Cost allocation

Cost allocation is often the centerpiece of conflict that is resolved in court cases. The litigation usually involves the dispute over how costs are allocated to a product or product line that is of interest to the plaintiff. This is particularly an issue when a company produces some products or services for a price-competitive market while other products or services are produced for a governmental unit on a cost-plus or reimbursement basis.

Nursing Care Inc., or NCI, operates both a small nursing home and retirement home. There is a single kitchen used to provide meals to both the nursing home and retirement home, meaning labor costs and utilities costs of the kitchen are shared by the two homes. There is also a centralized cleaning department that provides the cleaning services for both homes as well as the kitchen. The nursing home serves only indigent patients who are on Medicaid. The state Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) reimburses NCI at Medicaid-approved cost reimbursement rates. The Medicaid reimbursement rates are based on cost information supplied by NCI. The relevant cost and allocation data for the most recent year appear in the following table.


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1. Management of NCI currently allocates the kitchen and cleaning department costs based on the number of residents in each home. Determine the amount of service department costs assigned to each of the homes using this allocation base.

2. DHFS auditors believe the step method of allocation should be used by first assigning cleaning costs based on square feet and then kitchen costs based on number of residents. Determine the amount of service department costs assigned to each of the homes using this allocation method.

  • Attachment 1
  • Attachment 2

Annual Operating CostCleaning department141 , 80 0Central kitchen195 , 580Allocation BASEKitchenNURSING HOMERetirement Home*Square FEET Of SPACE1 , BOB2 , 6803, 680Number of residents5A