Applying Activity-Based Costing to Intercollegiate Athletics
Keywords:NCAA, sport finance, intercollegiate athletics, activity-based costing
Current accounting methods in intercollegiate athletics make it difficult for leaders to assess and understand the true cost of each sport team operations. Institutional and athletics leaders often make decisions concerning sport sponsorship/offerings, budget allocations, overall program operations, and review Title IX compliance based on information that may not truly capture the cost of each sport. Additionally, intercollegiate athletics reform groups and the federal government are calling for athletic departments to report more consistent, accurate, and transparent financial data. The purpose of this paper is to respond to the call for accounting reform in intercollegiate athletics via an innovative application of activity-based costing (ABC) to one NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) athletics department. ABC was applied to the athletic department budget report with results showing how previously established ABC cost drivers for intercollegiate athletics (Lawrence, Gabriel, & Tuttle, 2010) and reallocation of expenses back to specific sports allow for a greater understanding of the cost of each sport.
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