Services rendered

ABC AND ABM SYSTEMS
– Focost designs, develops and implements ABC & M systems/packages based on Excel. For further elucidation, refer to Focost ABC Model page.

– Web based systems applications are in progress and under construction

– Focost assists to analyse and interpret results derived from ABC & ABM applications, Traditional Costing applications, Financial applications etc.

This includes Management/Executive information Reporting e.g. periodic ABC & M management reports etc.

Focost’s ABC & M applications are not limited and include:
– Profitability analysis by cost object
– Residual income analysis (EVA & EVE)
– Bench marking analysis
– Productivity analysis
– Wastage determination
– Some value adding actions and improvements offered by Focost include:
– Re-engineering of business models
– Improve spare capacity utilisation
– Improve profit performance and cost savings/cutting
– Decrease abnormal wastage
– Improve productivity and efficiency
– Improve residual income
– Modifications to business strategy
– Improve working capital management, cash conversion cycles, overall cash flow.

MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION
Focost’s management consultation practice application is based on helping organisations to improve their performance, operating primarily through the analysis of existing organisational problems and the development of plans for improvement. Organisations draw upon Focost’s services of management consulting for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to Focost’s consultants’ specialised expertise.
As a result of Focost’s exposure to, and relationships with numerous organisations, Focost’s consultants are typically aware of industry “best practices”, although the specific nature of situations under consideration may limit the transfer ability of such practices from one organisation to another.
Focost’s consulting services may also provide organisational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, process analysis, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Focost’s management consulting often brings its own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work tasks.
In general, Focost bases it’s hierarchy of management consultation on the following 8 consulting purposes:
1. Providing information to a client.
2. Solving a client’s problems.
3. Making a diagnosis, which may necessitate redefinition of the problem.
4. Making recommendations based on the diagnosis.
5. Assisting with implementation of recommended solutions.
6. Building a consensus and commitment around corrective action.
7. Facilitating client learning—that is, teaching clients how to resolve similar problems in the future.
8. Permanently improving organisational effectiveness.
Focost believes that, inter alia, best management consulting practice defines the objectives as not just recommending solutions but also helping institutionalise more effective management processes in improving the organisation’s future performance.
COST ENGINEERING
Focost focuses on the application of Cost Engineering for Capital Projects. The discipline of ‘cost engineering’ can be considered to encompass a wide range of cost-related aspects of engineering and programme management, but Focost in particular, concentrates on cost estimating and cost analysis/cost assessment for capital projects. With this in mind and even though the discipline of ‘cost engineering’ can be considered to encompass a wide range of cost-related aspects of project management, engineering and programme management, but in particular cost estimating,cost analysis/cost assessment, design-to-cost, schedule analysis/planning and risk assessment, the focus remains on Cost Engineering for Capital Projects. The broad array of cost engineering topics represent the intersection of the fields of project management, business management, and engineering. schedule analysis/planning and risk assessment and Focost recognises these cost engineering topics in performing the work done on Cost Engineering for Capital Projects, where applicable. Focost’s cost engineering application is also dedicated to the “…tenets of furthering the concepts of Total Cost Management, which is the effective application of professional and technical expertise to plan and control resources, costs, profitability and risk; simply stated, Focost acknowledges that it is a systematic approach to managing cost throughout the life cycle of any enterprise, program, facility, project, product or service…”(AACE – American Association of Cost Engineering), hence subscribing to this approach.

COST SYSTEM AUDITS

We also provide cost system audits as a service for clients. A cost system audit has the objective of providing management with the results of a diagnostic review of the organisations costing system and to report the findings in the regard to management with recommendations about improving the cost system and the use of costing/data information. Cost system audits are recommended by us as it can enhance the level of confidence in costs incurred in the organisation and lead to improved cost systems and controls implementation. In cost accounting, a cost system audit is a process for verifying the cost of manufacturing or producing of any article or service on the basis of accounts measuring the use of material, labour or other item of cost. Simply defined, the term cost audit, means a systematic and accurate verification of the cost accounts and records, and checking for adherence to the cost accounting objectives. A cost audit is, an examination of cost accounting records and verification of facts to ascertain that cost of the product/service has been arrived at, in accordance with the principles of cost accounting. *(Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan). A cost system audit can have different perspectives/objectives and can be approached and executed by us from the cost system audit requirements/objectives of management, customers, shareholders, government and cost/management accountants, or any other cost system audit objectives based on client requirements.

STRATEGY SUPPORT 

It is a known fact that one of management’s most important functions, is the task of strategic planning. An enterprise will not be able to survive in a competitive and continually changing environment without strategic planning. To maintain sustainable success and sustainable income, an organisation must maintain a competitive advantage over its competitors.

ABC & M systems are strategy support systems par excellence and supports the strategic planning process by formulating strategic decisions on unprofitable products/services, customers, market segments, costly processes or areas in which the organisation does not meet the bench marking criteria of a world class enterprise.

The task of strategy implementation is supported by the measurement and evaluation of critical success factors and the specific reporting of strategy deployment.

SYSTEM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION 

ABC & M could be designed and implemented in different forms:

  • Manual systems
  • Spread sheet-based systems
  • Software package systems
  • Data base systems
  • Web based systems
  • Combination of all the above

LINKS WITH OTHER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS 

Activity-based management systems (ABC & M) must be viewed as a holistic approach to solving business problems. As such in this tasking, it must always be endeavoured to maintain the links and integration with other systems such as:

  • Quality management systems
  • Productivity management systems
  • Capacity management systems
  • Service level management systems
  • General ledger systems etc.

STAND-ALONE OR INTEGRATED SYSTEMS

Stand-alone systems can be implemented and used without any interference with existing systems. Integrated systems are run simultaneously with existing systems and data/information received and fed back in an automated way.

ABBREVIATED/SIMPLIFIED STEPS TO IMPLEMENT ABC & M

  1. Feasibility study and review
  2. Strategy analysis
  3. Value chain analysis
  4. Business process analysis
  5. Activity definition
  6. Cost object and bills of activity defined
  7. Tracing of costs to activities
  8. Tracing of non-financial information to activities
  9. Activity classification
  10. Calculation of activity rates
  11. Calculation of cost of cost objects
  12. Determination of wastage

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD)

“Knowledge precedes application.”

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) can be defined as the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply. It is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage. There are a variety of approaches to Continuous Professional Development (CPD), including consultation, coaching, communities of practice, lesson study, mentoring, reflective supervision and technical assistance. To support and embrace CPD, Focost offers workshops, seminars, in-house training and conference speaking on the topics such Activity-Based Costing & Management and Cost Engineering for Capital Projects applications.