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

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