Hidden Costs in the Evaluation of Quality Failure Costs


  • Vytautas Snieska Kaunas University of Technology
  • Asta Daunoriene Kaunas University of Technology
  • Alma Zekeviciene Kaunas University of Technology




external failure quality costs, evaluation of hidden failure quality costs, loss of customer loyalty, loss of image, quality costs models


In modern global market organizations striving for survive and successful compete have not only to satisfy needs of customers but to perform it with the least costs.

Specialists of quality management determined that quality costs make a big part of total factor costs, taking about 30 % (Srivastava, 2008). Reducing of quality costs allows reducing of total organizational costs that would result in reducing of price of goods manufactured or services supplied, increase of customers’ satisfaction or improved oeganization performance (Juran, 1951; Crosby, 1979; Heagy, 1991; Tsai, 1998; Moen, 1998; Malchi & McGurk, 2001; Prickett & Rapley, 2001; Love & Irani, 2003; Tannock & Saelem, 2007; Sower, Quarles & Broussard, 2007; Wu et all, 2011).

Organizations that have prepared the programs of quality costs accounting adapted to their specific activity and paying more attention to implementation of quality programs, can identify, set in underlying order, evaluate and select quality investments more easy (Bottorff, 1997). Also quality costs programs allow calculation of return of investment to quality, help to find out how development is going (Gray, 1995), determine where highest costs appear and allow to find out what is the loss due to poor quality (Bottorff, 1997). Unfortunately, many organizations don’t know their quality costs (Yang, 2008). Between the reasons determining the absence of quality costs accounting in the organization, following are indicated: use of many types of different accounting systems (Harry & Schroeder, 2000), traditional costs accounting systems are not adapted to identify quality costs data (Chiadamrong, 2003), lack of adequate methods to determine the results of poor quality (Chen & Yang, 2002).

Studies performed by Viger & Anandarajan (1999) show that organizations that are calculating and analyzing quality costs, are making efficient decisions more often than those not calculating quality costs. Having calculated the loss due to poor quality and determined where its appearance is the largest, organizations can make decisions allowing optimization of quality costs. While optimizing quality costs, benefit increases (Fine & Charles, 1986; Freiesleben, 2005). Also, optimization of quality costs is a condition necessary to survive and anchor in the market.

Quality costs programs were implemented and used worldwide (Carr, 1992, Schiffauerova & Thomson, 2006a.

However, both the scientific literature and enterprises’ practice still are having questions how to calculate all constituents of categories of quality costs in details in striving for maximal benefit from the system of accounting of quality costs.

In the article there is discussion about the problems of quality costs accounting in striving for detailed calculation of all quality costs, a problem of lack of hidden failure quality costs accounting methodology analyzed, a review of literature on quality costs accounting models presented, the studies performed by other authors discussed, suggestions how to calculate hidden failure quality costs presented. An empirical study was performed in Lithuanian organization where methodology of accounting of constituents of hidden failure quality costs was tested.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ee.24.3.1186

Author Biographies

Vytautas Snieska, Kaunas University of Technology

prof. dr.

Asta Daunoriene, Kaunas University of Technology


Alma Zekeviciene, Kaunas University of Technology


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