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The use of job costing as a tool for the pricing and cost control decisions in the printing industry: the case of Société de Presse et d'Editions (SOPECAM)

par Christian Kuiate Sobngwi
University of Buea - Bachelor of Science 2003

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Table 4-1 Hourly rates for the various departments 43

Table 4-2 Editorial staffs salaries 44

Table 4-3 Administrative and selling expenses 46

Table 4-4 Materials used for the production 46

Table 4-5 Balance sheet extract 47

Table 4-6 Overhead expenses 47

Table 4-7 Machine-hours used for the production of the newspaper 48

Table 4-8 OAR for the various overhead costs 48

Table 4-9 Unit cost determination using absorption costing (income statement format) 50

Table 4-10 Marginal costing for the determination of the unit cost of Cameroon Tribune (income statement format) 57

Table 4-11 Recap of the information 63


Figure 2-1Cost assignment methods 13


Figure 2-3 The behaviour of total variable cost 22

Figure 2-4 The behaviour of Unit variable cost 22

Figure 2-5 Curvilinear concave variable cost 22

Figure 2-6 Curvilinear convex variable cost 23

Figure 2-7 The behaviour of Total Fixed costs 23

Figure 2-8 The behaviour of unit fixed cost 23

Figure 2-9 The behaviour of semi-variable cost 24

Figure 2-10 The behaviour of semi-fixed cost 24

Figure 2-11 Circular reasonning in cost based-pricing 32

Figure 4-1 Unit cost determination scheme 45

Figure 1-2 Evolution of the unit cost (absorption costing) 55

Figure 4-3 Evolution of the unit cost (variable costing) 63

Figure 5-1 Relative importance of the cost components in SOPECAM's cost Structure (absorption costing). 67

Figure 5-2 Relative importance of the cost components in SOPECAM's cost structure (marginal costing). 68


One of the most important challenges to Cameroonian companies today is the strong competition they face due to the free trade agreements and other manifestations of the globalisation of the world's economies. They thus need to adopt effective and efficient management techniques that may help them to comply with the standards required in the world market place.

This study focuses on the application of job costing in the printing industry in Cameroon and specifically at SOPECAM, a Nationalised printing company. It is designed to determine the unit cost of their main product, the newspaper Cameroon Tribune so as to propose a more reliable basis for future pricing decisions in the company and also to analyse the cost structure of the company for its management to take effective measures to control those costs.

During the study, primary data were collected at SOPECAM through the interview of the company executives and secondary data have been gathered from the company accounting records. These data were analysed using the absorption and variable costing techniques and the Student's T-Distribution.

The unit cost of Cameroon Tribune was found to be FCFA 474 and FCFA 325 using absorption and marginal costing respectively, and as such the company should use absorption costing for its pricing decisions and marginal costing for the cost control programmes.

Recommendations concerning the setting up of a managerial accounting department, and for an increase in the selling price of the product have been made.

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