Updating Standard Cost Systems

Updating Standard Cost Systems

Updating Standard Cost Systems

Updating Standard Cost Systems


Instead of resorting to new and untried cost-accounting systems, the authors advocate updating a company's present systems to account for new technologies and environments, and show how to do it.


This book represents an attempt to integrate many new ideas and techniques that apply to cost management in the manufacturing environment of the 1990s. In addition we have tried to present original suggestions that seemed to us to be practical and workable for improving cost systems. We expect that the next few years will bring many changes in manufacturing along with new ideas and applications, and at least some of what is presented here will become outdated or seem naive to a more sophisticated reader. Indeed our own thinking has gone through considerable evolution in the year or so it has taken to write this book. However, we believe the material provides a starting point for accountants and managers who struggle with the effect of advanced technologies on their firms' cost accounting procedures.

The academic world in which we function is less of an ivory tower than some would believe. Nevertheless it does furnish opportunities for reflection that are denied to those involved in the day-to-day operations of business. The ideas generated from our perspective obviously need to be tried and tested in the more practical world of business. What seems worthwhile should be retained, what is worthless should be rejected, and what needs changing should be adapted to the needs of the readers and their organizations.

Thanks are in order to Tony Gambino, who accepted our article, Updating Standard Cost Systems, for the Journal of Accountancy as well as some earlier work in the cost management area. The ideas in the article formed the basis for what became this book.

We appreciate the people at Quorum Books who made the book a reality, especially Tom Gannon, who urged us to write it, and Eric Valentine, who encouraged us to finish it.

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