About Gary


Gary Cokins, Speaker, Author, Consultant, Thought Leader in performance improvement systems and advanced cost management

Gary Cokins is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in performance improvement systems and advanced cost management.

Gary received a BS degree with honors (Tau Beta Pi; Alpha Pi Mu) in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research from Cornell University in 1971. He was a two year varsity football letterman. He received his MBA with honors (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1974.

Gary began his career as a strategic planner with FMC Corporation and subsequently served as Financial Controller and Operations Manager with FMC’s Link-Belt division. In 1981 Gary began his management consulting career first with Deloitte Consulting. Next with KPMG, Gary was trained on activity-based costing (ABC) by Harvard Business School Professors Robert S. Kaplan and Robin Cooper. 

With KPMG working with Dr. David Norton, Gary was also involved with initial research that led to the development of the Balanced Scorecard. Prior to joining SAS, Gary headed the National Cost Management Consulting Services for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), now part of HP. In 1996 Gary joined ABC Technologies which was acquired in 2002 by SAS, a leading provider of enterprise performance management and business analytics software, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina. At SAS he was a principal consultant and retired in 2012.

Gary was the lead author of the acclaimed An ABC Manager’s Primer (ISBN 0-86641-220-4), sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Gary’s second book, Activity Based Cost Management: Making it Work (ISBN 0-7863-0740-4), was judged by the Harvard Business School Press as “read this book first.” A reviewer for Gary’s third book, Activity Based Cost Management: An Executive’s Guide (ISBN 0-471-44328-X) said, Gary has the gift to take the concept that many view as complex and reduce it to its simplest terms.” This book was ranked number one in sales volume of 151 similar books on BarnesandNoble.com. Gary has also written Activity Based Cost Management in Government (ISBN 1-056726-110-8). His five most recent books are Performance Management: Finding the Missing Pieces to Close the Intelligence Gap (ISBN 0-471-57690-5), Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics (ISBN 978-0-470-44998-1), Strategic Business Management: From Planning to Performance (ISBN 978-1-93735-081-9), Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times (ISBN 978-1-94012-531-8), and Predictive Business Analytics (ISBN 978-1-118-17556-9).

Gary has participated and served on committees including: CAM-I, the Supply Chain Council, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the Institute of Management Accountants, the AICPA, and the American Association of Accountants (AAA).

Gary serves on the board of advisers for organizations including an advisory board with Harvard Business School Professor, Robert S. Kaplan, for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Unrelated to his work career, Gary resides with his wife Pam in Cary, North Carolina. He is very proud to have his project from his junior year at Cornell, programming a baseball game simulation with his fraternity brother Pete Watzka, be accepted by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY as the oldest computer baseball game code. His two grandsons are very impressed. See the certificate below. You can read about this on Cornell’s website here and on the GM Games website here.

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Giving Back

My responsibility to give back

I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a meaningful career with valuable experiences, but responsibilities come with having been fortunate. Now is the time in my life to give back. Responsibility involves trying to use one’s talents to their fullest potential. I’ve had 40 years of accumulating experiences in so many various settings and industries. I feel I now have a responsibility to share what I have learned.

Privilege and Responsibilities

If you have time, please read my article about my personal feelings regarding being privileged, but also having responsibilities that go with privilege.

The article begins with this first paragraph:

“With so much global change and innovation going on, some readers seek understanding to make sense of it all. I try to meet that need with my blogs and articles. However based on reflections of my childhood followed by a forty year working career, I write this piece about my feelings and emotions resulting from having had the fortune and opportunity to make contributions. I have been privileged to have had many and diverse opportunities to learn about managing organizations, but it comes with responsibilities.”


  • Consortium for Advanced Management – International (CAM-I)

  • The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)

  • International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

  • Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

  • Society of Cost Management (SCM)

  • American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)

  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

  • American Association of Accountants / Management Accounting Section (AAA / MAS)

  • Financial Executive Institute (FEI)

  • Association for Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

  • Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Canada

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Wales and England (ICAEW)

  • The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICWAI)

  • CPA Australia

  • American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS)

  • The Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)

  • The Institute of Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS)

  • International Institute of Analytics (IIA)

  • American Society for Quality (ASQ)

  • American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE)

  • Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA)

  • IT Metrics and Productivity Institute (ITMPI)

  • SmartPros.com

  • CFO.com

  • KPI Library.com