Case on Job-Order Costing and Pricing Decisions

Nutratask, Inc., is a pharmaceutical manufacturer of amino-acid-chelated minerals and vitamin supplements. The company was founded in 1974 and is capable of performing all manufacturing functions, including packaging and laboratory functions. Currently, the company markets its products in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Belgium.

Mineral chelation enhances the mineral’s availability to the body, making the mineral a more effective supplement. Most of the chelates supplied by Nutratask are in powder form, but the company has the capability to make tablets or capsules.

The production of all chelates follows a similar pattern. Upon receiving an order, the company’s chemist prepares a load sheet (a bill of materials that specifies the product, the theoretical yield, and the quantities of materials that should be used). Once the load sheet is received by production, the materials are requisitioned and sent to the blending room. The chemicals and minerals are added in the order specified and blended together for two to eight hours, depending on the product. After blending, the mix is put on long trays and sent to the drying room, where it is allowed to dry until the moisture content is 7 to 9 percent. Drying time for most products is from one to three days.

After the product is dry, several small samples are taken and sent to a laboratory to be checked for bacterial level and to determine whether the product meets customer specifications. If the product is not fit for human consumption or if it fails to meet customer specifications, additional materials are added under the direction of the chemist to bring the product up to standard. Once the product passes inspection, it is ground into a powder of different meshes (particle sizes) according to customer specifications. The powder is then placed in heavy cardboard drums and shipped to the customer (or, if requested, put in tablet or capsule form and then shipped).

Since each order is customized to meet the special needs of its customers, Nutratask uses a job-order costing system. Recently, Nutratask received a request for a 300-kilogram order of potassium aspartate. The customer offered to pay $8.80/kg. Upon receiving the request and the customer’s specifications, Lanny Smith, the marketing manager, requested a load sheet from the company’s chemist. The load sheet prepared showed the following material requirements:

The theoretical yield is 300 kg.

Lanny also reviewed past jobs that were similar to the requested order and discovered that the expected direct labor time was 16 hours. The production workers at Nutratask earn an average of $12.50 per hour.

Purchasing sent Lanny a list of prices for the materials needed for the job.

Overhead is applied using a companywide rate based on direct labor dollars. The rate for the current period is 110 percent of direct labor dollars.

Whenever a customer requests a bid, Nutratask usually estimates the manufacturing costs of the job and then adds a markup of 30 percent. This markup varies depending on the competition and general economic conditions. Currently, the industry is thriving, and Nutratask is operating at capacity.



1.Prepare a job-order cost sheet for the proposed job. If required, round your answers to the nearest cent.

Job-Order Cost Sheet
Job Potassium Aspartate
Materials Direct Labor Overhead
Rate (%)
Cost Summary
Direct materials
Direct labor
Total cost
Unit cost

For the following: When required, round your answers to the nearest cent.

What is the expected per-unit cost including the markup (the price charged)?
$ per unit

Should Nutratask accept the price offered by the prospective customer?

2.Suppose Nutratask and the prospective customer agree on a price of cost plus 30 percent. What is the gross profit that Nutratask expects to earn on the job? Round your intermediate and final answers to the nearest cent.

3.Suppose that the actual costs of producing 300 kg of potassium aspartate were as follows: Round your intermediate and final answers to the nearest cent.

What is the actual per-unit cost?
$ per unit

The bid price is based on expected costs. How much did Nutratask gain (or lose) because of the actual costs differing from the expected costs?