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Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations, Third Edition

Author(s): Steven A. Finkler, PhD, CPA, Professor Emeritus of Public and Health Administration, Accounting, and Financial Management, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, New York, New York
David M. Ward, PhD, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina
Judith J. Baker, PhD, CPA, Executive Director, Resource Group, Ltd.
  • ISBN-13: 9780763738136
  • ISBN-10:0763738131
  • Paperback    484 pages      © 2007
Price: $201.95 US List
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Instructor Resources: PowerPoints, Sample Syllabus, TestBank, Case Studies, Excel Files


Given the challenging economic environment in health care today, all healthcare managers, not just accoun­tants, are becoming more and more aware of the importance of understanding costs.


Essentials of Cost Accounting for Health Care Organizations is a comprehensive text that applies the tools and techniques of cost accounting to the health services field. It is unique in that it goes beyond the introductory level and provides an advanced, in-depth look at cost accounting for healthcare managers. Each concept is thoroughly illustrated using practical, real-world examples drawn from every sector of the healthcare industry.


Divided into four sections, the book covers the foundations of cost accounting, information for planning and control, tools to aid in decision making, and future trends. The Third Edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect the recent changes in Medicare/Medicaid and includes an all new chapter on activity-based costing.



  • Practical, understandable, healthcare-specific examples engage the reader and bring the concepts to life.
  • Challenging exercises and problems in each chapter provide hands-on experience in applying cost accounting techniques to management decision making.
  • Excel spreadsheet problems that enhance student learning. click here to download excel instructions and click here to download excel templates.
  • Extensive, 500-word glossary provides at-a-glance definitions of critical terms.


Chapter 1—Introduction to Cost Accounting                                                        

Chapter 2—Cost Definitions                                                                        

Chapter 3—Product Costing                                                                                     

Chapter 4—Cost Allocation                                                                                  

Chapter 5—Costing for Nonroutine Decisions                                                                  

Chapter 6—Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis                                                     


PART II—COST ACCOUNTING INFORMATION FOR PLANNING AND CONTROL                                                                  

Chapter 7—Predicting Future Costs                                                                                      

Chapter 8—Budgeting                                                                       

Chapter 9—Flexible Budgeting and Variance Analysis                                                                        

Chapter 10—Management Control                                               


PART III—ADDITIONAL COST ACCOUNTING TOOLS TO AID IN DECISION MAKING                                                         

Chapter 11—Cost Accounting Ratios                                                                                                          

Chapter 12—Measuring Productivity                                             

Chapter 13—Inventory                                                        

Chapter 14—Dealing with Uncertainty                                           

Chapter 15—Information Systems for Costing                                       

Chapter 16—Performance Evaluation and Incentive Compensation                    



Chapter 17—New Approaches to Cost Accounting                                    

Chapter 18 – Activity-based Costing

Chapter 19—Total Cost Management: Measuring the Costs of Quality                  

Chapter 20—Summary and Issues for the Future                                     

Steven A. Finkler, PhD, CPA-Professor Emeritus of Public and Health Administration, Accounting, and Financial Management, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, New York, New York

Steven A. Finkler, PhD, CPA is Professor Emeritus of Accounting and Financial Management at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where he directed the Healthcare Financial Management specialization for over twenty years. He is an award winning teacher and author.  Among his publications are eighteen books, including Accounting Fundamentals for Health Care Management (with David Ward), Budgeting Concepts for Nurse Managers, and Finance and Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers.  Dr. Finkler has published over 200 articles in Healthcare Financial Management, Health Care Management Review, Hospitals and Health Services Organizations, Health Services Research, the New England Journal of Medicine and many other health care journals.  He received a B.S. and M.S. from the Wharton School where he majored in Accounting and Finance. His Master’s degree in Economics and Ph.D. in Business Administration were awarded by Stanford University.  Dr. Finkler, who is also a CPA, worked as an auditor with Ernst and Young and was on the Wharton School faculty before joining NYU.  He served for four years as a member of a National Advisory Board at NIH.  He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Society for Research in Healthcare Financial Management, former member of the editorial board of Health Care Management Review, and is currently Treasurer and a member of the Board of Governors of Daughters of Israel Geriatric Center.

David M. Ward, PhD-Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina

David Ward, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, Dr. Ward served as Chairman of the Department of Health Administration and Policy at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Ward’s teaching activities at the Medical University include Financial Management, Healthcare Accounting, and Applied Research Methods. Dr. Ward has numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Health Care Financing Review, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, and the American Journal of Public Health. In addition, Dr. Ward is the co-author of two health care accounting text books. Dr. Ward received his B.A. from Colgate University and an M.P.A. and Ph.D. from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. 

Judith J. Baker, PhD, CPA-Executive Director, Resource Group, Ltd.

Judith J. Baker, PhD, CPA, is Executive Director and a partner of The Resource Group, a Dallas-based health care consulting firm. Judith has over thirty years experience in health care and consults on numerous health care systems and costing problems. She has worked with health care systems, costing, and reimbursement throughout her career. As a CMS subcontractor she assists in validation of costs for new programs and for rate setting and consults on cost report design. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and also serves as adjunct faculty at the Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing. Dr. Baker received her B.S. from the University of Missouri, an M.L.S. from the University of Oklahoma, and an M.A. and PhD from the Fielding Institute, Santa Barbara, California. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and is Editor Emeritus of the quarterly Journal of Health Care Finance. Among her publications are seven books, including Activity-Based Costing and Activity-Based Management for Health Care; Health Care Cost Accounting; Management Accounting for Health Care Organizations (with Robert Hankins); and Health Care Finance for Non-Financial Managers (with R.W. Baker).

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PowerPoints, Instructor's Manual, TestBank, Excel Templates


Useful instructor resources, including detailed PowerPoint slides, Instructor's Manual, TestBank, and Excel Templates, are available for qualified instructors.  Click here to request access to download.  

The following instructor resources are available to qualified instructors for download

ISBN-13: 9780763738136

Additional Resources for Instructors
Answers to In-Text Questions
Excel Templates
Slides in PowerPoint Format
Test Bank