Activity-Based Costing is often used in cost/managerial accounting as a cost measurement, yet accounting practices can differ widely between countries. To be able to recognize difference and similarities in seemingly identical practices between countries provides an opportunity for improvement and allows managers to draw managerial implications in light of the increasing internationalization of companies. This paper compares the USA Activity-based Costing (ABC) and the German (GPK) Activity-based costing. The paper establishes differences based on purpose, cost, concepts construction and cost allocation, and quantity and quality of cost information.

From this research it appears that many of the enterprises in the USA as well as those in other countries should take a look at the ways their international counterparts successfully measure and manage organization performance, in order to resolve limitations in North American practices and in referencing the German Cost Accounting system.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.


Shirley A Polejewski PhD, Professor of Accounting, University of St. Thomas


Read German Cost Accounting vs.Activity-Based Costing.