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Activity-based costing (ABC)

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Definition of Activity-based costing (ABC)

Activity-based Costing (ABC) Image 1

Activity-based costing (ABC)

A cost allocation system that compiles costs and assigns
them to activities based on relevant activity drivers. The cost of these activities can
then be charged to products or customers to arrive at a much more relevant allocation
of costs than was previously the case.


activity-based costing (ABC)

a process using multiple cost drivers to predict and allocate costs to products and services;
an accounting system collecting financial and operational
data on the basis of the underlying nature and extent
of business activities; an accounting information and
costing system that identifies the various activities performed
in an organization, collects costs on the basis of
the underlying nature and extent of those activities, and
assigns costs to products and services based on consumption
of those activities by the products and services


activity based costing (ABC)

A relatively new method advocated for the
allocation of indirect costs. The key idea is to classify indirect costs,
many of which are fixed in amount for a period of time, into separate
activities and to develop a measure for each activity called a cost driver.
The products or other functions in the business that benefit from the
activity are allocated shares of the total indirect cost for the period based
on their usage as measured by the cost driver.



Related Terms:

ABC

see activity-based costing


ABC inventory classification

A method for dividing inventory into classifications,
either by transaction volume or cost. Typically, category A includes that 20% of
inventory involving 60% of all costs or transactions, while category B includes
the next 20% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or transactions, and category
C includes the remaining 60% of inventory involving 20% of all costs or
transactions.


ABC Test

A test used to determine the status of an employee under a state unemployment
insurance program, where a person is a contractor only if there is
an Absence of control by the company, Business conducted by the employee is
substantially different from that of the company, and the person Customarily
works independently from the company.



Absorption costing

A method of costing in which all fixed and variable production costs are charged to products or services using an allocation base.


absorption costing

a cost accumulation and reporting
method that treats the costs of all manufacturing components
(direct material, direct labor, variable overhead, and
fixed overhead) as inventoriable or product costs; it is the
traditional approach to product costing; it must be used for
external financial statements and tax returns


Activity-based Costing (ABC) Image 2

Absorption costing

A methodology under which all manufacturing costs are assigned
to products, while all non-manufacturing costs are expensed in the current period.


activity

a repetitive action performed in fulfillment of business functions


activity analysis

the process of detailing the various repetitive actions that are performed in making a product or
providing a service, classifying them as value-added and
non-value-added, and devising ways of minimizing or eliminating
non-value-added activities


Activity-based budgeting

A method of budgeting that develops budgets based on expected activities and cost drivers – see also activity-based costing.


activity-based budgeting (ABB)

planning approach applying activity drivers to estimate the levels and costs of activities necessary to provide the budgeted quantity and
quality of production


Activity-based costing

A method of costing that uses cost pools to accumulate the cost of significant business activities and then assigns the costs from the cost pools to products or services based on cost drivers.


activity-based management (ABM)

a discipline that focuses on the activities incurred during the production/performance process as the way to improve the value received
by a customer and the resulting profit achieved by providing
this value


activity center

a segment of the production or service
process for which management wants to separately report
the costs of the activities performed


activity driver

a measure of the demands on activities and,
thus, the resources consumed by products and services;
often indicates an activity’s output


Activity-based Costing (ABC) Image 3

Allocation base A measure of activity or volume such as labour

hours, machine hours or volume of production
used to apportion overheads to products and
services.


Asset activity ratios

Ratios that measure how effectively the firm is managing its assets.



Asset-based financing

Methods of financing in which lenders and equity investors look principally to the
cash flow from a particular asset or set of assets for a return on, and the return of, their financing.


Asset-Based Financing

Loans granted usually by a financial institution where the asset being financed constitutes the sole security given to the lender.


attribute-based costing (ABC II)

an extension of activitybased costing using cost-benefit analysis (based on increased customer utility) to choose the product attribute
enhancements that the company wants to integrate into a product


backflush costing

a streamlined cost accounting method that speeds up, simplifies, and reduces accounting effort in an environment that minimizes inventory balances, requires
few allocations, uses standard costs, and has minimal variances
from standard


business-value-added activity

an activity that is necessary for the operation of the business but for which a customer would not want to pay


direct costing

see variable costing


Direct costing

A costing methodology that only assigns direct labor and material costs
to a product, and which does not include any allocated indirect costs (which are all
charged off to the current period).


Equity-based insurance

Life insurance or annuity product in which the cash value and benefit level fluctuate according to the performance of an equity portfolio.


FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per equivalent
unit of production for the current period; keeps beginning
inventory units and costs separate from current period production
and costs


First in, first-out costing method (FIFO)

A process costing methodology that assigns the earliest
cost of production and materials to those units being sold, while the latest costs
of production and materials are assigned to those units still retained in inventory.



full costing

see absorption costing


hybrid costing system

a costing system combining characteristics
of both job order and process costing systems


Job costing

A method of accounting that accumulates the costs of a product/service that is produced either
customized to meet a customer’s specification or in a batch of identical product/services.


job order costing system

a system of product costing used
by an entity that provides limited quantities of products or
services unique to a customer’s needs; focus of recordkeeping
is on individual jobs


Kaizen costing

The process of continual cost reduction that occurs after a product
design has been completed and is now in production. Cost reduction techniques can
include working with suppliers to reduce the costs in their processes, implementing
less costly re-designs of the product, or reducing waste costs.


life cycle costing

the accumulation of costs for activities that
occur over the entire life cycle of a product from inception
to abandonment by the manufacturer and consumer


Lifecycle costing

An approach to costing that estimates and accumulates the costs of a product/service over
its entire lifecycle, i.e. from inception to abandonment.


modified FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that uses FIFO to compute a cost per
equivalent unit but, in transferring units from a department,
the costs of the beginning inventory units and the
units started and completed are combined and averaged


non-value-added (NVA) activity

an activity that increases the time spent on a product or service but that does not increase its worth or value to the customer


Priority-based budget

A budget that allocates funds in line with strategies.


Process costing

A method of costing for continuous manufacture in which costs for an accounting compared are compared with production for the same period to determine a cost per unit produced.


Process costing

A costing methodology that arrives at an individual product cost through the calculation of average costs for large quantities of identical products.


process costing system

a method of accumulating and assigning costs to units of production in companies producing large quantities of homogeneous products;
it accumulates costs by cost component in each production department and assigns costs to units using equivalent units of production


relevant costing

a process that compares, to the extent possible
and practical, the incremental revenues and incremental costs of alternative decisions


strict FIFO method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that uses FIFO to compute a cost per equivalent unit and, in transferring units from a department, keeps the
cost of the beginning units separate from the cost of the
units started and completed during the current period


Target costing

A method of costing that is concerned with managing whole-of-life costs of a product/service during the product design phase – the difference between target price (to achieve market share) and the target profit margin.


target costing

a method of determining what the cost of a
product should be based on the product’s estimated selling
price less the desired profit


value-added (VA) activity

an activity that increases the worth of the product or service to the customer


Value-based management

A variety of approaches that emphasize increasing shareholder value as the primary goal of every business.


Variable costing

A method of costing in which only variable production costs are treated as product costs and in which all fixed (production and non-production) costs are treated as period costs.


variable costing

a cost accumulation and reporting method
that includes only variable production costs (direct material,
direct labor, and variable overhead) as inventoriable
or product costs; it treats fixed overhead as a period cost;
is not acceptable for external reporting and tax returns


weighted average method (of process costing)

the method of cost assignment that computes an average cost per
equivalent unit of production for all units completed during
the current period; it combines beginning inventory units
and costs with current production and costs, respectively,
to compute the average


Zero-based budgeting

A method of budgeting that ignores historical budgetary allocations and identifies the costs that are necessary to implement agreed strategies.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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