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Cost & Effect: Using Integrated Cost Systems to Drive Profitability and Performance Hardcover – December 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0875847887 ISBN-10: 0875847889

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Cost & Effect: Using Integrated Cost Systems to Drive Profitability and Performance + Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing: A Simpler and More Powerful Path to Higher Profits + Activity-based Cost Management: An Executive's Guide
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875847889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875847887
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The authors provide a blueprint that helps managers make better decisions and promote organizational learning and improvement." -- IT Professional, July-August 1999

From the Back Cover

Kaplan and Cooper provide a comprehensive overview of the principles, possible uses, and benefits of activity-based management that will help managers mine its full potential. --Dr. Erwin Schneider, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Kaplan and Cooper present a structured and concise look at the importance of activity- based costing and the position it should take in world-class performance management systems. Cost and Effect will be required reading for all our performance management consultants. --Ralph W. Canter, National Partner in charge of Performance Management, KPMG Peat Marwick LLP

Activity-based costing is a powerful tool that continues progressing under the leadership of its creators, Bob Kaplan and Robin Cooper. Finally, here is the book that brings together all of their ideas for driving improved performance--invaluable information for executives, operations managers, and accountants. --Erik F. Riswick, President, Maplehurst Bakeries, Inc.

The definitive work on activity-based management, Cost and Effect will serve as a blueprint for the next generation of management accounting. --Srikant Datar, Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School


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Customer Reviews

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We recommend it as a good introduction to managers who are new to the subject.
Rolf Dobelli
The next business model innovation will probably give you better costs than tweaking the current business model with ABC will.
Donald Mitchell
The book is well structured and the authors use plenty of real life case studies.
N. Mozahem

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Cost & Effect will most appeal to those who have had extended experience with Activity-Based Costing (ABC) or operate in manufacturing industries.
If you are interested in learning more about Activity-Based Costing, this book is not the best choice for you. Professor Kaplan has co-authored books that explore this subject in much greater detail.
Most people set as their initial priority the need to have accurate financial reporting for the entire enterprise. Falling below that level of effectiveness is Stage I in the terms of this book. Once you have that financial reporting done accurately, you are at Stage II. But you know almost nothing about how to manage your costs better. In order to do that, you will need to establish ad hoc financial reporting processes designed to help your organization learn from its experience and identify opportunities for improvement, built around Activity-Based Costing (ABC). ABC is simply a way of more accurately applying overhead costs back to activities and then processes that permits accurately understanding more about which combinations of products and services and customers are profitable and which are not. Then, within each activity, you can also see the inefficiencies in what you are doing that present opportunities for improvement. The book also has a nice discussion of Kaizen costing that is widely used in Japanese companies looking for on-going cost improvements, based on Professor Cooper's research. There are a few case histories to illustrate the principles, but most will find these insufficient to guide them through the process. In other books, Professor Kaplan has pointed out that there is a lot of acquired art in the subject and you probably need help to get it right. I concur.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Keen on October 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book cover to cover and have re-read chapters. Kaplan ensures that you grasp the fundamental concepts by keeping things simple. He illustrates the concepts with easy to understand examples. I gained very little knowledge from the first 3 ABM books I read, but after reading "Cost and Effect," I felt that I had a good enough grasp of the fundamentals to actually implement a costing system.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book drives the business and finance community to rethink how a company should handle cost. It shows the 4 stages of financial reporting and ABC strategies. Companies have to switch their strategy of using traditional financial reporting to understand business performance and make it the other way around. Business Management Reporting should drive the Financial Reporting and the accountants should handle Financial Reporting for external needs in a locked room. This issue is analyzed from the ABC eyes. It is a must read book, innovative and out of the box thinking.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on November 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Kaplan and Cooper have put together an outstanding guidebook for managers to follow in order to reap the most significant benefits from activity based costing and other cost management techniques. The great merit of this book is that it does not preach to the reader the latest management fad, but rather goes through a thorough analysis of budgeting processes, highlighting benefits and drawbacks of each. They do not claim ABC is the best approach, and even praise some simpler methods that are more adequate for certain companies. Instead, they point to the circumstances in which ABC can provide outstanding results to companies.
The book structured first with an analysis of the most often used systems of managerial cost accounting. It highlights the shortcomings of these, proceeding then to present certain productivity improvements that could contribute to performance. These are mostly related to the quality movements (TQM, 6 Sigma, etc), which are presented in a very understandable way. These are complements to the existing usual cost management systems. These improvements can be made even without implementing ABC systems.
Then the authors proceed to describe activity based costing and its benefits in terms of choosing customers, suppliers, and product breadth. They present many examples that would be very relevant to any practitioner, in industry or service. There is a specific section focusing on services, which makes the appropriate adaptations to the systems for the peculiarities of it.
Overall, an outstanding work, to help anyone involved in cost management, whether they are interested in activity based costing or more traditional standard costing methods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurie S. (Australia) on January 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent reference text on the subject. A good accompaniment to a more practical book (eg Hicks). The books explains the business problem and the thinking behind the techniques well. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand why ABC.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Fournier on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kaplan and Cooper put together one of the best summaries of the state of cost management. Not really the state, but the best of what it could be. They also explain different approaches in cost that can be used, non-financial measures, and the systems required to get there. How does German Cost Accounting, ABC, and using other measures help in running an advanced company? How does your company rate in its cost management practices? You can figure that out here. If you are in the field, you should read this book.
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