Advances and Challenges for Adoption of Activity Based Costing (ABC) by Public Sector: A Comparative Study of Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and United States

  •  Luís Paulo F Carmo    
  •  Fernando Padovani    


This article aims to evaluate the advances and challenges to the adoption of the activity based costing system (ABC) by the public sector of countries like Colombia, Uruguay and Brazil, always keeping a comparative perspective with the historical experience of the United States. Considering the growing demand of citizens-users of public services in terms of quality, accountability and transparency, and also the convergence of international accounting and management practices, such as convergence on IPSAS by the public sector and the adoption of IFRS in the private sector, encouraged by economic globalization, the study in comparative perspective between different experiences  become relevant to public sector organizations, in order to inspire public policies in that direction. The results found by the present research reinforces the conclusions of previous papers (Nunes 1995, IFAC 2000, 2002, 2003, Duarte Martins Mauss and Souza 2008), reaffirming the relevance of the ABC system information for the decision-making process also in the public sector.

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