The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 11, No. 1 Spring 1984
S. Chen and
Sheng-Der Pan UNIVERSITY, FRESNO
TAYLOR'S CONTRIBUTION TO COST ACCOUNTING,
Abstract: We respond to those issues that M. C. Wells raised in his comments on our article. We found that his comments on the association of scientific man-agement and cost accounting, and on Taylor's historical role in cost accounting were debatable, and his discussion of the first modern book on cost accounting was inconclusive.
In his article, "Taylor's Contribution to Cost Accounting: A Com-ment,"1 Wells acknowledges some of Taylor's accomplishments; however, a considerable part of his discussion focused on certain statements that we made in our paper, "Frederick Winslow Taylor's Contributions to Cost Accounting."2 In this paper we respond to the issues raised by Wells, starting with our original statements and Wells' related comments.
An introduction to his [Taylor's] work in cost accounting . . . provides better un-derstanding of his system of scientific management.3
The above statement suggests a funda-mental misunderstanding of the nature of both cost accounting and scientific management.4
To support his argument, Wells states that "scientific manage-ment was designed to increase productivity, eliminate waste, and make individuals feel responsible for their assigned tasks. Costing was needed for pricing and identifying the sources of profit."5 We are not sure to what extent this concept depicts Taylor's system.
Taylor was a doer. He developed his methods and mechanisms here and there over decades and then linked them together as a