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Activity Based Costing (ABC) analysis is a methodology for assigning costs to those activities that truly drive these costs. It is more accurate than traditional costing methods. It is a valuable technique to know for a number of key reasons:
* ABC allows you to develop a picture of the true profitability of product lines, customer segments, distribution channels, geographies, and other market segments.
* ABC aids in a number of strategic decisions, from determining target markets to selecting the optimal product mix to making informed pricing decisions.
Specifically, ABC leads to a more accurate assignment of costs to cost objects through a process of:
* Matching the logical flow of costs through the cost system to the economics of true cost flows.
* Mapping costs from "resources" ( wages paid, supplies purchased) to activities performed ( units manufactured) to cost objects ( products, customers, distribution channels) that drive those costs.
ABC is an invaluable tool for making strategic decisions, as it allows you to develop a picture of true profitability of product lines, customer segments, geographies, distribution channels, and other markets. This document explains a 7-phase approach to Activity Based Costing and includes examples.