Break-even Charts help in:
- Determining total cost, variable cost and fixed cost at a given level of activity.
- Finding out break-even output or sales.
- Understanding the cost, volume, profit relationship.
- Making inter-firm comparisons.
- Forcasting profits.
- Selecting the best product mix.
- Enforcing cost control.
On the negative side, break-even analysis suffers from the following limitations:
- It is very difficult if not impossible to segregate costs into fixed and variable components. Further, fixed costs do not always remain constant. They have a tendency to rise to some extent after production reaches a certain level. Likewise, variable costs do not always vary proportionately. Another false assumption is regarding the sales revenue, which does not always change proportionately. As we all know selling prices are often lowered down with increased production in an attempt to boost up sales revenue. The break even analysis also does not take into account the changes in the stock position (it is assumed, erroneously though, that stock changes do not affect the income) and the conditions of growth and expansion in an organisation.
- The application of break-even analysis to a multiproduct firm is very difficult. A lot of complicated calculations are involved.
- The break-even point has only limited importance. At best it would help management to indulge in cost reduction in times of dull business. Normally, it is not the objective of business to break-even, because no business is carried on in order to break-even. Further the term BEP indicates precision or mathematical accuracy of the point. However, in actual practice, the precise break-even volume cannot be determined and it can only be in the nature of a rough estimate. Therefore, critics have pointed out that the term `break-even area’ should be used in place of BEP.
- Break-even analysis is a short-run concept, and it has a limited application in the long range planning.