VARIANCE ANALYSIS Definition

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VARIANCE ANALYSIS is the analysis of performance by means of variances. Used to promote management action at the earliest possible stages. After a budget (based on standard costs) has been set, its usefulness lies in the review procedures which compare actual results against the budget. Variance analysis is the process of examining in detail each variance between actual and budgeted/expected/standard costs to determine the reasons why budgeted results were not met (material costs too high, sales prices too low, etc.).

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ABOVE THE LINE, a. in accounting, denotes revenue and expense items that enter fully and directly into the calculation of periodic net income, in contrast to below the line items that affect capital accounts directly and net income only indirectly; and, b. for the individual, is a term derived from a solid bold line on Form 1040 and 1040A above the line for adjusted gross income. Items above the line prior to coming to adjusted gross income, for example, can include: IRA contributions, half of the self-employment tax, self-employed health insurance deduction, Keogh retirement plan and self-employed SEP deduction, penalty on early withdrawal of savings, and alimony paid. A taxpayer can take deductions above the line and still claim the standard deduction.

INTERIM DIVIDEND is the declaration and payment of a dividend prior to annual earnings determination.

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