Developing Enabling Cost Information during the COVID-19 Crisis

Julia Herberle*, David Bedford, Christopher S. Chapman, Prabhu Sivabalan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


In this paper we build upon the crisis literature and theorisation of enabling design principles to examine how cost information was calculated and used in response to the COVID-19 crisis in public hospitals in New South Wales (NSW) Australia. This study analyses how various actors sought to respond to demand for cost information that was immediate, intense, and dynamic as the pandemic unfolded. In response, we observed two costing processes emerging. One focussed on the immediate pandemic funding requirements whilst the second addressed future activity-based funding requirements. The crisis created a situation in which matters present in business-as-usual costing practice become more visible. The four enabling design principles help us to theorise the complex interactions between how cost information might be constructed differently to relate to different purposes relating to both internal and global transparency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting Forum
Early online date10 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • enabling control
  • healthcare costing
  • healthcare funding
  • COVID-19


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