5.12. Irrelevance of past costs

In Week 5 we will study the more advanced approaches to costing – activity-based costing (ABC) and relevant costs – that provide for the more accurate costing of products, projects, and divisions, and allow to reveal actual relationship between numbers and people. We start with the analysis of ABC on an example of a small retail firm. Then we move on to the more detailed example of the use of ABC in manufacturing. Both examples will help us gain insight in the role of ABC in identifying ways to improve performance. Finally, we analyze the idea of relevant costs and its application to managerial actions –make-or-buy decisions, product mix under capacity constraints, customer profit analysis. Of special attention will be the role of relevant and opportunity costs in valuation.

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