Overhead Cost Allocation

Shorter and Associates was founded in 1980 as an independent tax accounting firm. Originally, Shorter specialized in completing tax returns for local workers and their families. Many of these individuals had relatively simple tax returns and often were able to file the short or EZ form of the return. Within the past ten years, Shorter expanded into financial planning and tax planning. The mix of clients grew more diverse. Recently, the manager of the Tax Compliance Group (which specializes in the completion of fairly simple tax returns) complained that the group was assigned too much overhead. His rationale was that this group rarely used Lexis/Nexis for tax research (an online software tool used in tax research and planning), seldom had challenging returns and so was able to use off-the-shelf software to complete the returns. The Tax Planning Group, he said, was responsible for 90% of the use of Lexis/Nexis and entirely responsible for the development of sophisticated tax planning software. The Financial Planning Group was responsible for the purchase and maintenance of a variety of financial planning software packages.

In a multi-paragraph essay, explain what the manager of the Tax Compliance Group meant when he said that too much overhead was assigned to his group. Suggest an alternative method of overhead assignment that would deal with the Tax Compliance Group manager’s concerns.

Develop a response that includes examples and evidence to support your ideas, and which clearly communicates the required message to your audience. Organize your response in a clear and logical manner as appropriate for the genre of writing. Use well-structured sentences, audience-appropriate language, and correct conventions of standard American English.

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