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Traditional Absorption Costing versus Activity Based Costing.
Finance & Accounting
Pages 12 (3012 words)
The allocation of overheads has always been a matter of concern in manufacturing businesses especially in recent times. The method used in allocating overheads plays a role in the determination of the comparability of the costs of doing business vis-à-vis the cost to competitors.
In fact Geri and Ronen (2005) indicate that cost accounting systems do not normally command a high ranking in the hierarchy of most organisations, it is the information that they generate that plays a critical role in the performance of organisations and in the decision making process. The range of systems available and the claims made by the proponents of each have led to several debates. However, some of the arguments have some merits in as much as they allow for a better understanding of the methods that are being utilised. Some of the techniques and systems in use are of traditional management accounting domain while others are of the more recent strategic management accounting domain. Some of the criticisms that have been put forward in relation to traditional systems are that they fail to provide the necessary information that would improve the strategic decision making process (Johnson and Kaplan, 1987; Bromwich and Bhimani, 1989; Roslender and Hart, 2003). Suggestions like these are based on the perceived inability of the traditional systems to provide information that would make the organisation more competitive and therefore improve long run performance. In fact, Benjamin et al (2009) indicates that the inefficiencies of traditional systems especially in the area of absorption costing in coping with modern business environments have been of great concern. ...
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