An Introduction to Management and Cost Accounting: Cost Terms, Systems Design and Cost Behaviour

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International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, Vol. 1, No. 2, August, 2010 2010-023X

Factors Influencing Activity-Based Costing Success: A Research Framework Zhang Yi Fei and Che Ruhana Isa
becoming more and more popular [3-7] ABC aims to provide accurate costing information to managers to allocate activity costs to products and services by applying cost drivers [8]. Academics who advocate ABC, such as, Cooper and Kaplan [9], and Swenson [10] argue that it provides more accurate cost data needed to make appropriate strategic decisions about product mix, sourcing, pricing, process improvement, and evaluation of business process performance. These claims have led many firms to adopt ABC systems [8]. The benefits of ABC and its positive impact on firm’s performance motivated a numerous studies which examined various aspects of ABC. Among such studies are McGowan [11] who assessed the integrity of ABC success, Innes and Mitchell [4, 12] and Yanren [13] who conducted research on factors affecting ABC adoption, and Shield [3], Shields and McEwen [14], Gosselin [15] and Baired et al.[16, 17]who concentrated on factors influencing ABC success especially at the implementation stage. However, there is mounting evidence that suggests most of firms are experiencing problems in implementing ABC and, in some extreme cases, ABC implementation is not successful [3], which later resulted in abandoning the ABC systems altogether [15]. Questions arise as to why ABC implementation is successful in certain companies and fails in others. Based on the contingency theory, researchers have argued that the reasons for different degrees of ABC success could be due to the different contextual factors faced by each firm. These have led researchers to recognize assessing factors that influence ABC success implementation as an important research area. The following are among the research that have been carried out to examine factors that influence ABC success: Anderson [18]; Shield [3]; McGowan and Klammer [19]; Krumwiede [20]; and Anderson and Young [21] This article has two main objectives; the first objective is to identify research gaps based on the revision of previous research and the second objective is to propose theoretical research framework for current research. This article is organized as follows: Section II presents a discussion of selected articles related to factors influencing ABC implementation and gaps or limitations of previous studies and suggestions for current research are stated in the section III and IV. The framework for current research is provided in section V, Section VI defines each research variable and the final section presents the conclusion. II. PREVIOUS RESEARCH In this section, selected ABC implementation empirical 144

Abstract—In today’s advanced manufacturing and competitive environment, accurate costing information is crucial for all the kinds of businesses, such as manufacturing firms, merchandizing firms, and service firms. Argued to be superior to the traditional volume-based costing system, Activity-Based Costing system (ABC) has increasingly attracted the attention of practitioners and researchers alike as one of the strategic tools to aid managers for better decision making. The benefits of ABC system and its impacts on companies’ performance have motivated numerous empirical studies on ABC system and it is considered as one of the most-researched management accounting areas in developed countries. Previous research on ABC have examined pertinent issues related to ABC implementation such as the levels of ABC adoption in various countries, the reasons for implementing ABC, the problems related to ABC and the critical success factors influencing ABC. This paper reviews the research on ABC carried out within the last decade, from 1995-2008, and from the review research gaps are identified. Specifically, this paper examines the selection of factors influencing successful ABC implementation,...
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