An implementation study of activity based cost management in small- and medium- sized enterprises
The thesis examines the adoption of Activity Based Cost Management (ABCM) by Small - and Medium - Sized Enterprises' (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector. A generic methodology is proposed, developed and tested to enable the target recipients to assess their requirements for an advanced costing system and to facilitate implementation of an ABCM solution. In support of the methodology, a literature survey, implementation survey and software review have been undertaken. The implementation survey considers the adoption of ABCM by European organisations and the application of published theory. This established the validity behind the adoption of ABCM by SMEs and defined implementation considerations. The software review reports an evaluation of software systems available in the United Kingdom. A software matrix is established by the author to enable organisations to assess their software requirement against their organisational and project orientation. The distinct and original methodology establishes the costing system requirement for SMEs. The methodology is based upon a critical examination of the processes, activities and data prevailing in an organisation. This enables an in-depth appraisal of organisational requirements and appropriate solutions to be facilitated. Part two of the methodology details the implementation of an operational ABCM solution. The designs of ABCM models for three organisations participating in the research programme are presented and the effects upon product and activity cost for these organisations is reported. Utilisation of the methodology and the implementation of ABCM in collaborating SMEs is critically appraised with theory proposed by prominent authors relating to ABCM implementations in large organisations. The thesis concludes with discussion of the proposed methodology and considerations for its adoption by SMEs. Overall conclusions are established and opportunities for exploitation and further research work are detailed.