In 1997, the USPTO instituted the Activity Based Information (ABI) program to comply with prevailing federal Managerial Cost Accounting standards, and to provide timely, accurate and useful cost information to make informed management decisions across the organization. Today, USPTO’s ABI program is widely recognized to be one of the best in the federal government. Since the inception of the program, ABI methodologies have continuously improved and are consistently used in fee setting, budgeting, performance reporting, preparation of financial statements (Statement of Net Costs), and ad-hoc cost analyses and studies.
The ABI program is managed by the Activity Based Information Division within the Office of Finance. The ABI Division has primary responsibility for the following functions:
- Providing leadership in the area of cost management;
- Ensuring compliance with relevant Managerial Cost Accounting standards;
- Determining and reporting the costs of achieving internal and external performance goals;
- Managing the ABI program and maintain the Activity Based Information System (ABIS) infrastructure;
- Preparing quarterly reports and briefings on the cost of operations for executives and program managers;
- Preparing quarterly Statement of Net Cost and supporting notes;
- Providing cost input and analysis for the Annual Performance and Accountability Report;
- Performing fee studies on a regular basis to inform the fee-setting process; and
- Performing ad hoc cost studies on proposed fee legislation and in response to OMB and Congressional inquiries and internal management requests.
Steve Porter is the director of the Activity Based Information Division.