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Accounting for Common Costs

Murray C. Wells

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Format: paperback
Edition: First published in 1978 by the Center for International Education and Research Accounting
216 pages
ISBN: 9781920898335
Publication: 27 Sep 2006
Series: Sydney Accounting Classics
Publisher: Sydney University Press

During the 1960s and 1970s a remarkable series of books was produced by academic staff in the field of accounting at the University of Sydney.

It was a period when academic research was largely analytical rather than empirically-based. For the most part, the interests of academics at Sydney were largely directed at questioning the status quo – either in the way accounting or auditing was practiced, or in the conventional wisdom expressed in textbooks of the time.

The Sydney Accounting Classics series reflects the diversity of interests of the 'Sydney school' at that time. It also recognises the tremendous impact of the foundation professor of accounting, R.J. Chambers. This reprint series ensures that the ideas developed during this period remain available to new generations of scholars and researchers.

The Sydney Accounting Classics series is an initiative of the Accounting Foundation, in association with Sydney University Press.

Accounting for Common Costs:
The editor of the 1978 edition called this a ‘seminal work ... in one of the most difficult allocation problems in accounting’. Accounting for Common Costs contains a comprehensive historical study of the allocation of costs in accounting practice, as well as discussion of points of difference and the need to promote economic efficiency.

Murray C. Wells is professor emeritus of accounting at the University of Sydney.

Foreword to series
Note from the editor

  1. Confused exposition
  2. Deciding and reviewing
  3. Other historical studies
  4. Preindustrial accounting methods
  5. The emergence of overhead costing
  6. Engineers
  7. The efficiency movement
  8. The economists
  9. The accounting viewpoint
  10. Conclusions

Appendix 1: a hypothetical example of the effects of various allocation bases
Appendix 2: The X Co. Ltd. – an example of an alternative accounting system
Appendix 3: an example of the estimate sheets of Boulton and Watt, September 30, 1801 to September 30, 1802
Appendix 4: bibliography of articles and books published after 1914 and cited in this study

‘Accounting for Common Costs is an important work that deserves not merely to be read but to be carefully studied by all students of cost accounting history.’ – Review of the 1978 edition published by the Center for International Education and Research in Accounting.'
Daniel L. Jensen   The Accounting Historians Journal

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 × 12 mm
216 pages
18 b&w tables and 4 b&w illustrations
Copyright: © 2006
ISBN: 9781920898335
Publication: 27 Sep 2006
Series: Sydney Accounting Classics