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Cost Accounting — a fresh approach for controlling costs, monitoring performance and increasing profitability
As organizations continue to tighten their belts and monitor every dollar spent, financial analysis becomes a critical part of management and team operations. By using cost accounting — a method of evaluating projected profits and weighing them against projected costs — managers are better able to account for expenditures, create a budget based on relevant financial data, identify production costs and pinpoint waste, adjust marketing strategies and make better business decisions.
What is Cost Accounting?
- Understand the concept of cost accounting from a manager's perspective
- Standard accounting versus cost accounting — three critical differences you need to know
- Why standard accounting may not produce the information required to analyze and predict business performance
- How cost accounting will help your decision-making process and help to focus on growth, profits and opportunities
- You compare: interpret income statement data from a standard accounting perspective and a cost accounting perspective
Two Major Streams for Cost Accounting
- Process-based costing — what it is and how to apply this model to your business
- Project or job costing — gathering the data you need to put the numbers into practice
- Why these two systems can apply to almost any business model and businesses of any size
- Examples of how separating cost and revenue can provide insight into business performance
Fixed, Variable and Overhead Costs
- The differences between fixed, variable and overhead costs — how these differences can affect analysis
- Three characteristics of fixed costs, overhead costs and variable costs
- How their interrelationship affects profitability
- How to use these costs to gather information and plan for the future
- Addressing variances: how to account for differences between actual costs and expected results
- How cost accounting helps management react to problems and opportunities as they occur in the real world
Cost and Volume Relationships
- The connection between costs, volume and profitability
- How to predict profitability by examining the relationship between revenue, cost of sale, overhead and volume
- How cost and revenue can be used to examine "what if" scenarios with differing volumes
- How analyzing cost/volume relationships can be used to predict break-even minimums, evaluate new and existing product lines and indicate whether volumes are achievable
- How cost/volume information can be used to determine when it's prudent to launch new products or make changes to existing product lines
Budgets and Flexible Budgets
- How to use cost data to create a more accurate budget
- The "flexible budget" — what it is, how it differs from a traditional budget and why it's one of the most powerful tools in your accounting toolbox
- How flexible budgets tie the actions of different departments together
- Sales, operations, and administration — how a flexible budget separates these results for more accurate analysis and departmental management
- How flexible budgets adjust for actual results and offer a unique outlook on achieving and exceeding goals
Implementing Cost Accounting
- Overcome resistance to change — strategies to get buy-in on every level, from staff to management
- How to prove cost accounting's value and benefits to your business
- Get the accounting department on board — how to convince them the extra work involved with producing cost accounting data is worth the effort
- How to work through the challenges involved in implementing a cost accounting system within your organization