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Critics have claimed that traditional managerial accounting is at best useless and at worst dysfunctional and misleading. Most line managers do not trust their management accounting data. 21st Century management accounting develops cost/unit metrics that are useful for budgeting, cost analysis and control. Activity-based costing (ABC) brings truly accurate fact-based costing visibility. ABC does not broadly allocate overhead, but traces costs by identifying cause-and-effect relationships. Such information can provide the ability to reveal true profit margins for products, service-lines, specific sales channels and customers.
The same information also helps reduce costs and improve productivity by reporting unit costs that you can use to monitor cost trends and benchmark against your competition. Removing the barriers caused by your current management accounting techniques can provide huge rewards.