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The SAP System assigns variances to variance categories, according to the cause of the variance. The system distinguishes between the input and output sides of the cost center or business process.


The table lists the different variance categories and their causes.

Input Side Variance Categories

Cause of Variances

Input price variances

Change in price of the material component

Input quantity variance

The plan quantity differs from the actual quantity consumed

Resource-usage variance

No actual or target costs exist for a cost element

Remaining input variance

You chose not to calculate input quantity, input price, or resource-usage variances

Output Side Variance Categories

Cause of Variances

Output price variance

You entered a price manually (such as for an activity type)

Output quantity variance

You manually posted a quantity that differs from the quantity leading to the credit posting on the cost center or business process

Volume Variance

The operating rate for a cost center or business process has changed

Secondary fixed cost variance

A portion of the target fixed costs are dependent on the operating rate

Remaining Variance

You chose not to calculate volume-, fixed cost- or output price variances


This graphic is explained in the accompanying text


Idle capacity cost variance is not a variance category. You can, however, determine idle capacity cost variance in certain cases, based on the volume variance and the output price variance (see: Output Side Variances).

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