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Designing Strategic Cost Systems: How to Unleash the Power of Cost Information 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471653585
ISBN-10: 0471653586
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The long-term survival of a company is dependent on how knowledgeable its controllers and senior managers are about its costs. Do the costs accurately reflect the resources consumed by the business processes? Can the cost information generated by its financial systems be trusted to make key management decisions? In Designing Strategic Cost Systems, recognized business planning and cost management expert Lianabel Oliver provides a comprehensive and accessible road map for the design, development, and implementation of an effective and competitive strategic cost system.

While traditional financial statements measure aggregate organizational performance, they are totally inadequate to identify opportunities to increase a corporation’s competitiveness in the marketplace. A good cost system can provide the business intelligence to make better decisions at all levels in the organization. Written for senior managers who are evaluating a cost system redesign project for their organization and business professionals who are part of the project team, Designing Strategic Cost Systems demonstrates how to design a cost system that will be a more effective decision-making tool and a source of competitive advantage for the organization.

Based on the premise of tailoring a good cost system to the needs of its users, and which reflects the maturity level of the organization, this hands-on reference examines critical issues to address in the planning stages and details how to structure a cost systems design project from the ground up.

Designing Strategic Cost Systems covers:

  • How to tell if a new cost system is needed: Discusses the internal and external manifestations of a dysfunctional cost system and how it can affect an organization’s performance and competitive position
  • The attributes of a strategic cost system: Explains the six major elements that comprise a cost system and how these elements interact to produce reliable and accurate cost information
  • The redesign process: Describes the different project stages and how to organize the project to increase its probabilities of success
  • The steps involved in developing the system design: Details the major milestones and tasks that should be accomplished to ensure consistency in the data collection process and minimize wasted time and effort in reworking information

From the Back Cover

Praise for Designing Strategic Cost Systems

"One of the key principles I learned in my years as an auditor (both internal and external) was to ‘let the numbers speak to you.’ Through a practical and accessible approach, Lianabel Oliver confirms this idea and then takes it further. She challenges us to make sure that these numbers are presented in language that can be understood by the operating management and that the numbers truly reflect the cost components of our products and services. Oliver then gives us a structured method for developing that understandable language so that the numbers may, in fact, be adequately communicated, allowing us to make informed management decisions. This book is a must-read for those who want to clearly let the numbers speak to their senior management."
–Angel Torres, CPA, President and CEO
Bacardi Corporation, Puerto Rico

"The author highlights the need for the strategic integration of all aspects of the business from the cost perspective. The concepts presented in this book can be readily applied to manufacturing, service, or any other economic sector. I highly recommend this book as a valuable tool for the evaluation, control, and measurement of an organization regardless of its size or years in business."
–Manuel Cidre, Chairman
Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association

"Oliver’s work is an excellent resource for cost management practitioners committed to the design of strategic cost systems that deliver value-added cost data to decision makers. The author provides the reader with valuable insight into both internal and external manifestations of dysfunctional systems and the remedial steps requisite to the development of effective system redesigns that can be successfully deployed for competitive advantage."
–Ron Bleeker, Program Director
Cost Management Systems Collaborative Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing–International


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471653586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471653585
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,806,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is outstanding because it describes the reality that many organizations are facing with their cost systems and provides the tools necessary to overcome them. The information is presented in a way that is simple, easy to understand and actionable by the reader. It also provides access to a supporting website where simulations, models, exercises, and key terms can be used by readers to adapt the concepts presented to their particular organizations.
This book is a must for those business professionals that are involved in the planning, design, or re-design of their organization's cost system. It provides a step-by-step approach from the detection of an obsolete cost system to the performance measurement after the system is implemented. It also describes the common errors that should be avoided in order to have a successful system implementation.
As highlighted by the author: "A cost system should not be focused on analyzing the past, but in making the critical link among operational measures, resource utilization and cost in order to impact the future". Without a doubt this book will significantly contribute to the knowledge base and expertise of any organization that uses it as a reference to evaluate the effectiveness of their cost system as a decision-making tool.
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Format: Hardcover
"I am an undergraduate accounting professor, and I recommend this book as a complement to your cost accounting text book. It is my experience that most undergraduate students lack working experience that would help them link the "concepts" in the text books with the "real world." I found that it is very difficult for students to visualize the following: how costs flow through a service or manufacturing company; how those costs are captured in a company¹s cost accounting systems; and what are the sources of the data, where do the numbers used in the calculations of the costs of products or services come from? This book helps them to "see" the flow of the data. Chapter 5, How to Calculate Costs, wraps up the concepts of direct material, direct labor and overhead, and enables the students to become aware of how costs are calculated in a simple and systematic way. Even though this book is easy to read and to understand, I recommend it for students beyond their second year of college. It is written in a practical way, and, while I was reading it, I felt that I was there working in the company.
I think that this book is a necessary tool in cost accounting
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Format: Hardcover
Rather than recommend a 'one size fits all' costing solution, Designing Strategic Cost Systems provides tools for evaluating the costing needs of the organization and helps the user(s) select and design a system in light of the resources it has available for implementation and maintenance of the system. Additionally, the book provides strategies aimed not only at successful system implementation, but at obtaining the cost data that will enable the organization to make sound decisions to increase profitability and ensure long-term growth.
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