LIMITATION of ABC docx Disadvantages or Limitations of Activity Based Costing System: Activity based costing system help managers manage overhead and


How can they ensure they price their products and services correctly? Activity-based costing is different from standard-based costing and other traditional methods. These other methods do not account for indirect costs and focus only on specific costs that go into the product, such as labor or materials. Activity-based costing is different from traditional methods or standard-based costing. These methods rely on factors concerning direct costs, such as resources and labor.

  • If your prices are too low, your business won’t maximize its profit margins.
  • Our software is a direct path to better accounting without the accountant’s price tag.
  • But, the concept gained popularity and many other industries continue to use it today.
  • Thus, it can help in the identification of problems in production.

From the calculations above we assume that implementing another cost calculation system, Activity Based Costing , would be more accurately representing the costs at G.G. Even though the calculations only apply to the Chicago plant it is suggested that the company will implement ABC costing method in both of their plants. The reason for this proposition is so the comparison of the plants will be possible and give a good view of how they are performing. Under activity based costing system, activities are identified and classified into different categories or segments of the production process.

Financial & Managerial Accounting

An activity-based costing system allocates manufacturing overhead costs. Manufacturing overhead refers to the costs of manufacturing that are considered indirect costs. Using this method helps provide a more accurate representation of all the costs of making a product. A significant portion of the current managerial accounting literature contrasts the benefits and importance of activity based costing systems with the more traditional cost accounting systems. This paper questions this tendency of making such a stark contrast, by placing ABC systems within a wider cost accounting framework.


Activity-based costing, also known as ABC, deals with this problem. Activity-based budgeting is a budgeting method that uses activity-based costing while preparing budgets. In simple words, activity-based budgeting is a management accounting tool that does not consider the past year’s budget to arrive at the current year’s budget.

What are the disadvantages of the cost-based methods?

Unlike traditional costing methods, it assigns the cost of each business activity to each product and service. It is a well know that the Traditional cost accounting is a systems usually assigns costs based on single volume to measures such as labour hour, machine hour and etc. It is arbitrarily assigning manufacturing costs overhead to units produced .

People tends to put more effort to protect the environment compared to those days. activity based costings could achieve sustainability by meeting the current needs without destroying the environment. The environmental accounting can further classified into environmental financial accounting and environmental management accounting . Businesses must analyze their goals and requirements to determine whether an ABB system will make sense to implement. ABB is better suited to new businesses that lack historical costing data that more established businesses have. Activity-based budgeting is a budgeting method where activities are thoroughly analyzed to predict costs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Activity Based Costing

The goal is to understand all the activities required to make the company’s products. This requires interviewing and meeting with personnel throughout the organization. Companies that use activity-based costing, such as Hewlett Packard and IBM, may identify hundreds of activities required to make their products. The most challenging part of this step is narrowing down the activities to those that have the biggest impact on overhead costs. Activity based costing data can be easily misinterpreted and must be used with care when used in making decisions.

Multiple pools allow management to group costs being influenced by similar drivers and to consider cost drivers beyond the typical labor or machine hour. Finally, ABC alters the nature of several indirect costs, making costs previously considered indirect—such as depreciation, utilities, or salaries—traceable to certain activities. Alternatively, ABC transfers overhead costs from high-volume products to low-volume products, raising the unit cost of low-volume products.

Business in Action 3.2

Direct expense reimbursement plans designate reimbursement of all expenses that are reasonable within the sales effort of salespeople (Johnston & Marshall, 2009). Limited expense reimbursement plans allow for a pre-set limit of expenses (Johnston & Marshall, 2009). The pre-set limit of expenses can be reimbursed for specific expense occasions or provided as a one time expense budget payment. Firstly, here is a brief description of what Wilkerson Company specializes in. According to our case study and various online sources, Wilkerson manufactures and markets a complete line of compressed air treatment components and control products.

This may then create a chain reaction where efficiencies are also affected. The accurate cost information helps the management to adopt productivity improvement approaches like Total Quality Management , Business Process Re-engineering etc. This procedure consumes unitary cost, or marginal cost as the calculation base in comparison to the conventional cost accounting techniques which employ total cost. Learn the definition of activity-based costing and understand its different benefits with examples. Setting up an ABC system is time-consuming and expensive to maintain, but it provides management with valuable information that can be used to improve the efficiency of processes and increase product profit margins. This budgeting method comprises of estimation of demand and based on that, it estimates resources to be employed in multiple activities.

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