Operational audit with the use of Activity-Based Management (ABM) in public organizations: proposal of a method


  • Sidnei de Moura Lisboa Exército Brasileiro
  • Amarolinda Zanela Klein Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS
  • Marcos Antonio de Souza Universidade Federal de Uberlândia – UFU


Operational Audit, Activity Based Management, Public administration, Design Science Research.


The New Public Management (NPM) has brought to public organizations the need of increased productivity and performance, greater accountability, and greater social control. Therefore, public sector control mechanisms have been developed to improve the performance of public organizations. The operational audit stands out as a type of control that can assist public managers in improving management. This research is part of this context and aims to analyze the contribution of the ABM (Activity Based Management) application in the practices of operational audit. To achieve this objective, through a Design Science Research an artifact (method) was created to perform the operational audit based on the ABM, which was tested in an internal control unit of the Brazilian Army, from September 2016 until March 2017. The ABM practices selected to compose the artifact were able to help to produce information that impact performance, in the dimensions of efficiency and effectiveness, as well as in aspects of compliance, indicating opportunities for management improvements. Performing the operational audit using ABM also helped to identify cost drivers, which generate unnecessary resource consumption and delays in the delivery of the product of the process.