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What Is Cost Accounting

Cost accountancy has now become an essential part of accountancy, which is surprising given that, only a few decades ago, it was very much a part of financial accounting. Further, provision of cost audit under section 233 B of the Companies Act has given impetus to the development of cost accounting in India. It is said that the cost involved in installing and working a cost system is out of all proportions to the benefits derived therefrom. It may be stated in this connection that a costing system must be a profitable investment and should produce benefits commensurate with the expenditure incurred on the system.

What is the basic principle of cost accounting?

The cost principle means items need to be recorded as the actual price paid. It is the same way when a buyer buys products, and the recording is done based on the price paid. In short, the cost principle is equal to the amount paid for each transaction.

Generally, cost accounting provides the management with comprehensive information that helps them to plan for the future as well as control the current operations. Note that since the managers make decisions only for their firms, they don’t have to compare their information to that of other firms. What they do is to ensure that the information is relevant to a particular setting. Managers majorly use cost accounting information to make decisions for the well being of the company. Standard Costing is a technique of Cost Accounting to compare the actual costs with standard costs (that are pre-defined) with the help of Variance Analysis.

Classification of costs

If this is not done, the system is bound to degenerate into a mere matter of forms and rulings. It is argued that the adoption of costing system failed to produce the desired results in many cases and, therefore, the system is defective. The failure of a system may be due to several causes such as apathy or indifference of management, lack of adequate facilities, non-co-operation or opposition from the employees. So it is hasty to find fault with the system, if it fails to produce the desired results. It should be clearly understood that there is no stereotyped system of costing which can be applied to all types of industries. The system of costing should be so devised as to suit the business but not the business to suit the system.

What are the 4 types of cost accounting?

  • Standard Cost Accounting.
  • Activity-based cost accounting.
  • Marginal cost accounting.
  • Lean Accounting.

We follow strict ethical journalism practices, which includes presenting unbiased information and citing reliable, attributed resources. A number of objections are generally raised against the introduction of costing on various grounds. It provides statistical data on the basis of which future estimates are prepared and quotations are submitted.

Standard Cost Accounting

Preparation of financial statement is the major objective of financial accounting in a specified manner for a particular accounting period of an entity. It includes Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement which helps in, tracing out the performance, profitability and financial status of an organisation during a period. These are costs directly related to the production of a product, such as material and labor costs. Activity-based costing (ABC) is a system for assigning costs to products based on the activities they require. In this case, activities are those regular actions performed inside a company.[8] “Talking with the customer regarding invoice questions” is an example of activity inside most companies.

  • Process costing differs from job order costing as it focuses on the products which are commonly created at a business.
  • For example unit cost should not be charged with selling cost while it is still in factory.
  • The information offered through financial accounting could be used to make comparisons, but it cannot be used to make accurate predictions.
  • Standard costing is a tool that can be used to help manage and control business costs.
  • The Industrial Revolution birthed many very large businesses, and with large businesses come lots of overhead, fixed costs, and complexities.
  • Training accounting staff and managers on esoteric and often complex systems takes time and effort, and mistakes may be made early on.
  • Cost accounting has many advantages, making it an appealing choice for businesses.
  • As you can see, life cycle costing helps a company to get a complete picture of all of a product’s related costs.

ABC takes into account all activities required to manufacture a product, and assigns a value to them. For instance, two products may have the exact same ‘machine time’ to produce something. But the set up or testing times for one of the products may be significantly longer. Typically, an examination of a company’s processes will result in ways to improve them.

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This includes products that are the same and equal in terms of their purpose and these products are considered homogenous. It is important as this system allows the company to account for products which are produced on a regular basis, which is generally the bulk of the most products at many companies. Unlike financial accounting, which focuses on preparing statements for company shareholders and interested parties outside of the company, cost accounting is internal. Company management and leaders use cost accounting to inform their decisions on how to improve the company’s operations. Companies that want consistent profits use target costing to manage production costs. With this method, a company researches and evaluates the costs of a process before starting production.

  • This information decides how to operate a business more efficiently and effectively.
  • Financial accounting tailors to external users, such as investors and creditors.
  • This gives management a better idea of where the time and money are being spent.
  • It helps company management to make decisions and is tailored to the specific needs of each separate firm.

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