A Typology of Cost Accounting Practices Based on Activity-Based Costing – A Strategic Cost Management Approach and a Case Study
28 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 21, 2018
This paper examines cost accounting methods containing one or more activity-based costing (now ABC) like dimensions. The research reviews these methods since the early stages of ABC. The objective is to analyze cost accounting proposals with, in part, a philosophy reminiscent ABC. For all the methods examined, ABC is a starting point at least one important component. The research purposes are to analyze the strategic dimension of the methods described and to build a typology useful for managers. Factors of usefulness are considered in the paper. The discussion leads to a four-dimensional typology based on three strategic objectives assigned to the cost accounting systems. The foundation of the research is the strategic cost management theory from which emerges the ABC philosophy. The methodology applies is an academic and professional literature review. The typology designed shows common points and similarities of the methods observed and their strategic dimensions. This typology could be useful for firms willing to reform their costing system. Some of the methods studied are more or less useful for practitioners, according to the situation of their companies. By company type, a cost accounting model based on ABC is more or less suitable. A case study illustrates this usefulness. The paper first introduces several developments that have emerged since the beginning of ABC. The first part presents the close relationship between strategic cost management theory and ABC. The second part develops a typology of cost accounting systems linked to ABC. The typology emerges from three objectives associated with ABC and highlights four perspectives. A case study illustrates the developments of the paper with a French firm using a cost accounting system in connection with several of the typology’s perspectives.
Keywords: Strategic cost management, Activity-based costing, Typology, Case study
JEL Classification: M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation