A New Paradigm in Cost Management

Society of Cost Management

History of Cost Accounting

This Brief History of Cost Accounting is brought to you by the Society of Cost Management to provide a foundation or basis for discussion about cost management.  It is difficult to know where you are going if you don’t know where you are from.  Cost Accounting has a rich history which is largely ignored and untaught, so we hope you enjoy this list of books that we think offers a wide range of thought on the topic.  One interesting to note is that almost all of the innovators are engineers, not accountants.

The Society recommends the following titles, at a minimum, in the study of the history of cost accounting:

Gleeson-White, Jane, Josiah Wedgwood and the Origins of Cost Accounting, first appeared on the Society of Cost Management blog December 13, 2012.

Church, Alexander Hamilton, The Proper Distribution of Expense Burden, The Engineering Magazine Co., 1921.

Clark, John Maurce, Studies in the Economics of Overhead Costs, University of Chicago Press, 1923.

Kimball, Dexter S. (Professor of Industrial Engineering and Dean, College of Engineering, Cornell University), Cost Finding, Alexander Hamilton Institute, New York, New York, 1919

A few online resources:

We would also like to recommend the information that Dr. James A. Martin has put together at the Management and Accounting Web.

Summary of Relevance Lost

200 Years of Accounting History

Other great titles in the history of cost accounting:

Babbage, C.  On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers, Charles Knight, Pall Mall East.  published in 1835 and reprinted in 1963.

Church, Alexander Hamilton, The Science and Practice of Management, The Engineering Magazine Co.,  1914.

Church, Alexander Hamilton, Manufacturing Costs and Accounts, McGraw Hill Book Co., 1917.

Church, Alexander Hamilton, Production Factors in Cost Accounting and Works Management, The  Engineering Magazine Co., 1910.

Flamholtz, Eric, Human Resource Accounting: Advances in Concepts, Methods and Applications, by Springer,1974.

Heckert, J. Brooks, The Analysis for Control of Distribution Costs for Sales Executives and Accountants, 1940.

Henrici, Stanley B., Standard Costs for Manufacturing, The University of Michigan, 1947.

Kaplan, Robert S., Measuring Manufacturing Performance:  A New Challenge for Managerial Accounting Research, 1983, and The Evolution of Management Accounting, 1984.

Kimball, Dexter S. Principles of Industrial Organization, by McGraw Hill Industrial Management Series, 1919.

Oxenfeldt, Alfred, Pricing Strategies, by American Management Association, 1982.

Oxenfeldt, Alfred, Cost-Benefit Analysis for Executive Decision Making: The Danger of Plain Common Sense, by Amacom, 1979.

Peter A. Phyrr, Zero-Base Budgeting, 1973.

Preen, Harvey, Reorganisation and Costings: A Book for Manufacturers and Merchants, Simpkin, Marchall, Hamilton & Kent, Ltd, London, 1907

Scott, D.R., The Cultural Significance of Accounts (Professor of Accounting and Statistics, University of Missouri.), 1929.

David Solomens, Divisional Performance:  Measurement and Control, 1965.

Taylor, Frederich WinslowThe Principles of Scientific Management.  New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1917.

Books about Alexander Hamilton Church:

Vangermeersch, Richard, Alexander Hamilton Church: A Man of Ideas for All Seasons by Garland Publishing, 1988.

Vangermeersch, Richard, The Contributions of Alexander Hamilton Church to Accounting and Management, Garland Publishing, 1986.