Steps of choosing an accounting based performance measure
Consider the overall goal of the organization as a whole. It is important to choose a measure of accomplishment that represents top management goals. Such measures include operating income, net income, Return on investment (ROI), sales, etc. Determine whether the measure should be maximized or minimized.
1) Select definitions for such items as income and investments (i.e. should income be based on variable or absorption costing? Must central overheads be allocated? should investments consist of total assets, net assets or net worth?)
2) How should items such as income and investments be measured (i.e. should we use historical costs, replacement costs, realizable or current values?)
3) Determine the standards that should be applied (i.e. should all divisions be required to earn the same rate of return on all investments?)
4) What timing of feedback is needed? Should it be monthly or quarterly?