Cost Time Frame

 

A basic concern in logistical activity-based costing is to identify the period of time over which costs are accumulated for measurement. Accounting principles call for accrual methods to relate revenues and expenditure to the actual time period during which services are performed. Expenses associated to raw material procurement through finished product distribution and almost all other logistical operating costs are incurred in anticipation of future transactions, making accrual methods difficult to administer.

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To overcome the time problem, accountants attempt to break costs into 2 groups- costs assigned to a specific product and costs associated with the passage of time. Using this classification an attempt is made to match the appropriate product and time period costs to specific periods of revenue generation. From a logistical perspective, a great many of the expenses associated with procurement and manufacturing support can be assigned and absorbed into direct product cost.

In situations where a considerable period of time elapses between production and sales, such as in highly seasonal businesses, significant costs of maintaining inventory and performing logistical operations may not be associated with revenue generation.

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