[en] The coronal abundances of chromospherically active binaries have come under close scrutiny in recent years thanks to several X-ray satellites such as XMM or Chandra. Unfortunately a detailed analysis of the chemical fractionation processes that are possibly operating between the photosphere and the corona is plagued by the lack of reliable and accurate photospheric abundance determinations. In particular a detailed investigation of the photospheric metal content seems worthwhile in the light of several studies that have questioned the customary use of photometric indices as effective temperature indicators in active binaries. We shall present our ongoing effort to determine in a self-consistent way accurate physical parameters and photospheric abundances for a large number of systems and discuss the implications of our results on their abundance patterns and evolutionary status. Preliminary results suggest that these systems are not as iron-deficient as found in previous studies and indicate an overabundance of several key elements (e.g. Na Mg Al Ca) with respect to the solar pattern.