Cost Management for IT Activities: A Case Study in the IT Division of a French Bank Using Activity-Based Costing
13 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2014
Date Written: November 1, 2013
The costs of information technology (IT) activities have been increasing rapidly these recent years, due to the technological sophistication and more market-oriented strategies that complexify the value chains of the firms. Many of these expenses do not relate to individual products but are associated to customers, market segments and distribution channels. In this context, the companies try to understand the cost of selling their products and services. This is the reason why customer-driven and market-oriented cost management approaches have gained in popularity.
In this paper, we review in a first part the strategic cost management stream and the way we can give a customer orientation to cost management processes, based on the Activity-based costing (ABC) method. In a second part we present a case study that takes place in the IT division of a French Bank that has developed an ABC method since several years. We describe how the ABC model has evolved toward a process that enables to compare the performances of different customers. With this case study, we will conclude about the new forms of management controls and controllers that emerge.
Keywords: Strategic Cost Management, Information Technology Activities, Activity-based Costing, Customer-driven ABC, Case Study
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation