Activity Dependent Costing (ABC) Case Study: Exxonmobil

Activity Dependent Costing (ABC) Case Study: Exxonmobil


The paper highlights an diagnosis of the set up of an activity-based costing (ABC) for Exxon Mobil, a global oil provider. The discussion within the paper is definitely structured as follows:

  • Setting up a good activity-based being for Exxon Mobil The following first segment presents any of activity-based costing and focuses on the best way such a process could be established for Exxon Mobil.
  • Stages needed for designing GRUNDELEMENTER systems Another section of the very paper highlights the phases involved in the create of an activity-based costing product.
  • Offering of cost driver operators An important factor within the set up of each activity-based losing system is picking a the cost car owners. The third portion of the documents discusses this unique.
  • Working out and Good examples The fourth section presents an illustration calculation for that activity-based being for Exxon Mobil.
  • Limitations of knowledge from ELEMENT?RVIDEN systems Often the fifth portion of the documents presents the limitations and concerns in the utilization of activity-based costing.
  • Summary Finally, the very last section summarises the controversies presented during the paper in addition to highlights the main factor points to consider the cardstock.


Activity-based costing is normally utilised to boost business process through behavioural, business as well as accounting routines, and ‘focuses on prices associated with functions, but also examines whether the activities add value, as a result providing a ways of understanding how to the majority of effectively lessen costs‘ (Maiga & Jacobs, 2003).

That paper examines specific regions that will help ExxonMobil in establishing an activity-based costing system. It is possible to established this up for ExxonMobil drive an automobile its performance but this would require couple of key principles in pursuing this approach:

  • Determination from mature management Preparing the ELEMENT?RVIDEN system ’ll need strong determination from elderly management seeing that there may be issues and issues raised simply by different stakeholders as this procedure is went after.
  • Openness in steps In addition to commitment, setting up a ABC structure will also involve that the enterprise be translucent in its personal and running figures in order to achieve the most gain from implementing this type of system.


There are several crucial stages that organisations have to follow in designing BEGYNDERBOG systems around organisations. The main element stages for designing ABC systems are generally as follows (Allott, 2004):

  • Decide scope as well as key actions performed This unique stage calls for the development of crucial objectives in addition to activities with regard to departments and also organisation. The dispute in this point is to ensure that there aren‘t too many functions that after that render the exact analysis while inaccurate supplied the feature required.
  • Apportion primary staff some assess the organisations‘ resources essential The management within the corporations then ought to assess the sources required to develop the key things to do defined within the first cycle. This phase requires often the evaluation of where employees used up their effort, as this will be apportioned included in the ABC technique.
  • Insert other primary costs Aside from the costs relating to the staff and their time, various other direct rates will also has to be included within the analysis plus measurement.
  • Allocate division and corporate expenses and discover the key outputs produced The particular outputs to the activities serious in cycle one should always be defined. These kinds of outputs needs to be largely measurable though what could some activities that won‘t have immediately measurable signals. From this, departmental and corporate running costs can then be given.
  • Split up into value-adding and even non-value incorporating activities and as well assess activity-level drivers and even cost-input car owners The fourth stage is to determine the value-adding as well as non-value-adding pursuits, and also the aspects that reason the activity that occurs which includes the two activity-level drivers and cost-input drivers. The very activity-level individuals are linked to the rate of the prevalence of the things to do while the cost-input drivers are related to the cost of performing those actions for the setup. Cost people are particularly necessary in creating ABC systems and the subsequent section talks over this concept deeper.
  • Evaluate unit expense Once every one of the measurements and even factors are already defined, it is then likely to calculate the unit expense for numerous output procedures. This will then simply drive the subsequent stage.
  • Use conclusions to determine advancement opportunities Inside designing along with implementing a ABC system, there should be effectively define improvement opportunities which the organisations will target. This can be based on the findings that result from the investigation and are necessary, as this definitely will drive the actions of the personnel and the company. Thus, these improvement options available should be incentives that are attainable and, as well, could result the overall performance of the organization significantly, if achieved.

The development defined earlier mentioned are the high-level key concentrations in planning and taking on an ELEMENT?RVIDEN system with regard to organisations.


As stated in the previous part on the staging of creating an ABC system, typically the identification for cost-input people is important during the proper enactment of the ABC system. It discusses picking a cost motorists in significantly greater detail in the context of ABC system. Cost car owners play a major role when the objective around identifying the cost drivers shall be able to determine how the organisations can deal with and handle the costs appropriately and make favorable changes to the way these costs drive the organisation. The tip goal then is to currently have lower costs for that firm along with better functioning working and budgetary performance which often can lead to formidable competitive advantages for organisations versus the competitors in a sector.

Usually there are some principles that are important inside the identification in the cost people for an ABC system. Picking a cost driver operators is important for the following reasons:

  • Drive functionality of enterprise The GRUNDELEMENTER system may be used through the cost drivers to drive the effectiveness of the organisation.
  • Enhance internal understanding Having the best cost individuals selected for your ABC structure will increase the understanding of the employees of the value-adding activities and also focus on these activities that worth the most time.
  • Tackle external problems Finally, certain external stakeholders will need to always be catered so that you can in the collection of cost driver operators. The next few paragraphs indicate how this is very important.

Other than an internal appraisal of the key cost car owners for an company, there are also reasons that could enter into play. For example , one of the aspects driving picking a cost driver operators is external usb pressure with these value drivers. Provided the increasing focus on the earth in recent years, the very pressure to control and take care of the environmental charges especially in industries such as the petroleum sector has increased with option traders concerned about possibilities liabilities that can impact the firm and also the general public, like government, concerned about the health repercussions that may originate from toxic emissions and supplies (Lee, 2005).

These the environmental costs may be significant simply because seen from following articles (Lee, 2005):

  • Watts. R. Grace had rates totalling US$50 million over 10 years ago for the environmental remediation
  • Koch Petroleum Party spent good deal amounts over a few years meant for environmental consequence and refinery pollution: circa US$7 trillion in 1998, circa US$$8 zillion in 99, and circa US$2 mil in 2000
  • NCH Institution charged benefit in the degree of circa US$16 million around 2000 regarding environmental remediation
  • Unocal provided provisions amounting to US$22 million for 2002 to get environmental remediation and lessening earnings
  • Over-all for business such as utilities, steel and even metals, essential oil, paper, in addition to chemicals, of which deal with environmentally-sensitive areas, quotations place ‘environmental expenditures to be annual expending of across 1% involving revenues‘

Thus, together with the pressure outwardly to manage ecological costs, they have become a price tag driver which firms which include Exxon Mobil need to include in an activity-based costing method. The key reasons for including the cost operater are the following (Lee, 2005):

  • Environmental issues ripoffs increasingly focused on by the general population and enviromentally friendly groups around the world
  • Environmental decision-making is thereby critical and also the precise product information to be able to take care of and command this variable needs to be amassed by the related firms
  • The proactive pose in managing environmental expenses can be very therapeutic for firms during these environmentally-sensitive zones particularly ‘in terms regarding risk lessen, prevention associated with liabilities, plus the preservation connected with firm reputation‘


In implementing an ABC system in ExxonMobil, it is important to own an initial writeup on what the cost you drivers intended for Exxon Mobil could be in terms of the design of any ABC process. Before maintaining on this avenue, a number of assumptions have to be mentioned: (1) this is a high level sort of a computation for ExxonMobil as an type an essay online thorough review is conducted towards properly do an ELEMENT?RVIDEN system with the organisation, (2) only fast estimates happen to be presented considering the fact that these are influenced by an outside-in perspective making use of existing personal reports, (3) no distinct details are provided yet by the organization.

The above calculations are based on many assumptions made for the purpose of proving how utilizing an ABC method could get a new results of the performance with the regions and allow the enterprise to subsequently make better selections. The presumptions were made in this scenario and this could be the additional way all-around in that better costs land in the US together with Canada or South America parts. The objective around showing such calculations was to highlight the effect that activity-based costing perhaps have in generating a deeper understanding of the expense that are enclosed in the financial records of firms.

The way the expenditures are next broken up as well as allocated to numerous cost cells will have an impression on these kinds of divisions along with the decisions designed. The important consideration is that the ELEMENT?RVIDEN system must identify the proper allocation of the costs with an understanding of the hands of time spent by the staff like other factors the fact that the organisation may perhaps deem important in the BEGYNDERBOG system.


The limitations of information with ABC products can be seen in not one but two ways: (1) limitations throughout establishing plus implementing the exact ABC methods, and (2) limitations while in the use of the data resulting from the actual ABC systems implemented within an organisation. It looks at both of these limitations.

At the. 1 . Limitations in creating and putting into action the ELEMENTARBOG systems

One of several key troubles in taking on an activity-based costing treatment is the ability to acquire the correct data for the the right use of the program. Throughout the numerous years of the use of the ABC system, several limitations have found the lucidite. The key restrictions most often quotation have been down the page:

  • Subjectivity within distribution of energy . An integral concern with users with the ABC method was the adequate distribution of their time among the important activities the fact that employees toned, and the subjectivity in allotting the time increased some worries and complications in the possible reliability within the system (Journal of Accountancy, 2008). These days, there have been better processes which were designed to minimise the subjectivity in the circulation of time by way of employees, especially with the procedure used in time-driven activity-based that is with a main benefit for simplifying the procedure (Lambino, 2007). However , they have not been well proclaimed and there is yet a general consternation about this difficulty for the ABC system.
  • Complexity involving retrieving material for the ELEMENTARBOG system . Another point that acquired hampered the ABC method has been the common feeling how the retrieval info was too complex and the input recommended in order to finish the process in the ABC program was too demanding (Max, 2008). Like the point earlier, there have been further developments that are fitted with tended that will minimise the exact complexity adjacent the retrieval of the info needed for the actual ABC structure but it’s not been recently accepted frequently though the trend is replacing.

The two main limitations underlined above are often the key reasons that enactment of the ELEMENTARBOG system may be limited. Within organisations when the ABC structure has been carried out, the two constraints identified own affected using information churned out by the GRUNDELEMENTER system. This can be discussed further more in the next aspect.

E. 2 . not Limitations in the use of information and facts resulting from BEGYNDERBOG systems

For those organisations who have made the decision towards implement the very ABC method, there are still limitations in the information that need to be throught as the information is definitely utilised inside the organisations‘ decision-making. The key restriction are the pursuing:

  • Costing not an exact discipline . The output from the BEGYNDERBOG system keep as quotes and are relying on the subjectivity of examples of the inputs like described in the earlier part of the it. The use of price averages and estimates minimizes the openness of the value and earnings information and therefore results in an integral limitation inside use of the ELEMENTARBOG system (Max, 2007).
  • Potential mistreatment of information . This debate is not possibly be construed about be done purposefully. But the location where the information is not properly linked between hobbies and steps, the potential exists to have inexact results which in turn impact on how information is utilised (Crance, Castellano & Roehm, 2001).


That you can implement some sort of ABC technique for ExxonMobil. A number of a conclusion and followup steps could be highlighted:

  1. High level draft of putting into action was proven possible. Next phase is to contain a proper evaluate to follow the whole stages when the organisation have been keen to move ahead.
  2. Thorough process is required to complete a good ABC process implementation ExxonMobil will need to click with this and assign resources in order to force the effort to give the ABC product implemented.
  3. Motivation and visibility important for the actual implementation It is critical to get the buy-in and help of leading management plus the key managers of the enterprise.

By means of these future steps, you possibly can move into the other stage of experiencing the ABC approach intended for ExxonMobil and also implemented from the organisation.

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