Decision Making: Relevant Costs and Benefits
ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. The six steps in the decision-making process are as follows:
• Clarify the decision
• Specify the criterion
• Identify the alternatives
• Develop a decision model
• Collect the data
• Select an alternative
2. The managerial accountant’s role in the decision-making process is to participate as a proactive member of the management team, and, in particular, to provide information relevant to the decision.
3. A decision model is a simplified representation of the choice problem. Unnecessary details are stripped away, and the most important elements of the problem are highlighted.
4. A quantitative analysis is expressed in numerical terms. A qualitative analysis focuses on the factors in a decision problem that cannot be expressed effectively in numerical terms.
5. The result of a quantitative analysis is that one alternative is preferred over the next-best alternative by some numerical amount, such as profit. The amount by which the best alternative dominates the second-best alternative establishes a “price” on the sum total of the qualitative characteristics that might favor the second-best alternative. Suppose, for example, that a hospital’s board of directors is considering establishing an outpatient clinic in one of the two suburban communities. The quantitative analysis of the decision suggests that site A will be more cost effective for the clinic than site B. Assume that the annual cost of running the clinic at site A will be $50,000 less than the annual cost of running the clinic at site B. Now suppose that the board of directors feels that various qualitative considerations indicate that it would be preferable to locate the clinic at site B. For example, suburb B might be an economically depressed area, where it is important to bring better-quality health care to...