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Resource Consumption Accounting (RCA) is a
management theory Management science (MS) is the broad interdisciplinary study of problem solving and decision making in human organizations, with strong links to management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a bus ...
describing a dynamic, integrated, and comprehensive
management accounting In management accounting or managerial accounting, managers use accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such a ...
approach that provides managers with
decision support A decision support system (DSS) is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical, organizational system designed to collect, process, store, and distribute information Information can be thought of as the res ...
information for enterprise optimization. RCA is a relatively new management accounting approach based largely on the German management accounting approach Grenzplankostenrechnung (GPK) and also allows for the use of activity-based drivers.


Background

RCA emerged as a
management accounting In management accounting or managerial accounting, managers use accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such a ...
approach beginning around 2000, and was subsequently developed a
CAM-I (The Consortium of Advanced Management, International)
in a Cost Management Section RCA interest group commencing in December 2001. Over the next seven years RCA was refined and validated through practical case studies, industry journal publications, and other research papers. In 2008, a group of interested academics and practitioners established the RCA Institute to introduce Resource Consumption Accounting to the marketplace and raise the standard of
management accounting In management accounting or managerial accounting, managers use accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such a ...
knowledge by encouraging disciplined practices. By July 2009, Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), recognized Resource Consumption Accounting in the International Good Practice Guidance (IGPG) publication calle
Evaluating and Improving Costing in Organizations
and its companion document
Evaluating the Costing Journey: A Costing Levels Continuum Maturity Model.
The guide focuses on universal costing principles and with the Costing Levels Maturity Model acknowledges RCA attains a higher level of accuracy and visibility compared to activity based costing for managerial accounting information when the incremental benefits of RCA's better information exceed the incremental administrative effort and cost to collect, calculate and report its information. As stated in the International Good Practice Guidance, Resource Consumption Accounting was also recognized in a Sustainability Framework Report issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), for having the capability of helping organizations "''improve their understanding of environmental (and social) costs through their costing systems and models''". This Sustainability Framework highlights RCA under the sub-heading ''Improving Information Flows to Support Decision'' and informs readers that proper cost allocation can be built ‘directly into the cost accounting system’, thereby enhancing an organization's performance for "''identifying, defining and classifying costs in a useful way''".


Concepts of Resource Consumption Accounting

RCA concepts that distinguish it from other
management accounting In management accounting or managerial accounting, managers use accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such a ...
approaches include the following: # Germany’s Grenzplankostenrechnung (GPK), GPK method of quantity-based operational modeling using fixed and proportional costs established at the resource level in a company (i.e., cost center/resource pools or value streams");
Gordon Shillinglaw’s
concept of attributable cost; # Flexible use of activity-based drivers (only where needed) based on specific, and restrictive rules; # Value chain integration of management accounting into operational systems; # Use of fundamental operations transactions as the primary source for financial and quantitative data (rather than the general ledger); # Replacing the ''principle of variability'' with the ''principle of responsiveness'' for operational modeling; # Support for a multi-level, contribution margin-based ''profit & loss statement'' that supports managerial decision making without the cost distortions and complexity of inappropriate (not based on the ''principle of causality'') allocations of cost.


The Core Elements of RCA

There are three core elements that enable RCA to lay a very different foundation for its cost model. *The view of resources – resources and their costs are considered foundational to proper cost modeling and decision support. An organization’s cost and revenues are all a function of the resources that produce them. *Quantity-based modeling – the entire model is constructed using operational quantities. Operational data is the foundation of value creation and the leading indicator of economic outcomes. *Cost behavior – value is added as a veneer to the quantity-based model and costs/dollars behavior is determined by the behavior of resource quantities as they are applied to value creating operations within an organization.


Additional information

The goals of the RCA Institute, in promoting the acquisition of knowledge and skills to apply RCA, include the following: * Improve management accounting knowledge and practice by clarifying and embracing sound principles that will enhance enterprise decision making and the public welfare through optimum resource usage. * Advance the knowledge and practice of Resource Consumption Accounting (RCA) through: ** A community of active, high quality practitioners and academics. ** Consistent and disciplined practice centered on a core body of RCA knowledge that is not diluted by wide variations in use or form. ** Education of adopters, practitioners and vendors and the certification of vendors’ products and services. ** Increased adoption of RCA, over the long-term, as the dominant
management accounting In management accounting or managerial accounting, managers use accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such a ...
approach in business, government, and non-profit organizations. :The RCA Institute library contains an annotated bibliography that is currently divided into four sections: # RCA theory, # management accounting landscape and management accounting philosophy, # RCA related research and # other materials. This annotated bibliography provides more information for recommended reading and some guidance on how to get the most out of the information that is there.


References


Footnotes


Sources

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External links

* * * * *{{cite web, url=http://www.cam-i.org/, title=The Consortium of Advanced Management, International (CAM-I) Management accounting Types of accounting