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In this paper we examine the relationship between costing systems and performance management systems and their combined effect on performance under alternative competitive strategies across a number of industry sectors in Australia. A structured questionnaire approach to data gathering is utilised. The findings report that cost leader firms that use a combination of activity-based costing (ABC) and balanced scorecard (BSC) have greater organisational performance, customer performance and innovation performance compared with differentiator firms. In addition, cost leader firms that use a combination of ABC and the BSC have improved their innovation and financial performance more than those who use ABC without BSC or those who use BSC without ABC. Furthermore, differentiator firms that use BSC without ABC have improved customer performance when compared with those that use a combination of ABC and BSC. The study also revealed that the use of ABC and the BSC is contingent on the strategy a firm pursues. Hence, this component is included as an independent factor.

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