Benchmarking is a management tool that promotes process improvement. By comparing service units across jurisdictions, best practices can be identified and used to enhance less efficient and effective operations. However, the lack of generally accepted criteria to compare service costs for local government has hindered benchmarking initiatives. One of the key components of the North Carolina Local Government Performance Measurement Project (NCLGPMP) is the full-cost accounting model developed to ensure that localities employ the same methodology to collect and report cost data associated with performance measures. This article presents an overview of the development and implementation issues associated with that model and highlights the areas of direct costs, indirect costs, and capital costs. It is argued that accuracy and comparability of performance and cost data are the fundamental ingredients of a benchmarking and performance measurement project.
Rivenbark, W.C. and Carter, K.L. (2000), "Benchmarking and cost accounting: the North Carolina approach", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 125-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-12-01-2000-B006
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