ABC may be used in common parlance to indicate a degree of simplicity, but as an acronym for Activity – Based Costing, it introduces some of the most revolutionary and fundamental changes in management accounting theory and practice.

What originally appeared to be simply a new method of tracing costs to products has led to the development of an entirely new philosophy referred to as Activity – Based Costing and Management (ABC & M). In this text a holistic approach is proposed to fundamental issues such as the management of cost, time, quality, funds and constraints through the use of ABC & M. ABC & M is therefore not just a new way of computing business figures but requires the fundamental understanding of all management issues. It is about understanding and not about calculations.


  1. Shortcomings of traditional cost accounting
    • Introduction
    • Historical development of cost accounting : A synopsis
    • Changes in the business environment since 1940
    • Traditional cost systems in the modern environment
    • Relevance lost
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  2. Conceptual frame work of an activity – based costing and management system
    • Introductio
    • Activities
    • Resources of cost elements
    • Performance measures
    • Cost drivers
    • Output measures
    • Cost objectives
    • Bill of activities
    • Illustrative frame of an activity – based costing and management system
    • Continuous improvement
    • Process value analysis and process re-engineering
    • Activity investment analysis
    • Cost of capital management
    • Life – cycle accounting
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  3. Costing methodology for raw materials, products and services
    • Introductions
    • Methodology
    • Nature of costs
    • Two – stage allocation process
    • Wastage
    • Determining the cost of raw materials
    • Determining the cost of manufactured products
    • Conclusion
  4. Customer and market profitability
    • Strategy shifts
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Customer and market focus
    • Customer as cost object
    • Micro – cost structure
    • Customer and product analysis
    • Tracing of costs to customers
    • Profit contribution by customer
    • Market profitability
    • Conclusions
    • Sources consulted
  5. Income measurement
    • Introduction
    • Part 1 : The value chain approach
    • Phases in the accounting cycle
    • Explanation of the model
    • Part 2 : Features of an activity – based management system
    • Strategic support
    • Time based accounting
    • Residual income
    • Processes
    • Life – cycle costing
    • Cost drivers and output measures
    • Wastage and quality management
    • Productivity management
    • Capacity management
    • Multiple cost focus
    • Part 3 : Proposed  methodology
    • Activity – based management approach
    • Conclusion
  6. Process and activity analysis
    • Value of process and activity analysis
    • Identifying processes and activities
    • Processes and activity analysis methodology
    • Process re-engineering
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  7. Cost drivers and output measure analysis
    • Introduction
    • Cost behaviour
    • Two – stage cost drivers
    • Process drivers
    • Output measures
    • Focus on output
    • Number of output measures (and activities)
    • Identification of output measures
    • Simple linear regression
    • Multiple linear regression
    • Validation of output measures
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  8. Cost management
    • Introduction
    • Strategies analysis
    • Processes and activity analysis
    • Continuous cost improvement
    • Performance evaluation
    • Capacity management
    • Quality management
    • Productivity management
    • Process and cycle time
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  9. Activity – based budgeting
    • Introduction
    • Steps in the ABB process
    • Differences between ABB and conventional budgeting
    • Controlling through activities
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  10. Performance measurement
    • Effectual measures
    • Role of activity – based management within a performance measurement system
    • The design of a performance measurement system
    • Goals and objectives in respect of performance measures
    • Characteristics of performance measures
    • The balance scorecard
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  11. Implementation
    • Introduction
    • Step to implement ABC & M
    • Systems design and computerisation issues
    • Stand – alone or integrated system
    • Level of confidence in costs
    • Applicability of activity – based cost and management systems
    • Links with other management systems
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted
  12. Strategy support
    • Interactive relationship
    • Beneficial characteristics of ABC & M
    • Strategic applications
    • Conclusion
    • Sources consulted


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