A Cost Accountant requires a multi-skilled person to hold the position. The Cost Accountant makes ledger entries and keeps track of cost analysis.
- The Cost Accountant performs activities covering materials and production costs, costs of sales, product development, overhead, etc.
- The Cost Accountant compares actual costs to estimates and analyzes variances.
- The Cost Accountant analyzes and monitors raw material inventory.
- The Cost Accountant analyzes actual manufacturing costs and prepares periodic reports comparing budget costs to actual production costs; this includes product margin reporting and analytics.
- The Cost Accountant must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting plus three or more years experience working in the field of accounting.
The Cost Accountant must maintain the inventory system with integrity and standardization. The cost of buying raw materials is vital to the company’s profit. It is important that the Cost Accountant makes sure that no orders are place for these raw materials unless it is necessary. The Cost Accountant must have full knowledge of purchasing policies, processes, and procedures. The Cost Accountant is the one that creates and monitors purchase orders. It is important to make sure that each purchase order is properly tracked finding the appropriate approval signature, account numbers and proof of the receipt of the goods ordered. The Cost Accountant knows that a company can lose money on orders placed and merchandise not received.
The Cost Accountant is in charge of administering and reconciling the Company credit card purchasing program. The Cost Accountant makes sure that each department who has the right to order goods and pay for them upon received must put the correct amount of the order on the credit card charge. In some corporations the executives are issued a credit card to use to pay for their travel expenses. These credit cards have a set budget approved by the Cost Accountant. Cost Accounts realize that executives who travel need to be able to book flights, hotel accommodations, and restaurant reservations so in order to be able to help them do this without the executives having to get constantly ask for a purchase order, the Cost Accountant, issues a credit card in the executive’s name. The Cost Accountant tries to get a good bargain from the credit card companies. It is not unusual for the Cost Accountant to bargain with vendors. In the case of the credit card companies they try to get a low interest rate, no yearly membership fee, and some sort of perk that the executive can use later as a company earned bonus.
The Cost Accountant negotiates the best vendor terms, pricing and delivery based on specific budget and schedule requirements needed to keep production supplies maintained. When it is needed the Cost Accountant looks for and develops new supply sources. The Cost Accountant must make sure that supplies and raw materials are not bought at excessive cost. In order for any business to make a profit expenses must be kept at a bare minimum while profits excel. Every item bought is an expense and the Cost Accountant must make sure that excessive spending is not happening in any department. The Cost Accountant must have knowledge of finance, accounting, budgeting and cost control procedures. The Cost Accountant must be able to balance and reconcile records kept and be able to research and resolve any unbalanced issues involved in the accounting procedures. The Cost Accountant must have strong technical skills involving inventory reconciliation, cost analysis and month-end close. The Cost Accountant must have solid decision making skills and the ability to exercise independent judgment.
The Cost Accountant must have the capability to prioritize and plan work activities efficiently to meet deadlines; work on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously. The Cost Accountant is often faced with changes, delays, or unexpected events and must be able to deal with all these things in a calm and timely manner. The Cost Accountant must have the capability to work in a team environment with varied departments and diverse personalities. The Cost Accountant must be detailed oriented with excellent oral and written communication skills. The Cost Accountant is expected to be proficient in MS Word, MS Outlook, and Intermediate to Advanced in MS Excel programs. Other accounting programs that are used by any company are normally taught to the Cost Accountant when they are first hired to work. This element in working as a Cost Accountant is expected but the Cost Accountant must have the ability to learn new programs quickly.