Activity-Based Cost Management
Gary Cokins (Cornell University BS industrial engineering/operations research) 1971; Northwestern University Kellogg MBA 1974) is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in enterprise and corporate performance management (EPM/CPM) systems. He is the founder of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC www.garycokins.com. He began his career in the industry with a Fortune 100 company in CFO and operations roles. Then 15 years in consulting with Deloitte, KPMG, and EDS (now part of HP). From 1997 until 2013 Gary was a Principal Consultant with SAS, a business analytics software vendor. His most recent books are Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics and Predictive Business Analytics.
Critics have claimed that traditional managerial accounting is at best useless and at worst dysfunctional and misleading. Today’s general ledger and budgeted spending systems support departmental and “stovepipe” managerial philosophies. In contrast, activity-based cost management (ABC/M) information supports process-based thinking. ABC is a key component of the increasingly popular enterprise and corporate performance management (EPM/CPM) systems.
Cross-functional processes are now recognized as the integrating theme for how work gets done, how outputs are produced, and how customers get served. Only ABC/M can bring truly accurate fact-based measures and visibility to costs. ABC/M does not use broadly averaged cost allocations but rather traces cost using cause-and-effect activity cost drivers. The resulting cost visibility informs the manager about what things costs and more importantly why things have costs. ABC/M goes beyond product costing to also measure channel and customer profitability.
ABC/M also helps reduce costs and improve productivity by reporting per-unit costs that can be used as benchmarks and to monitors cost trends. ABC/M can also associate costs with value, quality, and waste, with their strategic importance, with their level of performance, and other “attributes” of work. All of this cost and trait data are further translated into which products, channels, customers or internal company-sustaining workforce staff cause and consume all of the resources......and in exactly what proportions.
Ultimately cost data is simply a means-to-ends where the ends are the decision-making of the organization. Today an emerging focus is to become a “learning organization.” Unlike traditional accounting reports to which managers react by being happy or sad, ABC/M data makes them smarter!
- How there is a continuum of “direct costing”
- What trends have caused interest in ABC/M
- How ABC/M complies with costing’s “causality principle”
- How to calculate profit and loss statements for channels and customers displaying profit margin layers
- How to perform “predictive accounting” for capacity-sensitive driver-based budgets / rolling financial forecasts, what-if analysis, and outsourcing decisions
- How to embed statistics and analytics into product, service-line, channel, and customer profitability analysis
- How to overcome implementation barriers to ABC/M such as behavioral resistance to change and fear of being held accountable
Who Should Attend
- Supply chain analysts
- CIO and information technology staff
- Board of Directors
- Financial officers and controllers
- Managerial and cost accountants
- Financial and business analysts
- Budget managers
- Strategic planners
- Marketing and sales managers
- Risk managers