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Activity-Based Costing and Central Overhead Cost Allocation in Universities: A Case Study


  • Andrew Goddard
  • Kean Ooi


This article examines the development of ABC in university accounting and assesses the contribution it might make to solving the problems associated with central overhead cost allocation systems. A case study using an ABC methodology was developed and applied to library services at the University of Southampton. The results showed substantial differences in the allocation of the central overhead costs as between academic faculties using the model and the existing system. The authors argue that although the ABC approach may overcome some of the problems of overhead allocation and improve the economic efficiency of organizations, there are significant problems with its practical application.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Goddard & Kean Ooi, 1998. "Activity-Based Costing and Central Overhead Cost Allocation in Universities: A Case Study," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 31-38, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:pubmmg:v:18:y:1998:i:3:p:31-38
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9302.00124

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    1. repec:kap:iaecre:v:23:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11294-017-9640-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kristof Stouthuysen & Kevin Schierhout & Filip Roodhooft & Evelien Reusen, 2014. "Time-driven activity-based costing for public services," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 289-296, July.
    3. Stouthuysen, Kristof & Swiggers, Michael & Reheul, Anne-Mie & Roodhooft, Filip, 2009. "Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for a Library Acquisition Process: a Case Study in a Belgian University," Working Papers 2009/25, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.

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