Cost Accounting

Topics: Management accounting, Costs, Cost accounting Pages: 10 (3182 words) Published: September 29, 2014
Origins
All types of businesses, whether service, manufacturing or trading, require cost accounting to track their activities.[1] Cost accounting has long been used to help managers understand the costs of running a business. Modern cost accounting originated during the industrial revolution, when the complexities of running a large scale business led to the development of systems for recording and tracking costs to help business owners and managers make decisions. In the early industrial age, most of the costs incurred by a business were what modern accountants call "variable costs" because they varied directly with the amount of production.[citation needed] Money was spent on labor, raw materials, power to run a factory, etc. in direct proportion to production. Managers could simply total the variable costs for a product and use this as a rough guide for decision-making processes. Some costs tend to remain the same even during busy periods, unlike variable costs, which rise and fall with volume of work. Over time, these "fixed costs" have become more important to managers. Examples of fixed costs include the depreciation of plant and equipment, and the cost of departments such as maintenance, tooling, production control, purchasing, quality control, storage and handling, plant supervision and engineering.[2] In the early nineteenth century, these costs were of little importance to most businesses. However, with the growth of railroads, steel and large scale manufacturing, by the late nineteenth century these costs were often more important than the variable cost of a product, and allocating them to a broad range of products lead to bad decision making. Managers must understand fixed costs in order to make decisions about products and pricing. For example: A company produced railway coaches and had only one product. To make each coach, the company needed to purchase $60 of raw materials and components, and pay 6 laborers $40 each. Therefore, total variable cost for each coach was $300. Knowing that making a coach required spending $300, managers knew they couldn't sell below that price without losing money on each coach. Any price above $300 became a contribution to the fixed costs of the company. If the fixed costs were, say, $1000 per month for rent, insurance and owner's salary, the company could therefore sell 5 coaches per month for a total of $3000 (priced at $600 each), or 10 coaches for a total of $4500 (priced at $450 each), and make a profit of $500 in both cases. Cost Accounting vs Financial Accounting

See also: Financial accounting
Financial accounting aims at finding out results of accounting year in the form of Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet. Cost Accounting aims at computing cost of production/service in a scientific manner and facilitate cost control and cost reduction. Financial accounting reports the results and position of business to government, creditors, investors, and external parties. Cost Accounting is an internal reporting system for an organization’s own management for decision making. In financial accounting, cost classification based on type of transactions, e.g. salaries, repairs, insurance, stores etc. In cost accounting, classification is basically on the basis of functions, activities, products, process and on internal planning and control and information needs of the organization. Financial accounting aims at presenting ‘true and fair’ view of transactions, profit and loss for a period and Statement of financial position (Balance Sheet) on a given date. It aims at computing ‘true and fair’ view of the cost of production/services offered by the firm.[3] Types of cost accounting

The Following are different Cost Accounting Approaches:
standardized or standard cost accounting
lean accounting
activity-based costing
resource consumption accounting
throughput accounting
Life cycle costing
environmental accounting
Target costing
Elements of cost
Basic cost elements are:...

References: 6. Mocciaro Li Destri A., Picone P. M. & Minà A. (2012), Bringing Strategy Back into Financial Systems of Performance Measurement: Integrating EVA and PBC, Business System Review, Vol 1., Issue 1. pp.85-102.
7. Maskell & Baggaley (December 19, 2003). "Practical Lean Accounting". Productivity Press, New York, NY.
Books and journals
Maher, Lanen and Rahan, Fundamentals of Cost Accounting, 1st Edition (McGraw-Hill 2005).
Horngren, Datar and Foster, Cost Accounting - A Managerial Emphasis, 11th edition (Prentice Hall 2003).
Sapp, Richard, David Crawford and Steven Rebishcke "Article title?" Journal of Bank Cost and Management Accounting (Volume 3, Number 2), 1990.
Author(s)? "Article title?" Journal of Bank Cost and Management Accounting (Volume 4, Number 1), 1991.
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