Using time-driven activity-based costing to improve the managerial activities of academic libraries
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Nowadays, Academic libraries are required to provide high quality services despite their limited budget. Library managers should rely on valid information to keep the library's activities, resources and costs under control. In this paper, we present a case study implementation of Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC) at the library of the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. The TDABC is a reliable accounting method that considers many aspects that may affect the employees' efficiency and performance. We adopted quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the library's loan and return processes. In particular, we: i) analyzed cost data, ii) interviewed the library's staff, and iii) recorded the duration for all relevant activities with a stopwatch. The activities' duration was recorded via direct observation. The data were collected during the academic year 2017–2018 to cover all the different academic periods. According to our results, the automation of repetitive processes in the circulation department may decrease significantly the operating costs. This may be achieved by reducing the number of staff and replacing them by robotic services. Implementing TDABC in the lending and return processes helped the library managers to determine which activities demand more time and are costly, and to analyze their respective causes.
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