The Department of Veterans Affairs or the VA was formerly established in 1 930 after Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and ordinate Government activities affecting war veterans". Since that time "the VA health care system has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930, to include 152 hospitals; 800 community based outpatient clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 domestically". Just as the number of VA health care system locations has grown so has its responsibilities and benefits to war veterans over the past decades.

Most notably, The World War II GIG Bill, which was signed into law on June 22, 1944, surpassing the Homestead Act of 1862. To help meet the need of the 50 million veterans, the VA health care system employees. This research paper will review the civilian employee's incentives to become an employee of the VA and how performance measures are concluded to ensure the best level of care Is given to Its veterans. Purpose of Research The research journey of incentives and performance management within the VA identifies the incentives afforded to is civilian employees that impact it ability to attract and retain competent staff.

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To gain a marketplace advantage it was important for Elgin to stay competitive in the manufacturing market and find the cost management tools to do so. The growth Elgin experienced from a one-product many Into a multiple product manufacturer to the world required a great deal of planning and support. In late 1986 when Elgin began this process It was evident that management essentially left budgeting to accounting with little input. While top management personnel created budgets, their subordinates received little to no explanation of the budget or issues related to it.

To rectify this situation Elgin Target Audience of the Research This article Is geared toward any company who Is Interested In cost management and looking to Improve their bottom dollar. As a result of the lessons learned on Legion's runner toward cost management this article would also benefit business majors or anyone studying accounting. The key point of this article is without educating managers and necessary staff to what a budget is, the importance of accuracy, and how budgeting and accounting practices can hurt or lead to the success of the company.

Findings of Research The research findings of the accounting health of Elgin found that while the manufacturer the accounting systems did not fully mirror its changes. The current system needed "modify the budget responsibility reports to reflect only those costs intolerable by the department manager" (Calla et al, 1991, p. 25). The first step in this process required the education of department managers through a serious of training sessions.

Personal Synopsis After reading this article this writer feels that Elgin Sweeper is serving as a roadman for other companies concerning cost management. The foundation of this research project has not only served as a great accounting lesson to Elgin but to other students of business, and companies alike. It is always inspiring to see a company willing to educate its employees not only for the growth of the company but he employee. For the research implemented by Elgin the managers are stronger for it and through training able to confidently share budget information with their peers.

With 76 years of business and counting the actions to secure its longevity comes as no surprise. This is not the response of the typical company in its infancy, but shows effective leadership and accounting staff to move the company forward. Personal Application This writer found the application of the accounting practices shared in this research project helpful. Although my current work position does not allow me to reasonably give input to the budget affecting my area, it is possible to eliminate waste to strengthen the company.

New to budget or accounting concerns, this writer is learning more and more the importance of being educated to your individual company's budget. Each year, the Governor and the General Assembly will approve an average performance increase for classified state employees. This is referred to as the Statewide Average Salary Adjust * Performance Increases and Formula http://www. Dorm. Virginia. Gob/horologic/policy/p01140_f. Pediment. VA may pay federally insured student loans as an incentive for candidates or current employees of the agency to attract and/or retain highly qualified employees.

If the local HRS management office approves a student loan repayment, the local payroll staff will receive a signed copy of the service agreement and specific information (payment address, loan amount, etc. ) regarding each loan to be repaid. These documents will serve as authorization to make the repayment and will be filed in the employee's payroll folder. After receipt of the initial authorization, the payroll office should obtain certification from the approving official that funds are available prior to disbursing repayments in subsequent fiscal years.

A monetary award will be an amount determined appropriate by the Secretary, but may not be more than $10,000. However, if the Secretary determines that exceptional performance by an employee justifies such an award, the Secretary may request approval from MOM for a monetary award equal to an amount exceeding $10,000, up to $25,000. 030501 General Processing for Monetary Awards and Incentives. VA local HRS staff will enter approved incentive and award transactions in HRS"s automated processing system. VA"s payroll provider for processing. VA"s payroll provider will include the award/ incentive in the employee's salary payment. 0502 Additional/Special Processing. VA local payroll staff will follow the processing information outlined in the following appendices for additional guidance for monetary awards/incentives, which do not automatically process and/or for awards and/or incentives, which require additional action to complete payment processing. Quality Step Increase (SSI. ) VA may grant a SSI to an employee as a rating-based performance award for performance excellence. Performance excellence is defined as an outstanding rating of record during the last appraisal cycle. VA will increase the employee's organizational budget or any SSI since it impacts basic pay.

For restrictions and other criteria on SSL, refer to VA Handbook 5017, Part Ill, Recognizing Individual and Group Contributions. The employee's supervisor will submit the SSI recommendation using VA Form 4659, Incentive Awards Recommendation and Approval, accompanied by the employee's most recent performance appraisal together with a narrative statement describing exceptional performance. 18 Department of Veterans Affairs February 2011 Payroll: Awards and Incentives Volume XV- Chapter 3 Appendix B-l VA Form 4652, Request for Personnel Action, will be provided to ensure timely processing.

If the SSI were to coincide with a regular Within Grade Increase (WIG), the latter would take precedence for processing purposes. 2. Productivity or Gain Sharing Awards. VA may pay productivity or gain sharing awards on a regular recurring basis in recognition of an employee or group of employees whose productivity; quality and/or effectiveness surpassed predetermined standards. Productivity or gain sharing programs will be subject to the same award criteria that apply to other awards. Productivity or gain sharing awards, if monetary in nature, may be offered or combined with other forms of employee recognition.

The results of productivity or gain sharing programs will be monitored and evaluated periodically to ensure that the results achieved, and awards driven by them, are consistent with the intent of the programs. Can you give an example of how a specific company uses price and/or quantity variance to monitor its activity and to make necessary changes? My only experience with this is in a clinical setting. We use quantity variance (patient volume) vs.. Price variance (cost for level of care) to plan our annual budget. My budget is divided by twelve months and I am given a specified allowance per month, regardless of patient illume.

This can be a challenge at times when volumes are up so supply consumption increases. My budgeted amount for supplies never increases on a month to month basis. If at the end of the month, I am "over budget" I must write a response as to why. Obviously in this example, I can prove that patient volumes were increased so that supplies needed to care for the increased volume increase. We use quantity variance for planning our annual budget. We use the volume of patients seen, not the cost for each level of care, to plan for revenue and expenses for the next year. We are an organization that uses both quantity and price variance models.

Explain why standard costing systems are adopted. Price variances. Explain why the quantity variance is more useful for control purposes than the price variance. "A standard cost is the predetermined cost of manufacturing a single unit or a number of product units during a specific period in the immediate future. It is the planned cost of a product under current and/or anticipated operating conditions" (Standard Costing, n. D. ). Businesses use standard costing systems for purposes of planning and control as well as to assist in product costing. (Owen, Hansen, & Hitter, 2012).

The use of standard costing makes it possible to look at variances, "the difference between the actual and planned costs for the level of activity' (Owen, et al. , 2012, p. 408). It is done for materials, labor, and overhead. The benefit of budget variance analysis is the ability for the company (or division or department) to take corrective measures after finding the variances. While it is helpful to find differences between actual and planned costs for both quantities and prices the company has greater control over quantities than prices; hush quantity variance is more useful for control purposes than price variance. Since managers have more control over the usage of inputs than over their prices, efficiency variances provide specific signals regarding he need for corrective action and where that action should be focused" (Owen, et al. , 2012, p. 408). For instance, a manager can make necessary changes if he or she discovers an unfavorable materials quantity variance due to poor quality, lack of employee training, or even inadequate supervision (Standard costing, n. D. ).. Explain how overhead is assigned to production when a predetermined overhead rate is used. . 2. Why are actual overhead rates seldom used in practice?

It is important to understand normal costing in order to explain how overhead is assigned to production when a predetermined overhead rate is used. Normal costing "determined unit cost by adding actual direct material , actual direct labor, and estimated overhead" (Owen, Hansen, & Hitter, (2012), p. 164). Because a company chooses to use estimated overhead it develops a predetermined overhead rate to apply to each unit of production, then multiplies the units of production by that predetermined overhead rate. The predetermined overhead rate is determined by dividing the estimated annual overhead by the estimated annual activity level.

A company usually arrives at its predetermined rate at the beginning of a year but recognizes it will need to make adjustments at year's end (Owen, et al, 2012). Companies can choose to use actual or estimate costs. "Estimated amounts may be used to improve timeliness of cost information or to control costs" (Traditional product costing methods, 1999, slide 5). Pure actual cost systems fail to provide that timeliness (Traditional product, 1999). Two shortcomings of actual overhead rates include delays in determining actual overhead and wide fluctuations in actual overhead by periods.

For instance some costs are not known until the end of the month such as electricity or gas and there are significant fluctuations seasonally. Here in Texas for businesses that use both, costs of electricity skyrocket in the summer and are relatively low in the winter. At my house, where we have a gas furnace which runs on propane our high costs are in the winter and low costs are in the summer. Thus, because of the delays and fluctuations, most companies choose Were you surprised to find that most companies use estimated overhead rather than actual overhead?