Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Janet M. Booker


Small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) accounting managers use little to no modern costing strategies which can negatively impact profitability. Advances in technology, innovations in product design, and increases in globalization mean SMEs could benefit from modernizing their internal costing systems. This study is important to SME accounting managers because of offering new information and practical methods that SMEs might use for improved profitability. Grounded in the contingency theory of management accounting, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the modern costing strategies SME accounting managers used to improve profitability. Seven SME owners, CFOs, and administrators who manage the accounting function for their organization participated in this study. Data collection included semistructured interviews, direct observations, and documentation review. As a result of thematic analysis, 3 themes morphed as the prioritization of cost management using target and life-cycle costing, a focus on continuous improvement via lean strategies, and quality costing and activity-based costing use in response to external environmental contingencies. The implications for positive social change include increased sponsorships for local events with the potential increase of donations to local schools and outreach organizations supporting local community residents.