Authors: Antonella Cugini, Silvia Pilonato
Service business-to-business (b-to-b) companies provide a wide range of variable and sometimes unpredictable services; the complexity of their offering concerns not only the
components of the services, but also the long-term relationship with the clients. In this context, the value of this relationship continues to be defined a key-factor for the company’s success. Therefore the need to control in depth the trade-off between the
customer satisfaction and resources consumption emerges: the cost accounting system acquires an important role in order to identify links between the value created for each customer and
the costs. In this paper the characteristics that a cost accounting system should have in b-to-b service companies are analysed. Such features concern the choice of the cost accounting system (cost centers system or activity-based costing system) and the need to identify the final object of cost measurement (service component). This allows to accurately calculate the cost of the services provided and to observe the causal relationships among
costs and service customization needs. The paper analyzes the cost management system of a b-to-b company, a provider of services for banks.
Keywords: activity-based costing (ABC), cost accounting, b-to-b companies, service companies