Advantages of Activity Based Costing

Topics: Management accounting, Management, Cost accounting Pages: 5 (1629 words) Published: August 10, 2011
In modern business environment, the use of traditional costing system is no longer relevance to the company to achieve competitive advantage. Nowadays, Activity Based Costing is considered as one of the effective tools to enhance the ability of the organisation to meet global competition. This had resulted in the change from traditional costing system to an increasingly popular costing system such Activity-Based Costing (ABC). ABC system has emerged as an alternative to traditional costing system to meet the need for accurate cost information about the products, services, customer and processes. ABC performs the arithmetic to provide accurate cost information while Activity Based Management (ABM) is focused on using this information obtained from ABC to manage activities in order to improving business (Gunasekaran et al., 2000). Generally ABC systems enable indirect and support expenses onto each activity. Following by identify the cost drivers to measure the activity used by cost objects and allocate them to cost driver. In order word, ABC helps the manager to understand about the cost and expense in each production by giving managers a clearer picture of the economics of their operations to managerial decision making at a strategic level (Kaplan and Copper, 1998). Apart from that, in twenty-first century market which is global consumer markets and rapidly changing product technologies have forced global manufacturers to make dramatic changes in their products, markets as well as production strategies. In order to stay in the global market, organisations are advice to adopt ABC not only produces products at faster rates, but they produce with greater consistency and conformity to quality specifications. Also, ABC system allows the manufacturers to reduce the time between customer order and product delivery which can gives the manufacturer a competitive advantage in improving customer service (Gunasekaran et al., 1999). Therefore, it is necessary for organisation to adopt ABC system which can assist managers in identifying the value-added activities which they could further improve to meet customer’s demands and enhancing the product quality and process simplification and efficiency (Marx, 2009).

For example, MelCo is the company that implements ABC and gets the benefits from it. MelCo is the only manufacturer of engineering components in Melbourne. Its previous costing system was a conventional costing system where overheads were allocated to products based on labour hour utilised (Sohal and Chung, 1998). However, management found that implement ABC system in the organisation is seem to be useful because it can assist high level of flexibility and responsiveness that demanded by the marketplace. Besides, ABC system can generate true costing and pricing which automatically give performance measures and product profitability as well as provide a variety of information for management in strategic decision making. Even though it incur high cost, MelCo think that it is worthiness because it provides a tool for management for commercial decision making although it just implement for 12 months (Sohal and Chung, 1998).

Due to the changes of business environment, the company requires to manufacture very wide product range for a large customer base with high quality and innovative products in order to fulfil the demand of the consumer. By implementing ABC in organisation, ABM guides efforts to adapt business strategies to meet competitive pressures as well as to improve business operations. ABC information enables ABM to yield continuous improvement process. By continuous improvement, organisation can yield the maximum profitability as well as improved the customer’s satisfaction (Gunasekaran et al., 2000). Nowadays, customers want products and services that fit their specific needs; they want quality service at affordable price to be right now. However, since traditional costing system is volume-based, inaccurate...
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