP@SP etc and got really confused with it all. I have had to go back to basics and start from scratch from the text books. We used a combination of BPP and Osborne. I found that Osborne gave the best explanations for variances and for me I had to just learn them off by heart and keep pracitising them. The other problems I found with variances was when I knew the formula I then struggled to know which figures I needed to pick out to put in the formula. I just kept pracitising and practising as it was the only way I could get to grips with it.

Sorry that probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but that is the only way that worked for me.

If i fail, I'll repost and tell you don't listen to me.
• Registered Posts: 595 Epic contributor 🐘
Hello
I was sort of expecting a similar response - but there was always a chance Sooty could nip out of the TV and wave his magic wand and fix it for me! lol
Was beginning to think it was just me - sooo glad that someone else recognises this problem.
I am concerned that the tutor is teaching us by the formula route (even though he did say at the beginning we could use any way we wanted - he seems to be pushing this method) - it makes more sense to me to learn the way in the osborne book - and this conflict in methods is noe holding me back. I am finding it difficult to seperate the two methods- if I am making any sense whatsoever. Just hope I can overcome this.
Not sure what to do - I think I am going to carry on teaching myself at home from the Osborne Book and try to stick to that method - and somehow try and block the other way out at college - just hope I can
• Registered Posts: 65 Regular contributor ⭐
anniebabe wrote: »
Hello
I was sort of expecting a similar response - but there was always a chance Sooty could nip out of the TV and wave his magic wand and fix it for me! lol
Was beginning to think it was just me - sooo glad that someone else recognises this problem.
I am concerned that the tutor is teaching us by the formula route (even though he did say at the beginning we could use any way we wanted - he seems to be pushing this method) - it makes more sense to me to learn the way in the osborne book - and this conflict in methods is noe holding me back. I am finding it difficult to seperate the two methods- if I am making any sense whatsoever. Just hope I can overcome this.
Not sure what to do - I think I am going to carry on teaching myself at home from the Osborne Book and try to stick to that method - and somehow try and block the other way out at college - just hope I can

Hi anniebabe

No it's not you. I've passed everything first time up to now, but I am really struggling with this unit. When I started this at college we were taught originally with graph charts and formulas the same as you and were told we could use either method. I couldn't get to grips with either. Due to the sudden death of my mum I then ended up missing the rest of this unit and I have had to teach myself from the books and class handouts. I felt like I was wading in mud. I decided to start again from scratch and work through the text book. I decided to use the text explained by Osborne and found this easier to help me pick out the figures needed. It's not been easy, I had to write out the words every time I did a question to help me remember it. The more you do the more you remember it. There's only really 2 variances to remember Price and Usage because labour rate is the same as price and labour efficiency is the same as usage.

Just remember all they are doing is comparing what the company budgeted it to cost and what it did cost and the difference is the variance.

If I fail my exam, can we learn this subject together?
• Registered Posts: 595 Epic contributor 🐘
I am sure you will pass with flying colours hunni - you sound like you know what you are doing. I only started last week - exam is at Christmas, looks like I am going to struggle with this one - there are only 7 students in my class and they all seem to be doing ok - apart from me which is quite upsetting - unless they are all working together with it - which sometimes happens in class, but I try to work it out for myself - I find that copying off others doesnt solve the problem.
If you fail we can bimble along together - lol - although I think if you study hard and try your best you will be ok.
Sorry to hear about your Mum its never easy studying at the best of times ,I am sure it was very traumatic for you. I know it was when my Dad passed away.
• Registered Posts: 56 Regular contributor ⭐
SusieQtips wrote: »
Hi anniebabe

No it's not you. I've passed everything first time up to now, but I am really struggling with this unit. When I started this at college we were taught originally with graph charts and formulas the same as you and were told we could use either method. I couldn't get to grips with either. Due to the sudden death of my mum I then ended up missing the rest of this unit and I have had to teach myself from the books and class handouts. I felt like I was wading in mud. I decided to start again from scratch and work through the text book. I decided to use the text explained by Osborne and found this easier to help me pick out the figures needed. It's not been easy, I had to write out the words every time I did a question to help me remember it. The more you do the more you remember it. There's only really 2 variances to remember Price and Usage because labour rate is the same as price and labour efficiency is the same as usage.

Just remember all they are doing is comparing what the company budgeted it to cost and what it did cost and the difference is the variance.

If I fail my exam, can we learn this subject together?

On the contrary I think you also need to learn the Fixed Overhead Capacity and Efficiency variances as well. Not trying to scare anyone but I found those two to be the trickiest to grasp.

@Anniebabe,
I think you should do exactly as you suggested you would do. Learn the variances from the books the way you are able to grasp them and block out the tutor's method. I taught myself this unit (as with all the level 4 units) so didn't have that problem.
• Registered Posts: 1,774 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
Go back and search past threads about Variances I HATED them but it eventually all clicked once I found one way of learning them and sticking to it. Sandy Hood helped me understand them and if you look back you will find a lot of posts on here that helped too. (Probably me asking a lot of questions about them)

Good Luck as Variances are a nightmare until it eventually clicks but dont get confused by people telling you all different ways to learn them. Stick to one the one that works best for you. :001_smile:
• Registered Posts: 595 Epic contributor 🐘
Thanks for your input Henry and Jewels.
Fixed Overhead variances are the next ones to learn on the list, so havent even touched them yet.
Looks like I am going to have to try and block out what the tutor is saying and learn the variances from the Osborne Book - I have calmly sat down today and what I have looked at so far hasnt been much of a problem, but I did have to refer to the variances.
Does anyone know if we can still sit exams externally - not sure about it with the change in exams. or do we have to be registered with a provider ? I sat the paper budgeting exam last time as an external student but I was still registered at my college (did it in the gap between levels ) just wondering that if I am struggling with this unit maybe I could sit it at a later date in my own time - as you will know these classes are always rushed. (obviously if I dont pass at Xmas - fingers crossed I will pass - but you never know).
Thanks again
• Registered Posts: 65 Regular contributor ⭐
Henry wrote: »
On the contrary I think you also need to learn the Fixed Overhead Capacity and Efficiency variances as well. Not trying to scare anyone but I found those two to be the trickiest to grasp.

@Anniebabe,
I think you should do exactly as you suggested you would do. Learn the variances from the books the way you are able to grasp them and block out the tutor's method. I taught myself this unit (as with all the level 4 units) so didn't have that problem.

Hi Henry, I totally agree with what you are saying, but as anniebabe has only just started this unit, I knew she was talking about total, price & usage varinces. I know how she feels because I've been there & to tell someone at this stage there are more variances which are more confusing wouldn't really have helped her. I actually found the overhead variances quite easy following the diagram in the Osborne book.
Henry is right in saying find the best method for you and block out the others, that's what I was clumsily trying to say. It will click in place anniebabe, loads in my class struggled with them. If I can get my head around them, you certainly will and if you don't, message me and I'll help you.
• Registered Posts: 595 Epic contributor 🐘
Morning Susie
I have ended up writing each variance onto a coloured index card - and looking at them in turn when answering the questions - hoping this will help me remember them in reading each variance every time I have to do one. I am trying to not to panic as ive found that it only makes remembering worse.
I have found that I am getting the Total Direct variance and the Direct variance mixed up at times and I hope that that will come with practise.
Many thanks for your input guys, Susie - will inbox you if I get stuck with the other variances. thanks.