Impacts of Activity-Based Costing on Organizational Performance: Evidence from Thailand

Authors: Vetchagool, W., Augustyn, M. and Tayles, M.

Journal: Asian Review of Accounting

Volume: 28

Issue: 3

Pages: 329-349

ISSN: 1321-7348


Purpose –To extend the limited yet conflicting results of prior studies, this paper hypothesizes and statistically tests alternative, structurally different models of likely positive impacts of activity-based costing (ABC) on organizational performance. It also tests moderating effects of business type and business size. Design/methodology/approach – To test the models’ abilities to explain the data, this comparative study uses: survey data from 191 Thai firms, measures validated in the study, and structural equation modelling (SEM). Findings – Extensive use of ABC for cost analysis, cost strategy and cost evaluation directly improves operational performance; it also indirectly improves financial performance through improving operational performance. The results are similar for manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms and for large firms and small-medium enterprises (SMEs). Research limitations/implications – Future studies could test the alternative models in other geographical and industrial contexts and could widen the range of control variables. Practical implications – Monitoring of the effects of ABC use on operational performance is crucial to achieving positive financial outcomes. The cross-functional nature of ABC is apparent; for it to be effective managers must ensure cooperation from departments and employees involved in the design and implementation of ABC systems. Originality/value – This research arbitrates prior inconsistent findings by adopting an original approach of testing structurally different models in a single comparative study, using measures validated in the study. It provides new evidence that extends knowledge about impacts of ABC on organizational performance. Further, it demonstrates its applicability in the context of developing economies.

Source: BURO EPrints