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Cost accounting systems structure and information quality properties: an empirical analysis

Sandra Cohen (Department of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Efrosini Kaimenaki (Department of Accounting and Finance, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)

Journal of Applied Accounting Research

ISSN: 0967-5426

Article publication date: 31 May 2011

3866

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the relationships among cost accounting systems structure and information quality properties through an integrated framework of cost system design and use.

Design/methodology/approach

In the framework, cost accounting systems structure is defined in terms of the level of detailed information existence, the cost disaggregation according to behaviour, the scope of variances calculation and the frequency of cost information provision. Cost information quality expresses its perceived usefulness by the users in terms of relevance, accuracy, timeliness, usability, compatibility with their needs, up‐to‐datedness, reliability and thoroughness for decision‐making purposes. In order to investigate the existing relationships, data were gathered from 119 leading Greek manufacturing companies via a questionnaire survey.

Findings

The empirical findings indicate that the majority of cost accounting systems structure characteristics exert a statistically significant positive influence on cost information quality dimensions. Only the systems' ability to disaggregate costs according to behaviour and their capability to generate customized to user specifications reports were not found to be statistically significantly associated with information quality.

Research limitations/implications

The authors believe that their conclusions have important implications for researchers and professionals with respect to cost systems design as well as cost systems evaluation.

Originality/value

The innovation of the study lies in the development of an integrated framework that encompasses both cost systems structure characteristics and cost information effectiveness features.

Keywords

Citation

Cohen, S. and Kaimenaki, E. (2011), "Cost accounting systems structure and information quality properties: an empirical analysis", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 5-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/09675421111130586

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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