Cost accounting examines the cost structure of a business. It does so by collecting information about the costs incurred by a company’s activities, assigning selected costs to products and services and other cost objects, and evaluating the efficiency of cost usage. Discuss the topic, the Concept of Cost Accounting: Meaning of Cost Accounting, Definition of Cost Accounting, Objectives of Cost Accounting, Nature and Scope of Cost Accounting, and Limitations of Cost Accounting! It is mostly concern with developing an understanding of where a company earns and loses money, and providing input into decisions to generate profits in the future. Also learned, Management Accounting; Objectives, Nature, and Scope.
Cost accounting involves the techniques for as: 1) Determining the costs of products, processes, projects, etc. to report the correct amounts on the financial statements, and 2) Assisting management in making decisions and in the planning and control of an organization.
For example, cost accounts used to compute the unit cost of a manufacturer’s products to report the cost of inventory on its balance sheet and the cost of goods sold on its income statement. This is achieving with techniques such as the allocation of manufacturing overhead costs and through the use of process costing, operations costing, and job-order costing systems.
It assists management by providing analysis of cost behavior, cost-volume-profit relationships, operational and capital budgeting, standard costing, variance analyses for costs and revenues, transfer pricing, activity-based costing, and more. They had their roots in manufacturing businesses, but today it extends to service businesses.
For example, a bank will use cost accounting to determine the cost of processing a customer’s check and/or a deposit. This, in turn, may provide management with guidance in the pricing of these services.
An accounting system is to make available necessary and accurate information for all those who are interested in the welfare of the organization. The requirements of the majority of them are satisfied using financial accounting. However, the management requires far more detailed information than what conventional financial accounting can offer.
The focus of the management lies not in the past but on the future. For a businessman who manufactures goods or renders services, cost accounts a useful tool. It was developed on account of limitations of financial accounting and is the extension of financial accounting. The advent of the factory system gave an impetus to the development of cost accounting.
It is a method of accounting for cost. The process of recording and accounting for all the elements of the cost calls cost accounting.
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants, London defines costing as,
“The process of accounting for cost from the point at which expenditure incur or commit to the establishment of its ultimate relationship with cost centers and cost units. In its wider usage, it embraces the preparation of statistical data, the application of cost control methods and the ascertainment of the profitability of activities carry out or plan.”
The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants, India defines cost accounting as,
“The technique and process of ascertainment of costs. Cost accounts the process of accounting for costs, which begins with the recording of expenses or the bases on which they are calculating and ends with the preparation of statistical data.”
To put it simply, when the accounting process is applying to the elements of costs (i.e., Materials, Labor and Other expenses), it becomes Cost Accounting.
It was born to fulfill the needs of manufacturing companies. Its a mechanism of accounting through which costs of goods or services are ascertaining and control for different purposes. It helps to ascertain the true cost of every operation, through a close watch, say, cost analysis and allocation.
The main objectives of cost accounting are as follows:-
Cost accounts concerned with ascertainment and control of costs. The information provided by cost-accounting to the management is helpful for cost control and cost reduction through functions of planning, decision making, and control. Initially, they confined itself to cost ascertainment and presentation of the same mainly to find out product cost.
With the introduction of large-scale production, the scope was widened and providing information for cost control and cost reduction has assuming equal significance along with finding out the cost of production. To start with cost-accounting was apply in manufacturing activities but now it applies in service organizations, government organizations, local authorities, agricultural farms, Extractive industries and so on.
The guide for the ascertainment of the cost of production. It discloses as profitable and unprofitable activities. They help management to eliminate unprofitable activities. It provides information for estimates and tenders. They disclose the losses occurring in the form of idle time spoilage or scrap etc. It also provides a perpetual inventory system.
It helps to make effective control over inventory and for the preparation of interim financial statements. They help in controlling the cost of production with the help of budgetary control and standard costing. They provide data for future production policies. It discloses the relative efficiencies of different workers and for the fixation of wages to workers.
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