A Guide to Implementation of Time- Driven Activity -Based Costing in Saudi Electronic University

  •  Salah Oraby    


This research proposes a guide to implementation of time- driven activity -based costing (TDABC) in Saudi Electronic University (SEU) as an alternative to the traditional costing systems. It is worth mentioning that the cost accounting system should support mission and vision of the university by detecting any idle capacity and providing relevant information for rational decision-making as well as improving the quality of services provided to students and finally managing SEU’s resources efficiently and effectively. According to Saudi’s vision 2030, public universities in Saudi Arabia should act on both of revenue side and cost side.

In the current costing system of SEU, there are no cost pools at colleges’ level, at academic departments’ level, at courses’ level, as well as at students’ level. Rather cost pools found at university’ level only. Therefore, the current costing system provides neither information on unit cost per student at any academic program nor information on the unused capacity at any resource centers.

Despite the fact that TDABC theoretically overcomes the criticism to both traditional costing system that uses direct labor or machine hours as a cost driver and the traditional activity- based costing (ABC that uses many transactions cost drivers to allocate overhead costs to cost objects. The implementation of TDABC is still challenging particularly in universities by using the time as the primary cost driver for allocating resource costs to final cost objects in academic programs especially the human labor is considered the main resource in universities.

The proposed guide to implementation TDABC provided SEU’s management information, including but not limited to, the average actual unit cost per student in each academic program either per semester, or per year, comparing actual fees students paid in each academic program to the actual average unit cost in each academic program to determine whether SEU covers all costs. In addition, comparing the average unit cost per student among all academic programs and investigating reasons of variations. The guide helps management determine the unused capacity in each resource center as well as preparing budgets of all resource centers accurately based on the actual used capacity.

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