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Microfinance product costing tool : Outil de calcul du cout des produits en microfinance (Francês)

As microfinance matures, increasing numbers of microfinance institutions (MFIs) are offering multiple products to their customers. Much of this product proliferation derives from two related trends: a keen interest in making microfinance services more responsive to the needs of the poor and increased competition in certain key markets. At the same time, however, the costs of microfinance remain high, and relatively few MFIs, conduct detailed operational cost analyses to understand the structure, and causes of their costs, whether at the branch, product, or client level. This type of information can help MFI managers streamline processes and reduce costs. This tool outlines two methods for determining the administrative cost structure of individual microfinance products. Once product costs are determined, the tool suggests methods for understanding how, and why costs are incurred for a specific product, and, how the product contributes (or not) to the overall financial viability of the MFI. The tool moves beyond simple cost allocation among products, to analyze the causes of costs. To do so, it borrows from an accepted cost management technique, widely used in business - activity-based costing (ABC). The tool also facilitates customer segment analysis within particular product groups. Although this tool applies equally to credit and savings products, the viability analysis focuses on savings products, because this topic has been largely neglected in microfinance literature.

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