Describe the direct labor analysis you would undertake to complete this survey and why you would take that particular approach to gathering data.

Labor costs of an auto mechanic are seldom based on actual hours worked. (Many of us realize this when we have serviced our automobiles). Instead, the amount paid a mechanic is based on an industry average of time estimated to complete a repair job. The repair shop bills the customer for the industry average amount of time at the repair center’s billable cost per hour. This means a customer can pay, for example, $120 for two hours if work on the car when the actual time was only one hour. Many experienced mechanics can complete repair job faster than the industry average. The average data are compiled by engineering studies and surveys conducted in the auto repair business. Assume that you, as the auto shop’s accountant, are asked to complete such a survey for a repair center. The survey calls for objective input, and many questions require detailed cost data and analysis. The mechanics and owners know you have the survey and encourage you to complete it in a way that increases the average billable hours for repair work. For this discussion, describe the direct labor analysis you would undertake to complete this survey and why you would take that particular approach to gathering data.

 

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