Behavioral Aspects of it Employees towards Problems and Prospects of Activity Based Costing (ABC)
Received Date: Jan 07, 2019 / Accepted Date: Mar 14, 2019 / Published Date: Mar 21, 2019
Activity Based Costing (ABC) is a new variant in cost management practices emerged in 1980’s, which caters to the needs of organizations in effective control and monitoring cost and better management of profitability. The success of ABC duly depends on articulation of implementation of ABC and the outcome of Activity Based Cost and Management (ABCM). Though employees experience a positive outcome, it is beyond doubt that they can support the ABC rather resisting the same. The main objective of this paper is to examine the perception of IT companies’ employees’ towards implementation of Activity-Based Costing (ABC). A normative list of benefits concerning the ability of ABC systems to redirect the behavior of individuals was abstracted from the interviews opinion and compared to the perceived benefits gathered from interviews with firm employees. This will permit IT Companies and provides relevant information that will enable them to make better decisions with regard to measure the successful implementation of ABC in IT Companies.
Keywords: Employees; Costing; Technology; Management
Information Technology (IT) companies seems to be functioning moderately different due to the production and services system in IT companies is divided entirely into invisible part and a lineup of visibility. The invisible component consists of such items as systems support, management support and physical support. The visible component is more or less visible to the customers or clients who usually participate in the production and services process. IT companies are not succeed to complete projects and delivering services in time because benefits of the time and costs not saved by employees. In other words, the system fails to achieve its objectives due to the failure of other components i.e., strategic cost management for this IT companies employing modern cost management systems, such as Activity Based Costing (ABC). IT Companies may be more motivated to utilize ABC as it is ascertained accurate cost of products and services through the use of different cost driver rate, if they have a high potential for cost distortions. But, very numerous example of a significant distortion risk is if an IT companies were to exercise only one overhead base. As a result of doing this, under or over costing of particular products and services may take place. Cost distortions have the ability to affect many important decisions, including those related to profitability analyses. By placing ABC in IT Companies may have the ability to determine whether all of their stakeholders are profitable or else. Thus, it leads to IT companies business from unprofitable stakeholders to increase their margins.
This modest research also brings about relatively factors of IT companies success is more complex even though after using ABC system and this practice merely not be sufficient to provoke positive reactions by employees. It is also shows potential to trace more complex combination of factors and which are essential to construct IT companies’ successful. Therefore, we specifically try to identify such supporting features by using behavioral aspects of IT employees. Behaviors show the way to consequences, which may be positive, negative or sometimes a combination of both. The consequences may be for the single person involved, group of people, and the companies in general or administrative people. For motivational purposes, the consequences for the persons involved are most important. The rational decision making is possible to IT companies through employee’s opinion regarding ABC system deployment to attain accurate cost ascertainment and ensuring considerable profits.
Activity based costing (ABC)
The rising number of companies adopting this novel strategic cost management technique makes it possible to test the strength of the actual business environment. ABC system attained immense disrepute as they are being adopted by United States firms to alleviate problems caused by the inaccuracy of traditional cost accounting systems. According to Peter B.B. Turney and Jan Emblemsvag ABC was developed in the midnineteen eighties due to the rising of lower significance of traditional cost accounting methods  ABC is a method of measuring the cost and performance of activities, products, contracts, supply chain, logistics and customers.
Besides, ABC allows costs to be apportioned by the actual activities and resources consumed (Turney). As far as research carried out by Kingcott John and Mitchell and David and Robert emphasized the benefits and advantages for the Activity-based Costing (ABC), which was also elaborated, ABC system focusing on cost reduction, performance measurement and improve the different cost objects [2,3]. On the other hand, Kingcott, Evan and Ashworth also found that the disadvantages or limitation of the new cost system such as the Activitybased costing (ABC) can be expensive to implement and maintain, both in time and money.
In implement of ABC system in manufacturing or service oriented organization the first and foremost step is to be identifying the activities, which becomes the most important point of the costing system. ABC system follows two stages for resources allocation to cost objects. As in the first-stage allocation of resources to activity cost pools or groups of activities called activity centers by using appropriate resource drivers (Sakurai and Blocher et al.). The second-stage allocation is an activity cost assignment process by which the costs of activities are assigned to cost objects through using appropriate activity drivers [4,5]. However, it can discover that ABC quite differs from traditional costing systems in two ways; in first way, cost pools are defined as activities or activity centers rather than cost centers. Besides, in second way, the cost drivers are used to assign activity costs to cost objects because an activity driver shows cause-effect relationships. But, the traditional approach uses a single volume based driver that often bears little or no relationship to either the resource cost or the cost object .
In recent years the researchers focused on ABC system and inferences drawn from them since, promoted to organizations as a foundation for making strategic decisions in terms of improving profit, cost management and performance of the employees. Specifically, it is found through the review of literature:
Mc Gowan and Klammer stated about ABC has establish rapid and wide acceptance and there is significant variety of opinion regarding the efficiency of ABC. The involvement of ABC system in the organization leads to the better improvement of an organization’s decisions making from bottom line to top line.
Kaplan & Cooper emphasized that ABC uses different cost drivers to link costs to cost objects, thereby linking costs to variety and complexity of products or services, and not follow merely product volumes. Therefore, it is leads to accurate costs ascertainment and better profit management.
Tarr has focused that ABC adds the most value to an organization when it is used as information basis of managing and improving business.
Dodd, Lavelle and Margolis stated that ABC system provides to the companies about accurate cost information, which leads to improving profit and performance measurement of activities, products/services because it is a powerful tool over the traditional cost method.
Plowman has confirmed about the ABC system provides a means of enhancing profitability.
Rafig and Garg found in their recent studies that there is a robust relationship between improved performance and implementation of ABC.
Roztocki and Needy have informed that ABC is a reliable cost analysis method, which is a highly effective tool for strategic decisionmaking.
Need for the Study
In present competitive economic environment running the organizations in the path of an efficient manner with considerable profits is a massive challenge. Hence, the financial success of an organizations has duly depends on the understanding, role play and involvement of employees in the business strategies, particularly, cost management strategies. Therefore, a dire need is there to focus on new and innovative cost management strategies for betterment with understanding and perception of employees [7-9]. As per as its success concerned, because, without involvement of employees and the intelligence towards cost management the concerned cannot work appropriately.
This study has done based on the employee’s perception of top most five IT companies operating in India as well branches situated in Hyderabad also . ABC is an instrumental to better understanding of the relationship between cost and activities of an organization. Obviously, the present study attempts to analyses the behavioral aspects of select IT companies employee’s through perceptional analysis.
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to determine how Activity Based Costing is employed in the IT companies and the perception of employees towards the success and impact of ABC on their organization profitability. Hence, the study consist the specific objectives as follows:
1. To study the perceptions of IT companies employee’s awareness with regard to implementation of ABC in their organizations.
2. To study the perception of select IT companies’ employee’s towards impact of ABC on financial performance of their companies.
3. To study the perception of employees of select IT companies towards decision action changed by ABC.
4. To study the perception of employees of select IT companies towards problems and prospects of ABC method.
Hypotheses of the Study
In order to ascertain the objectives, the study formulated and examined following Hypotheses:
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the perception of employees of IT Companies towards impact of ABC on financial performance of their companies.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by ABC.
Data Sources and Research Methodology
The present study is exploratory and descriptive study, and conducted among top five IT companies as market capitalization selection criteria. The main source of data is of primary in nature that has been collected through qualitative questionnaire administered to select IT companies’ employees to determine the state of Activity Based Costing [11-13]. The analysis of data is done by tabulations, percentages, and pie diagrams, on the other hand authenticity of findings were examined through ANOVA (One-way). The discussions involved numerous questions both closed ended and open-ended. The main strength of these types of questions is that they allowed the respondent(s) freedom in answering questions and the chance to provide their in-depth responses.
Sample size and selection procedure
Initially, five top IT companies based on market capitalization have been selected as sample companies. Further, to analyses the behavioral aspects of IT employees over the role and impact of ABC in IT Companies, from each and every selected company 20 employees, together, 100 employees are taken as sample through convenience sampling method . The reason of selection is due to the fact that they are in contact with a cross-section of the company’s members and can provide the necessary technical and organizational detail regarding the implementation of ABC in IT companies. Hence, sample units and sample size of the study have given are as follows Table 1:
|Sl. no||Name of the Company||Sample Size|
|1||Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)||20|
|2||Wipro IT Company||20|
Table 1: Summery of Analyses Discussions and Findings.
The information regarding to gender of the IT companies employee’s respondents is presented in the following Figure 1. In the Indian IT context, as in other industries, the major work force is comprised of more men than women. Though selected IT companies promote gender equality and women to achieve senior position of authority, the number remain skewed. This study shows that 65 percent of the workforces are men and the remains 35 percent female.
Age profile of it employees
The information related to age of the sample respondents presented in the following Figure 2. 26 percent of the sample respondents are in the age group of 21-30 years, and the result of this study showing that a majority of the workforce 52 percent belonging to the age group of 31-40 years, followed by 14 percent and 8 percent of employee’s respondents related to age group of 41-50 and 51-60 years respectively. Moreover no one of the respondents age group of 61 years above.
Education profile of it companies employees
The respondents were asked to state their level of Education. The responses are presented in the following Figure 3. On the education front, 48 percent of employees completed their post-graduation, 25 percent have completed their professional courses as CA/CMA & CS Inter/Executive level, 24 percent of employees related graduation level and 3 percent employees completed their CA/CMA & CS and finally 2 percent of the employees completed their Doctor of Philosophy [15,16].
Designation profile of it companies employees
The respondents were asked to state their designation. Their responses are presented in the Figure 4 below. On the designation front, 56 percent respondents were Executives; followed by 31 percent were Team leaders, 9 percent found as Managers and finally 4 percent employees are Senior Managers. However, finally this study concluded that majority of the IT companies’ respondents are Executives . Employees from all levels of the management hierarchy are required to participate in ABC implimitation. Managers or senior Managers were comprises a small percentage of the total.
Experience profile of it companies employees
The respondents are inquired about their experience. Employees who participated in the survey varied in experience from less than 1 year to more than 10 years. The details of the responses are presented in the following Figure 5. It is clear that 42 percent of respondents have 5-10 Years’ experience; followed by 33 percent employees consist of 1-5 Years’ experience, Less than 1 Year of 14 percent and more than 10 years’ experience by 11 percent of employees. It is found through the analysis that more than 5 years employees are deployed in ABC implimitation in the IT companies.
Adopting ABC system
ABC method and its adaptation will differ from one company to another company as the nature and size of such company differs particularly this is so high in IT sector. Data collected in this regard from respondents is analyzed and the information related to adopting ABC system of the IT companies is presented through Figure 6. It is evident from the figure that 72 percent of the sample respondents stated that their companies adopted ABC system. Whereas 28 percent of respondents opined that their companies are still not in such awareness .
Management style of the organization in implementing ABC
Management style of the select IT companies in implementing ABC differs from one company to another as per the company policies. In this regard the data collected from the employees is analyzed and presented through Figure 7. It is found that 49 percent of the employees of the select IT companies revealed that the management style of their organization in implementing ABC is Democratic, whereas 16 percent respondents opened that they can find Dictatorial and Liaise Fare style. On the other hand 19 percent of respondents said that they find Autocratic style.
Management commitment to ABC
The information covered from employees regard to how the companies are giving priority to applying ABC system and their opinion presented through the Figure 8. Perception of the respondents on the management commitment to ABC is found as 41 percent by high priority, 32 percent of respondents felt as some priority, 16 percent respondents felt as Low priority, and 11 percent of respondents felt as Top priority hence, finally no body responded to the opinion of not priority.
ABC Implementation on communication of the objectives and rationale for the projects
In order to examine the responses about ABC implementation on communication of the objectives and rationale for the projects the data has been analyzed and presented in the following Figure 9. It is ascertained that 32 percent of responses on ABC implementation on communication of the objectives and rationale for the projects as Good, 28 percent of respondents felt as average; 22 percent of respondents felt as fair, hence, 12 percent of respondents opined as Poor and followed by 6 percent of respondents felt as Excellent .
ABC Implementation commitment of senior executives
ABC system implementation commitment of senior executives in IT companies responses presented in the Figure 10. It is found that 32 percent of respondents on the ABC implementation commitment of senior executives felt as Average. Whereas 23 percent of respondent opined as fair, 20 percent of respondent felt as good. On the other hand 15 percent of respondents opined as Poor, hence, finally 10 percent of respondents felt as Excellent.
ABC Implementation on cross-functional representation on project team
The respondent’s information about the ABC implementation on Cross-functional representation on project team presented through the Figure 11. Through the figure 32 percent of respondents on the ABC implementation on Cross-functional representation on project felt as Average, and subsequent 26 percent of respondents found as Good. Whereas 21 percent of respondents felt as fair and followed by 12 percent of respondents found as Poor, hence, finally 9 percent of respondents Excellent .
ABC Implementation on analysis performed by team of activity and product cost
The responses are relevant to ABC implementation on Analysis performed by team of activity and product costs displayed in the following Figure 12. From the 12 percent of respondent on ABC implementation on analysis performed team of activity and product cost found as Fair, whereas 23 percent of respondent felt as Average, 17 percent of respondent report as Good. On the other hand 16 percent of respondent felt as Excellent, hence, finally 12 percent of respondent felt as Poor.
ABC System support overall business needs and its crossfunctional
The information regarding in IT companies current ABC system support overall business needs and its cross-functional verification between the departments presented in the Figure 13 below. From the figure it is found that on ABC system supports overall Business needs and its Cross- Functional is responded by 35 employee’s average . Whereas as 24 percent of employees respondent as Fair, and 16 percent of respondent felt as Poor, 13 percent of respondent felt as Good. On the other hand 12 percent of respondent felt as Excellent, hence, finally nobody respond for Not Available. It is inference that the ABC support the business needs including its cross functional issues considerably.
ABC Implementation on understanding and acceptance by participants of the key activities
The respondents are inquired about their responses, whether ABC implementation on understanding and acceptance by participants of the key Activities recorded in following Figure 14. According to analysis provided in the above mentioned Figure 14, respondents information reported that 32 percent of employees strongly agree ABC implementation on understanding and acceptance by participants of the key Activities, 24 percent of respondent with Fair, 18 percent of has Average, 16 percent of respondents Poor, and 10 percent of Excellent and on the other hand nobody respondent for Not Available.
ABC and decision making
Consumers of products and service in IT companies are increasingly demanding accelerated delivery times and lower prices. Meanwhile Information Technology companies decision making play vital role because the technology and clients requirements change vey frequently hence, IT companies considering clients requirement while making decision. Therefore the information collected from employees about what area decision making uses ABC information presented through the Mean marks Standard Deviation and Ranks in the Figure 15. According to analysis provided in the figure, it is found that majority of the decision making areas use ABC information. Ranks were allocated from highest mean marks to lowest mean marks; in this regard majority of the respondents with Planning & Budgeting the mean marks is 4.4 got assigned 1st rank. On the other hand, respondents information reported for Product/Service development strategies and decisions got mean mark of 4.2 and took 2nd rank, Identify opportunities for improvement got 3.8 marks and taken 3rd rank, Restructuring/ Organization decision got 3.7 mean mark got assigned 4th rank, Outsourcing Decisions got mean mark 3.5 and got assigned 5th rank. The respondents were responded for Process / Operation Management and Product/Service Management were tied with equal mean marks 3.4 got assigned rank 6.5, Linked to performance measure decision got mean marks 3.3 and got assigned rank 8th, Finally the decision area regarding Driving Process improvement effort got 3.2 mean marks took 9th place.
Level of personnel were involved in the ABC site implementation
The respondents are inquired about their responses, what level of personnel were involved in the ABC site implementation to determine the personnel were involved very effectively applying ABC to providing services to their clients with low cost of services and cost controlling of the IT companies. The details of the responses are given in the following figure. Figure 16 describes Mean marks and Standard deviation for level of personnel involved in the ABC site implementation. Managers on average agreed that their business units emphasize the strategies of on-time delivery of services, dependable delivery and high quality products and services [22,23]. The mean marks are 2.84, 2.71, 2.55, 2.60, 2.47, and 2.39 respectively in the involved levels of personnel on the ABC site implementation. The involvement of personal in ABC is very considerable.
Functional groups were involved in the ABC site implementation
ABC applications in the select IT Companies are the main subjects in which ABC information is used to aid decision making. Extending the use of ABC applications leads to a large number of decision actions. However, ABC functions refer to those departments that have access to the ABC system. The more managers use ABC information, whether in different applications or different functions, the greater the number of expected actions. The information collected from the employees that how effectively involved in different functional departments while implementing ABC, the responses regarding various functional departments were involved in the ABC site implementation and analyzed and presented through Figure 17. It is observed from the figure, that Accounting and Finance departmental group were involved in front by mean score of 3.24 and obtained first rank on the ABC site implement, Purchasing /procurement department group got mean score of 2.76, and it is getting by second rank. Program management group getting mean score of 2.62 and secured third rank, Quality department groups were involved in ABC site implementation by mean marks of 2.6 and got fourth rank. Customer service department involved in ABC site implementation by mean score 2.56 and got fifth rank, Information Services got 2.55 mean score and this department involved in ABC site implementation at sixth rank, Personnel/HR department involved by 2.52 mean score with seventh rank, finally Service delivery department reported mean score of 2.49 attain eighth rank with 28.45 standard deviation.
Type of training for users of the ABC system
Training is an important factor driving ABC success in IT companies in the application of the ABC system. Without training, problems are expected during the design, implementation and usage of ABC systems. Information collected from employees about the selected IT companies type of training is being provided for users of the ABC system is analyzed and presented through Figure 18. Figure reveals that majority of the employees responses regarding type of training is being provided for users of the ABC system. 28 percent respondents were having only conceptual understanding, 25 percent of employees were at implementation steps, 22 percent of respondents for Applications/ users, 13 percent were for Mechanics of ABC System and 9 and 3 percent of respondents were responded that In-house seminars and Public Seminar respectively are very essential in the training.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by ABC information
In ordered to understand whether there is any significant difference in the perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by ABC information, the ANOVA (one-way) test was employed. The data collected from the opinions of the employees is analysed in terms of mean marks to test the hypothesis.
Results of anova: Single factor
|Source of Variation||SS||df||MS||F||P-value||F crit|
Table 3: Source: Computed in Excel v 2007.
Computed F-test value is compared to critical value in order to determine whether to accept or reject the hypothesis. The F-table gives the critical values. The distribution of F- values at the 5% risk level, across the Table 3. The critical F - value for perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by ABC information of their companies is found in column 4 and row 30. Thus:
F0.05 (4, 30) = 2.75871047
The Hypothesis of perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by using ABC information is tested through ‘F’ and found the computed F- value 3.506880734, which is higher than the critical value of F=2.75871047. So the hypothesis is rejected. The conclusion is that the perception of employees towards results of decision action changed by using ABC information of their companies is differing a lot.
Conclusions and Suggestions
The study reports on the behavioral implications of the new cost management systems in general with a focus on ABC to the possible extent by employee’s perception. Also, the study enlighten in a comprehensive manner. The understanding of the behavioral consequences of IT companies’ employees towards ABC systems and it can facilitate implementation and future research regarding implementation and estimation of possibility to the extent of nonimplemented of ABC. The present study provides information for the development and refinement of ABC as cost instrument and strategy.
ABC implementation process in IT companies is lacking by awareness among the employees as it is a strategic cost accounting method. Moreover, IT companies failed to create awareness about ABC in determining the cost and price of the products and services. So the companies should make the employees are the involved in ABC process in IT companies. ABC method can support the management in decision making area, whereas, IT companies comprehensively utilized ABC method in the case of Planning and Budgeting only. There is a need to apply ABC in other business areas also for better cost management with the employee participation.
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Citation: Narsaiah N (2019) Behavioral Aspects of it Employees towards Problems and Prospects of Activity Based Costing (ABC). J Account Mark 8: 310 DOI: 10.4172/2168-9601.1000310
Copyright: © 2019 Narsaiah N. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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