A cost accountant performs routine and special analyses to help determine the type of operations and materials that are most cost effective for their organization. This accountant helps assess which products and raw materials are best suited to their company’s objectives, and they may be expected to create a costing system that can continuously evaluate the value of inventory and associated costs. The cost accountant should be able to determine and explain the factors that will cause costs to vary; strong research skills are essential to determine all of the costs associated with certain decisions. Additionally, cost accountants may need to document internal factors and controls that are affecting costs. The cost accountant often helps senior management to make key decisions, in some cases including decisions related to employees' salaries and product pricing.
A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or another relevant field is necessary in this position. Previous cost accounting experience is generally required or preferred as well. The cost accountant should be proficient with basic computer programs such as the Microsoft Office suite, as well as be able to work independently and in a team setting. Cost accountants generally work in an office setting during regular business hours, although additional and/or alternative hours may be required depending on deadlines and their employer's needs.
Cost Accountant Tasks
Ensures services and processes are in compliance with account practices and regulatory requirements.
Record and report the costs of manufacturing goods and providing services.
Analyzes monthly and quarterly ledger activities.
Prepares financial audit schedules and reports for management.